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Pereira: Officials botch two penalty enforcements in Week 3

Last year it was a rash of inadvertent whistles.   This year the officials are having trouble enforcing penalties.   Former NFL vice president for officiating and current Fox Sports rules analyst  Mike Pereira says the officials missed two penalty enforcements in two different games on Sunday.

Pereira broke down the play in Minneapolis where Bill Leavy’s crew mis-enforced the new red flag rule penalty  during the Browns-Vikings game.   This will result in a downgrade  for the entire crew as all seven officials are responsible to make sure the penalties are enforced properly.

It also appears that Tony Corrente and his crew made a mistake in the Titans-Chargers game.   Quarterback Jake Locker scrambled for a 39-yards  which was initially called back on a Chris Johnson chop block.   Pereira explains what happened next, saying,

The referee then announced that there was no foul because the play turned into a run. That’s not the rule. Rule 12, Section 2, Article 3 of the NFL rule book states: Each of the above circumstances, which describes a chop block foul on a forward pass play, also applies on a play in which an offensive player indicates an apparent attempt to pass block, but the play ultimately becomes a run.

The chop block should have stood and Locker’s long gain should have been wiped out.

The Bengals and Packers had a strange play that caught Pereira’s attention.   There were two fumbles by both teams on the play that eventually turned into the game-winning scoop-and-score for the Bengals (video).   The question arose whether  the fourth down fumble rule applied, since it was fourth and inches for the Packers.   Pereira explains it better than I can.   Pereira comments,blakeman hat

However, outside of two minutes in either half, the rule applies only to the offensive team before a change of possession. After the change of possession, the restriction for advancing a fumble does not apply to either team. That’s why the Newman was allowed to advance Nelson’s fumble.

The interesting part of this play, is that if this occurs a couple of minutes later inside of two minutes, the rule applies to both teams before and after any change of possession. Therefore, had this been inside of two minutes, the ball that was recovered  by Newman, would have been declared  dead and returned to the spot of Nelson’s fumble, the Cincinnati 42-yard line. That means, the winning touchdown would not have been scored on this play.

To top off Pereira’s analysis, he says the Cowboys’ Dez  Bryant got away with a push-off  on the Cowboys first touchdown.   He also says the Bengals’ George Iloka  should have been flagged  for hitting the Packers Jermichael Finley.

It is always interesting to see officials work their way through a judgment call – correct or not.   But, it is hard to see officials  miss rules and penalties.   Here’s hoping Pereira  has nothing but  fantastic judgment calls to break down in Week 4

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Mark Schultz
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?"

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4 thoughts on “Pereira: Officials botch two penalty enforcements in Week 3

  1. WOW! Where is all the negativity from last year’s replacements?! Go back to the footballzebras.comomments through week 3 of last week, and you will NOT see this many WRONG rules applications as this year’s first 3 weeks. Good thing they held out for more money, huh? What a bunch of hypocrites people, the media and the officials are! Bring back the replacements.

  2. Agreed, Joe. It is absolutely ridiculous that the supposed “best” continue to make mistake after mistake, with no repercussion. The R in Week 1 Jets game announces penalty by “Receiving team” when it was by offense 5 and later in same quarter announces, after punt by Jets and foul by Bucs after the kick, it will be “Jets Ball” when it was clearly Bucs ball. Week 2 this same R messes up an ICT enforcement and is saved by one his crew before the snap; then Week 3 botches the enforcement on the onside kick by Redskins and again is saved by his crew – and this is just some of the mistakes from this crew. Tonite, the Super Bowl R almost lost a down. Last week, a crew did lose a down after botching a simple enforcement. Then, this same crew misapplied a rule this week. The guys who did this at the beginning of the football season last season never screwed up this bad and this regularly. Maybe because they cared enough to learn the rules and do the job correctly, because this was an opportunity and it wasn’t handed to the, simply because they had the correct last name. If this were the replacements they would be getting slaughtered in the media and by this board – and of course, most of the issues came from just two of the replacement crews. You never heard a peep about the other crews because they did a fine job, even better than some of the regulars who replaced them. I have no idea why these NFL officials are treated as if they walk on water when they absolutely do not. Many (not all) never deserved to get there and once there continue to make mistakes. Very sad, but things will never change. It’s all who you know and not how you perform. If you deny this you are only fooling yourself, as you know it is the truth.

  3. Could not have said it better myself. Notice they “took down” my first comments due to low comment rating! Must have been 5 current officials who can’t handle the truth. Where is peter King, the entire Thursday night tv crew and all the other nay-sayers? Go back on youtube and listen to all the negativity. THEN, they tear their “brothers” apart who were selected to the Super Bowl! How about the crew last year on the first TNF game (Chi at GB)? Nary a word during or after the game.

  4. I was not aware of the botched announcements, but if the enforcement was right, that’s all that really matters. Yes, it’s sloppy, and they much rather not do that, because those mistakes are pretty embarrassing. Change of possession/kicks are always problematic with describing the offending team and the result of the play with multiple enforcement points. I would expect that if there was a bobble on the mic it would be there.

    We did, as means of example, call out a playoff crew last year who had to consider about a dozen different aspects on a potential grounding call. They got it correct, but they forgot one. They fixed the spot of the ball before the next snap, but we pointed out that they missed 1 item out of 12 on the penalty.

    To be fair, I did not rail against the replacement referees for their mic skills, because that did not effect the actual administration of the game. Their mistakes and lack of NFL rules knowledge really sunk the crews, and I was incredibly busy while the replacements were on the field; there were more mistakes, naturally, during the replacement era.

    But it still comes down to this — If a crew corrects a call before the next snap, again, you’d like them to get it right first, but best to get it right before it’s too late. Bill Leavy recognized his mistake, but it was a few plays later. Too late! I’d much rather him conference for 2, 3, 4 minutes and get it right then, rather than telling us he blew it in a post-game pool report. Twice.

    And no matter what his critics say, I can assure you, without a doubt, his harshest critic stares back at him in the mirror.

    (As for the comment rating, the comment is still available; you just have to click to see it. I don’t have the time to individually moderate out complaints about me, the site, or the officials.)

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