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Week 16 “Offical Review”: Catch and control, keeping fumble in bounds



We haven’t been reviewing the “Official Review” segments on the NFL Network this season since its debut under Carl Johnson. Johnson, the new vice-president of officiating, has not appeared on the network’s signature program NFL Total Access on a weekly basis, like his predecessor, Mike Pereira. In addition, the segment has less plays and less-controversial plays under review than last year.

We happened to catch this week’s “Official Review,” so here’s the recap:

  • From the Tuesday night game against the Eagles, Vikings receiver Sidney Rice scored a touchdown that was overturned on replay. Rice did not secure the ball through the process of the catch, and the ball touched the ground, rendering it incomplete (video).
  • From the Giants–Packers game, there is more of a process review, rather than analysis of a call. On the fumble by Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, it was apparent from the replay that all players who touched the ball were in bounds (video). Johnson briefly notes the need for a player to re-establish himself in the field of play, which could have been explained at greater length for an audience, rather than repeating the same points.

Johnson is improving his presentation skills slightly since his first appearance, but he appears to have enough material to cover one-third of the segment, requiring him to repeat some of the more basic points in his presentation. Hopefully by next year, the network can coach Johnson to not divulge everything up front, allowing the host to ask follow-up questions to pad out the segment.