Football Zebras
2017 PostseasonWild Card liveblog: Panthers at Saints

Wild Card liveblog: Panthers at Saints

2017 NFC Wild Card Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the NFC Wild Card Playoff game from Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us @footballzebras.

Today’s crew is headed by Tony Corrente.

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 99 Tony Corrente 23   Cal State-Fullerton retired educator
U 92 Bryan Neale 4 Morelli Indiana sales consultant
DJ 74 Derick Bowers 15 Coleman East Central sales representative*
LJ 47 Tim Podraza 10 Morelli Nebraska banker
FJ 33 Steve Zimmer 21 Wrolstad Hofstra attorney*
SJ 43 Terry Brown 12 Triplette Tennessee probation supervisor
BJ 105 Dino Paganelli 12 Steratore Aquinas College educator

*indicates full-time official

  • Replay: Larry Nemmers
  • Alternates: 
    • Jerome Boger (R)
    • Kevin Codey (LJ)
    • Tony Steratore (BJ)
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 7, 20188:25 pm

The intent of the “pocket” provision of the intentional grounding rule is to capture instances where a quarterback has rolled out, and to give him additional protections because he is more vulnerable.

In this case, Newton dropped essentially straight back and did not initiate any lateral movement. He has set in a passing posture in the pocket, so the meaning of intent in intentional grounding would indicate that he is a pocket passer.

When added to the fact that a call has to be made on boundary lines that are invisible and the reference points (the 2 offensive tackles) have moved, the general movement of the quarterback determines whether he has left the pocket or not.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 7, 20188:22 pm

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 7, 20188:04 pm

The officiating crew did a very nice job. There was some question at the end if Cam Newton was out of the pocket on the intentional grounding. The referee is looking for the quarterback to take steps to the side. If the quarterback goes backwards on an angle, that does not count. While it was close, it appears to be a correct call.

The official of the game was not even on the field. Alternate Tony Steratore saved the crew late in the game. After the Newton intentional grounding, there should have been a 10-second runoff. No one caught it until Steratore ran onto the field, making the stop-the-clock signal to raise the issue with referee Tony Corrente. For that he should earn a full game fee, not an alternate fee!

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20187:53 pm

Saints 31-26, final

Penalties

  • Panthers — 2/18 (+1 offset)
  • Saints — 7/96 (+1 declined, +1 offset)

Replays

  • none
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20187:52 pm

:41 | 4th qtr. Newton dropped straight back in the pocket, and even though he may have moved slightly at an angle, it is not enough to nullify the grounding call. Inside of two minutes, intentional grounding carries a ten-second runoff. It was nearly missed by the crew, but alternate deep official Tony Steratore ran onto the field with the stop clock signal to shut down the play and make sure the runoff was addressed.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20187:48 pm

2:00 | 4th qtr. Although Carolina was trying to quickly drop the ball after that interception to gain field position, the defender established himself as a runner before the ball was dropped. Since the ball went forward and out of bounds, the ball is brought back to the spot of the fumble. Although this was inside the two-minute warning, and also on 4th down, the fumble advance rules only apply to the original offense, so anyone could have recovered and advanced this fumble.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20187:32 pm
4:09 | 4th qtr. Panthers TD — Christian McCaffrey 56 yd. pass from Cam Newton (Graham Gano kick). NO 31-26 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20187:26 pm
5:08 | 4th qtr. Saints TD — Alvin Kamara 2 yd. run (Will Lutz kick). NO 31-19 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20187:04 pm
12:47 | 4th qtr. Panthers TD — Greg Olsen 14 yd. pass from Cam Newton (Graham Gano kick). NO 24-19 key
Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 7, 20186:51 pm

Every time the TV isolates on the punt returner preparing to for the kick, you see back judge Dino Paganelli saying a brief word to him. He’s most likely reminding him to make a proper fair catch signal if he plans on making one.

Also, you can see Paganelli carrying his whistle with a wrist lanyard, a rare but acceptable way for officials to carry their whistle.

Whistle while you work, NFL referee style

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 7, 20186:41 pm

6:09 | 3rd qtr. The Saints get called for a hold and intentional grounding. Both calls were there; however the Panthers could only take one. The Panthers chose to take the intentional grounding call that carried a loss-of-down penalty, bringing up fourth down.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20186:40 pm
6:05 | 3rd qtr. Saints FG — Will Lutz 57 yd. NO 24-12 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20186:29 pm
10:58 | 3rd qtr. Panthers FG — Graham Gano 29 yd. NO 21-12 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20186:08 pm

Saints 21-9, halftime

Penalties

  • Panthers — 1/5
  • Saints — 3/54

Replays

  • none
:00 | 2nd qtr. Panthers FG — Graham Gano 58 yd. NO 21-9
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 7, 20186:06 pm

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20186:02 pm
:43 | 2nd qtr. Saints TD — Zach Line 1 yd. run (Will Lutz kick). NO 21-6 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20185:51 pm
2:47 | 2nd qtr. Panthers FG — Graham Gano 39 yd. NO 14-6 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20185:38 pm
9:04 | 2nd qtr. Saints TD — Josh Hill 9 yd. pass from Drew Brees (Will Lutz kick). NO 14-3 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20185:23 pm
14:12 | 2nd qtr. Panthers FG — Graham Gano 27 yd. NO 7-3 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 7, 20185:12 pm
1:46 | 1st qtr. Saints TD — Ted Ginn 80 yd. pass from Drew Brees (Will Lutz kick). NO 7-0 key
Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 7, 20185:11 pm

Umpire Bryan Neale working hard to keep everyone separated and heading back to the huddle after play. Looks like a lot of woofing after plays.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 7, 20184:51 pm

Tony Corrente is the referee, who is in his 23rd season and 20th as referee. Playoff experience of the crew, including this game:

  • Corrente (R), 17 games — 6 wild cards, 5 divisionals, 5 conference championships, Super Bowl XLI
  • Neale (U), 2 games — 1 wild card, 1 divisional
  • Bowers (DJ), 12 games — 6 wild cards, 4 divisionals, 1 conference championship, Super Bowl XLIII
  • Podraza (LJ), 7 games — 4 wild cards, 2 divisionals, 1 conference championship
  • Zimmer (FJ), 19 games — 7 wild cards, 7 divisionals, 4 conference championships, Super Bowl XL
  • Brown (SJ), 5 games — 3 wild cards, 2 divisionals
  • Paganelli (BJ), 11 games — 2 wild cards, 6 divisionals, 2 conference championships, Super Bowl XLVII

One thought on “Wild Card liveblog: Panthers at Saints

  1. Tony… nice job missing the 10 second runoff on grounding.

    Add that to your replay mistakes this year and you have had a bad year.

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