NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino broke down three calls from Super Bowl LI in his weekly video for the media.
The first play is a potential pass/fumble with special forward fumble rule implications. The first play after the two-minute warning in the second quarter, there was a potential pass-fumble play. Referee Carl Cheffers ruled it a pass reception. Had it been a fumble, the ball would return to the spot of the fumble as only the fumbling player can recover and advance a fumble on fourth down or in the last two minutes of a half.
The second play involved timing at the end of the third quarter. The officials flagged the Patriots for delay of game. Some asked why the clock expired without an untimed down or why the clock didn’t start on the snap. Blandino explained that the clock starts on the snap after an offensive foul only in the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.
On the third play, Blandino breaks down the overtime touchdown. He said the instant replay official properly informed the crew that he wanted to take a look at the play and replay official Tom Sifferman was correct in confirming the touchdown call.
Blandino did not explain any other judgment calls from the game.