Football Zebras
2017 Postseason2017 Divisional PlayoffsDivisional Playoffs liveblog: Jaguars at Steelers

Divisional Playoffs liveblog: Jaguars at Steelers

2017 AFC Divisional Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the AFC Divisional Playoff game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

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

Today’s crew is headed by Brad Allen.

 

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 122 Brad Allen 4   Pembroke State non-profit CEO*
U 20 Barry Anderson 11 Wrolstad North Carolina State builder/developer*
DJ 91 Jerry Bergman 16 McAulay Robert Morris sales executive
LJ 10 Julian Mapp 9 Wrolstad Grambling State project leader
FJ 73 Joe Larrew 16 Blakeman St Louis attorney
SJ 87 Walt Coleman IV 3 Boger Southern Methodist financial advisor
BJ 93 Scott Helverson 15 Hochuli Iowa sales, printing and promotions*

*indicates full-time official

  • Replay: Jim Lapetina
  • Alternates: 
    • Walt Anderson (R)
    • Carl Johnson (LJ)
    • Greg Steed (BJ)


Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 201812:52 pm

Kickoff conditions: Clear ☀ 16°, Calm

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 201812:53 pm

This is Brad Allen’s second playoff assignment in his third year of postseason eligibility. Last year, he worked a Wild Card Playoff. The playoff experience of the rest of the crew, including this game:

  • Anderson (U), 6 games — 3 wild cards, 3 divisionals
  • Bergman (DJ), 10 games — 6 wild cards, 4 divisionals
  • Mapp (LJ), 5 games — 2 wild cards, 2 divisionals, 1 conference championship
  • Larrew (FJ), 10 games — 2 wild cards 6 divisionals, 1 conference championship, Super Bowl XLVII
  • Coleman IV (SJ) — first playoff game
  • Helverson (BJ), 13 games — 4 wild cards, 3 divisionals, 4 conference championships, Super Bowls XLII and XLV
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20181:12 pm
10:40 | 1st qtr. Jaguars TD — Leonard Fournette 1 yd. run (Josh Lambo kick). JAX 7-0
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20181:18 pm

Tempers start to flare early, but the crew does a good job of stepping in to prevent any further damage to either team.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20181:24 pm

8:20 | 1st qtr. Fans in Heinz Field may have not liked the call, but Bortles was able to shovel the pass forward to his running back after the pump. When a pass vs. fumble ruling is in question, look at the hand of the quarterback: if his hand is empty when the ball is propelled forward, it’s a fumble. Here, Bortles had total control, so incomplete pass is the right call.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20181:35 pm
5:31 | 1st qtr. Jaguars challenge — Out of bounds short of the goal line. Call reversed: runner broke the plane, touchdown.

Normally, the line of scrimmage official (in this case, down judge Jerry Bergman) has the mechanic of watching the feet of any runner near the sideline, while the deep wing (here, side judge Walt Coleman IV) keeps their eye on the placement of the ball. This is a good reversal in replay, as the runner’s feet stay in bounds at the pylon and the ball breaks the plane.

5:26 | 1st qtr. Jaguars TD — Leonard Fournette 18 yd. run (Josh Lambo kick). JAX 14-0
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20181:54 pm
11:31 | 2nd qtr. Jaguars TD — T.J. Yeldon 4 yd. run (Josh Lambo kick). JAX 21-0
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20181:59 pm

14:35 | 2nd qtr. While defensive holding is called on players in the secondary in most cases, occasionally, you’ll see a defensive holding call at the line of scrimmage, mainly when defensive linemen hold offensive linemen to allow linebackers to move into the backfield. On this play, Steelers’ L.T. Walton grabbed a Jacksonville offensive lineman in the front portion of his collar, which is a good call for defensive holding by back judge Scott Helverson. This is not a personal foul for a horse collar, as the back of the collar and/or nameplate was not grabbed.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20182:03 pm
8:20 | 2nd qtr. Steelers TD — Antonio Brown 23 yd. pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell kick). JAX 21-7 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20182:20 pm

2:38 | 2nd qtr. If Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey had made the catch off the tipped ball, there would have been no foul for illegal touching. Once the ball is touched by a defender or eligible receiver after the pass is thrown, any player is eligible to catch the ball.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20182:23 pm
2:33 | 2nd qtr. Booth review (turnover) — Fumble. Call confirmed.
2:20 | 2nd qtr. Jaguars TD — Telvin Smith 50 yd. fumble return (Josh Lambo kick). JAX 28-7 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20182:32 pm
:25 | 2nd qtr. Steelers TD — Martavis Bryant 36 yd. pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell kick). JAX 28-14 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20182:35 pm

Jaguars 28-14, halftime

Penalties

  • Jaguars — 2/25
  • Steelers — 1/5

Replays

  • 1 booth review: confirmed
  • 1 JAX challenge: reversed
Patrick Weber Patrick Weber January 14, 20182:36 pm

2:33 | 2nd qtr. During his return of Ben Roethlisberger’s fumble, Jaguars defender Telvin Smith pointed directly at an opponent as he neared the endzone and was correctly flagged for taunting. Although the action occurred prior to Smith scoring, unsportsmanlike fouls are treated as dead ball fouls and enforced from the succeeding spot. In this case that is the kickoff, and there is no option to have the penalty enforced on the PAT.

There was also a replay review of the scoring play. If the play had been overturned, the unsportsmanlike foul still would have been enforced because all personal and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls are applied regardless of the outcome of the review. This foul also counted towards potential disqualification for Telvin Smith.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20182:58 pm

12:54 | 3rd qtr. Interesting sequence there. Jalen Ramsey seemed to shove Le’Veon Bell late out of bounds, drawing a flag from both line judge Julian Mapp and field judge Joe Larrew. In actuality, JuJu Smith-Schuster was blocking Ramsey into Bell, and Bell appeared to over-exaggerate the contact. The call was for unsportsmanlike conduct, so the foul may have been for something different that was unseen, and not the contact, as a late hit would be an unnecessary roughness personal foul. The difference with this, is that now Ramsey has one foul under his belt leading to potential disqualification.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20182:58 pm
9:09 | 3rd qtr. Steelers TD — Le’Veon Bell 19 yd. pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell kick). JAX 28-21 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20183:35 pm
10:34 | 4th qtr. Jaguars TD — Leonard Fournette 3 yd. run (Josh Lambo kick). JAX 35-21 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20183:44 pm
9:05 | 4th qtr. Steelers TD — Antonio Brown 43 yd. pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell kick). JAX 35-28

There was a flag thrown on that play for defensive pass interference, if you’re wondering. It was declined.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20183:53 pm
4:19 | 4th qtr. Jaguars TD — Tommy Bohanon 14 yd. pass from Blake Bortles (Josh Lambo kick). JAX 42-28 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20184:10 pm

9:21 | 4th qtr.

One additional circumstance to consider in the call is that there isn’t a “punishing” hit on Roethlisberger, who was allowed to land on the defender rather than being planted into the ground.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20184:10 pm
2:18 | 4th qtr. Steelers TD — Ben Roethlisberger 1 yd. run, lateral to Le’Veon Bell, 9 yd. run (Chris Boswell kick) JAX 42-35

Roethlisberger did cross the line of scrimmage, but the pass was thrown backwards, which is entirely legal. Line judge Julian Mapp was on the call, extending his arm backwards, indicating a backward pass.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20184:15 pm
1:45 | 4th qtr. Jaguars FG — Josh Lambo 45 yd. JAX 45-35 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20184:25 pm
:01 | 4th qtr. Steelers TD — JuJu Smith-Schuster 4 yd. pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell kick). JAX 45-42
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20184:27 pm

Jaguars 45-42, final

Penalties

  • Jaguars — 3/40 (+1 declined)
  • Steelers — 4/25

Replays

  • 1 booth review: confirmed
  • 1 JAX challenge: reversed
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20184:37 pm

Brad Allen and crew did a good job handling this game. Flags only touched the field eight times, and there were only two replay reviews, so there was not much of an officiating presence here. The unsportsmanlike conduct call on Jalen Ramsey for the “late hit” may have been a tad questionable, but overall, Allen and the crew had control over the game. Especially, handling some pushing and shoving early that quickly died down there and did not re-appear for the rest of the game. This crew should be proud of how this game was officiated.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20184:39 pm

:01 | 4th qtr. On the onside kick by the Steelers, the only scenario that would work in their benefit would be if the Steelers recovered the kickoff without the Jaguars touching the ball. The clock runs as soon as the receiving team touches the ball, but it is dead when the kicking team recovers. If the Steelers had successfully recovered and kept the Jaguars off the ball, the Steelers would have a snap at the point of recovery.

7 thoughts on “Divisional Playoffs liveblog: Jaguars at Steelers

  1. Yes, let’s ignore all of the offensive holds and throw a flag for defensive holding on a running play. Shameful.

  2. Don’t say “in actuality” like he didn’t shove him.

    Sure, he sold it, but that was a full arm extension from Ramsey. He wasn’t merely blocked into him.

  3. Officials letting the Jaguars get away with murder in pass coverage, unfortunately affecting the scoreline.

  4. Which official threw the flag on Telvin Smith for taunting?

    That official should be terminated.

    Let them play. Your job is not to determine the outcome of the game.

  5. The Jaguars got away with a lot of holding and pass interference all game.

    The defensive holding penalty that was called on a Jaguars run play, whether correct or not, should have been offset by the holding on Jacksonville.

    The missed hold on 4th down was a game-changer, and unfortunately decided the outcome.

    It’s unfortunate that the better team, and the better team today, wasn’t quite able to overcome the officiating as well. Admittedly there were some questionable coaching decisions, such as the onside kick, some 4th down playcalling, etc, but the missed calls were bigger.

  6. I believe there is another scenario where the last-second onside kick could work for the Steelers. If a Jaguar POSSESSED the ball and fumbled, a Steeler player could recover, advance the ball, and score (since it would no longer be a kick).

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