Football Zebras
2017 Postseason2017 Divisional PlayoffsDivisional Playoffs liveblog: Saints at Vikings

Divisional Playoffs liveblog: Saints at Vikings

2017 NFC Divisional Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the NFC Divisional Playoff game from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

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

Today’s crew is headed by Gene Steratore.

 

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 114 Gene Steratore 15   Kent State co-owner, supply company
U 81 Roy Ellison 15 Steratore Savannah State technical staff member
DJ 100 Tom Symonette 14 Cheffers Florida certified public accountant
LJ 84 Mark Steinkerchner 24 Torbert Akron vice-president*
FJ 1 Scott Novak 4 Coleman Phoenix sales manager
SJ 41 Boris Cheek 22 Morelli Morgan State director of operations and management*
BJ 78 Greg Meyer 16 Vinovich Texas Christian banker

*indicates full-time official

  • Replay: Paul Weidner
  • Alternates: 
    • Craig Wrolstad (R)
    • Jim Mello (DJ)
    • Greg Yette (BJ)

 



Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20184:39 pm

This is Gene Steratore’s 11th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships. The rest of the crew, including this game:

  • Ellison (U), 9 games — 2 wild cards, 4 divisionals, 3 conference championships
  • Symonette (DJ), 10 games — 5 wild cards, 3 divisionals, 1 conference championship, Super Bowl XLIII
  • Steinkerchner (LJ), 17 games — 2 wild cards, 12 divisionals, 1 conference championship, Super Bowls XXXVII and XXXIX
  • Novak (FJ), 3 games — 1 wild card, 2 divisionals
  • Cheek (SJ), 14 games — 6 wild cards, 4 divisionals, 2 conference championships, Super Bowls XLII and 50
  • Meyer (BJ), 12 games — 2 wild cards, 4 divisionals, 5 conference championships, Super Bowl XLIV
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20184:50 pm
9:45 | 1st qtr. Vikings TD — Jerick McKinnon 14 yd. run (Kai Forbath kick). MIN 7-0 key
Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 14, 20185:03 pm

5:43 | 1st qtr. Good pass interference call by Scott Novak on the Saints.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 14, 20185:04 pm

5:36 | 1st qtr. A second straight DPI on the Saints. That one, thrown by Greg Meyer and Scott Novak, is iffy, IMO.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20185:06 pm
4:42 | 1st qtr. Vikings FG — Kai Forbath 20 yd. MIN 10-0 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20185:36 pm
9:58 | 2nd qtr. Vikings TD — Latavius Murray 1 yd. run (Kai Forbath kick). MIN 17-0 key
Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 14, 20185:39 pm

9:58 | 2nd qtr. While Troy Aikman said line judge Mark Steinkerchner was not in position to rule pass interference on the Saints on the play setting up the Vikings touchdown, field judge Scott Novak, who was in position, also threw the flag, affirming Steinkerchner’s call.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 14, 20185:45 pm

6:50 | 2nd qtr. The Saints tried to catch the Vikings out of position and did a quick snap. Trouble is, Ted Ginn, Jr., was not set a full second. Line judge Mark Steinkerchner caught him, and it wiped a touchdown off the board.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20186:12 pm

Vikings 17-0, halftime

Penalties

  • Saints — 6/92 (+1 declined)
  • Vikings — 2/15

Replays

  • none
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20186:49 pm
1:18 | 3rd qtr. Saints TD — Michael Thomas 14 yd. pass from Drew Brees (Will Lutz kick). MIN 17-7 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20187:06 pm
13:09 | 4th qtr. Saints TD — Michael Thomas 3 yd. pass from Drew Brees (Will Lutz kick). MIN 17-14 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20187:11 pm
11:53 | 4th qtr. Saints challenge — Completed catch. Call stands.

Even though the ball moves around as the receiver is going to the ground, it does not touch the ground, so the process of the catch is completed, and the catch is complete.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20187:17 pm
10:23 | 4th qtr. Saints challenge — Incomplete pass prior to down by contact. Call confirmed.

New Orleans is now out of challenges for the remainder of the game.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20187:18 pm
10:12 | 4th qtr. Vikings FG — Kai Forbath 49 yd. MIN 20-14
Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 14, 20187:36 pm

10:17 | 4th qtr. Case Keenum throws a desperation incomplete pass while going to the ground. When such a desperation pass happens, the wing officials and the umpire immediately start searching for an eligible receiver in the vicinity. They have to search for the eligible receiver, because the referee has his eyes glued to the passer, watching for roughing. If there is no eligible receiver in the area, then it is intentional grounding.

Down judge Tom Symonette immediately got on his radio to referee Gene Steratore, telling him number 84 as in the vicinity of Keenum’s pass, thus no flag. The referee is the only one who throws an intentional grounding flag, but other officials provide him information.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20187:39 pm
3:01 | 4th qtr. Saints TD — Alvin Kamara 14 yd. pass from Drew Brees (Will Lutz kick). NO 21-20 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20187:49 pm
1:29 | 4th qtr. Vikings FG — Kai Forbath 53 yd. MIN 23-21 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20187:59 pm
:37 | 4th qtr. Booth review (2:00) — Completed catch. Call stands. key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20188:01 pm
:25 | 4th qtr. Saints FG — Will Lutz 43 yd. NO 24-23 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 14, 20188:08 pm

Vikings 29-24, final

Penalties

  • Saints — 7/97 (+3 declined)
  • Vikings — 4/30

Replays

  • 2 booth reviews: 1 stands, 1 confirmed
  • 2 NO challenges: 1 confirmed, 1 stands
:00 | 4th qtr. Vikings TD — Stefon Diggs 61 yd. pass from Case Keenum (kneeldown for conversion).
Booth review (score) — Runner remained in bounds. Call confirmed.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 14, 20188:26 pm

After a lopsided first half, the second half was a classic!

The crew totally nailed this game. The crew, with the exception of one iffy DPI, called everything that needed to be called, was consistent and let the players decide the game.

I also admire how Gene Steratore and the crew handled the extra point with no time on the clock. NFL rules mandate the extra point happen at all times, even with the clock at :00 and the outcome decided.

If it is true that Super Bowl LII falls to Steratore, he has proven, once again, he is worthy.

Gene Steratore is most likely selection for Super Bowl LII referee

12 thoughts on “Divisional Playoffs liveblog: Saints at Vikings

  1. Please explain the rationale for the mandated “extra point” to finalize games where it truly seems meaningless. Why is it preserved as a rule? Almost as if it’s a form of league sanctioned taunting of a team that has already lost and accepted it by walking off the field. I’m failing to see what interests of justice or fairness it might preserve. Allow the defensive team to waive it. Or allow by consent of both offense and defense to waive it esp if it’s truly “meaningless”.
    What if the game were not “finalized” and the defense did not come out for the PAT? Are there fines/sanctions?

  2. Anonymous (immediately above me), in the regular season, net points (points a team has scored minus points a team has given up) is one of the things that can be a tiebreaker between two teams with identical won-lost records (see http://www.nfl.com/standings/tiebreakingprocedures). It is very far down the list, and pretty unlikely to ever actually be used (strength of victory is about as far down the list as the tiebreakers typically get). But the PAT does make a difference in those tiebreaker categories.

    In the postseason, the same net points categories could affect draft picks.

  3. Shouldn’t the players should have been penalized for taking their helmets off on the field before the game was over? (Before the final extra point attempt). If we’re going to mandate a PAT, shouldn’t we continue to force teams to follow the rules regardless of whether they affect the outcome or not? That’s always been how they’ve done it.

  4. I have a question about flag Stefon Diggs got after the last touchdown- I’m guessing for removing/throwing his helmet. How do penalties apply here? Do they just let it go since the clock was over? Or should they apply it to th try?

  5. The penalty would be enforced on the ensuing kickoff. However, since clock hit zero there is no ensuing kickoff.

  6. So theoretically a player could commit any sort of unsportsmanlike act if they are in the same situation that Diggs found himself in?? If it is true that there is no way to actually enforce the penalty.

  7. In theory yes, but the NFL is likely to be tougher in terms of discipline for someone who knowlingly commits an unsportsmanlike act in that situation

  8. Looking at the video on Scouting the Ref’s twitter feed, Greg Meyer BJ78 can be clearly seen throwing a flag on the Vikings for the helmet removal/celebration

  9. Steratore showed Jim Tunney calmness with a little Ben Dreith grit. Steratore to the Super Bowl. May want to check out his ncaa basketball schedule to confirm it though.

  10. I think the Big 10 or Big East assignor will let him out of any assignments during Super Bowl week. 🙂

  11. If this same crew had worked the Steelers-Jaguars game, the Steelers would be playing New England on Sunday.

    This crew actually called fouls in the secondary.

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