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NFL ref experts break down divisional playoffs



Pereira and Daopoulos disagree on the Peyton Manning fumble/tuck rule

As has been the case all season, former NFL vice president for officiating Mike Pereira and former NFL official and officiating supervisor Jim Daopoulos talked about the correct, incorrect, and strange calls in last weekend’s divisional playoffs.

Pereira, who is an officiating expert for FOX Sports, says Walt Coleman’s crew got several critical plays right in the Atlanta Falcons – Seattle Seahawks game.  Pereira says Coleman’s crew had a very quiet first half until right at the end of the second quarter when the crew ruled time had expired before the Seahawks could get off one last play before halftime.  The synched clock and video showed that the officials were right in blowing things dead.  Pereira further adds that the Seahawks were never set and the head linesman was reaching for his flag when the whistle blew.  So, had there actually a few seconds on the clock, the false start would have forced a 10-second runoff and since Seattle was out of time-outs, the half would have been over anyway.  Clock issues such as this one are not subject to review.  Pereira also adds that the officials did an excellent job in real-time calling the Marshawn Lynch go-ahead touchdown correctly.  Instant replay confirmed the call.

The former officiating boss also defended Bill Vinovich’s crew saying complaints about the calls in the Denver Broncos – Baltimore Ravens game are misguided.  Pereira says Vinovich was correct in not applying the tuck rule to the Peyton Manning fumble late in the third quarter because Manning had already brought the ball back into his body and had finished “tucking” it.  Pereira also says Vinovich was right in upholding the Anquan Boldin catch in the overtime period. 

Daopoulos discussed two field goal “practice” kicks during his segment on Pro Football Talk on the NBC Sports Network, where Daopoulos is the officiating and rules expert.  Both Daopoulos and Pereira agree that the Ravens Justin Tucker violated the rules when he practiced kicking field goals during a stoppage of play; however there is no penalty for such an action.  The officials should have tried to prevent Tucker’s practice boots, but were not able to get over to the kicker in time.  Daopoulos says it was a different situation in Atlanta where the Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll called a timout at the last second to try an ice Falcons’ kicker Matt Bryant.  The whistle blew an instant before the ball was snapped.  The Falcons snapped the ball anyway and Bryant followed through with the kick to Carroll’s protests.  Daopoulos says that situation is not a violation of the rules and the officials handled it properly.

Daopoulos disagrees with Pereira regarding the Peyton Manning fumble.  He thinks Vinovich should have applied the tuck rule and turned the fumble into an incomplete pass.  The former official and supervisor says that he understands that Vinovich deemed that there was no indisputable evidence to overturn the call.

You can view video of Daopoulos here as he breaks down the calls.

We look forward to hearing from these two experts next week after the conference championships!


Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"