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Quick calls: Week 17



week17You can follow our coverage on Twitter, and we will also post here some notable calls and describe some of the complicated rulings of the weekend.

If you see something interesting, confusing, or controversial in this week’s games, let’s us know by giving us the quarter and time (if known) and what happened in the comments section below or tweet us.

Some of the more interesting calls we will pose to the Football Zebras Roundtable for expert analysis during the week.

Chiefs at Chargers

The missed illegal formation foul on a failed game-winning field goal attempt is a separate post. Avert your eyes, Steeler fans. I feel for yinz.


Mon • 12:06 am EDT • Ben Austro


Eagles at Cowboys (video)

The Cowboys drew an unusual delay of game penalty while in the huddle. Upon NBC replaying the previous play with the superimposed play clock camera, it revealed there was a clock error. The 40 seconds normally given was reduced to 25 seconds, and counted from there. The 25-second clock is only used during an administrative stoppage, which did not apply here.

The back judge has play clock duties; if he sees the play clock being operated incorrectly, it is his call to revise it. Clearly, there was a loss of time, and he could have shut the play down and conferred with the side judge. Since the side judge is monitoring the game clock, and should know the elapsed time since the last play was less than 40 seconds.

The clocks are not subject to a replay review.


Sun • 8:12 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Chiefs at Chargers (video)

In overtime, on a fake punt in their own territory (!!), Chargers safety Eric Weddle gets the direct snap. He appears to get the first down on a second surge. In the drive forward, Weddle lost both the ball and his helmet. The Chiefs ran the ball back for an apparent touchdown. Bill Leavy indicated the Chargers had the ball, but the only announcement was this:

The Chargers reached the line-to-gain. First down.

This likely means that there was a call that forward progress was stopped, and there may have been a whistle. In any event, even if forward progress is retroactively ruled, it is a nonreviewable situation. It also makes the call on a fumble unreviewable.

It is reviewable, however, to check if Weddle lost his helmet prior to reaching the first down line. There is nothing conclusive to show that he was short, so we would stay with the ruling on the field. The replay official made this determination and did not see a need to call for an official review.

Later in overtime, Leavy picked up an illegal forward pass flag when the game was obviously over. Although obvious, he left the field without explanation.


Sun • 7:49 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Packers at Bears (image)

Not much more to editorialize other than what Timothy Burke over at Deadspin had on this call. Clearly this was an overreach on the roughness call on the tackle of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.


Sun • 7:05 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Packers at Bears

From the comments

  • paul hummelsays:

    why wasn’t Aaron Rodgers fumble (or pass) considered a batted ball since it was a fumble

It is not considered an illegal bat because it is all part of the action that initiates the fumble, and clearly part of the intended passing motion.


Sun • 6:55 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Rams at Seahawks (image/video at :24)

Updated to add video.

As best I understand it without seeing the video, the Rams were flagged for an unnecessary roughness foul against linebacker Alec Ogletree. Defensive tackle Kendal Alexander was also flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct and a disqualification foul, which were likely for verbal abuse of an official and contacting an official. (Update: video shows that unsportsmanlike conduct might have been called for Alexander throwing his helmet.)

Officials assessed all three penalties. Fouls against officials are always counted between downs, so it does not offset an opponent’s foul or cause a foul during the down to be declined.

Alexander is ejected from the game.

(h/t @bubbaprog/Deadspin)


Sun • 6:46 pm EDT • Michael Leptic


Rams vs. Seahawks

Busy day for Referee Jeff Triplette and crew as tempers have flared on both sides of the football.   Rams player Kendall Langford #98 was ejected for making contact with an official.  


Sun • 5:40 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


Packers at Bears (video)

Updated to include video.

3:28 | 2nd qtr.  Referee Clete Blakeman rules an “empty hands” fumble as quarterback Aaron Rodgers is hit from behind.  The ball is rolling downfield and no one reacts to the play.  The officiating crew exhibits excellent whistle control as the Packers’ Jarrett Boykin picks up the ball and runs 15-yards into the endzone for a Green Bay touchdown.  Blakeman properly confirmed the call after going under the hood.


Sun • 5:34 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


Rams at Seahawks (video)

Jeff Triplette has to sort out four penalties on a single punt play. 


Sun • 5:31 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Jaguars at Colts (video)

Jaguars linebacker LaRoy Reynolds assists on the tackle on a punt about 20 yards away from his helmet. Although it is incredibly dangerous, it is not a foul for Reynolds to participate in the play. Only a ball carrier, who loses his helmet will have any effect on the play; in that case, the play is shut down, because he cannot remove himself from play.


Sun • 5:25 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Panthers at Falcons (video)

In the final minute of the game, the Falcons were thrown for a huge loss on a mistimed snap. In the scramble to get set for a second-down spike, the Falcons were flagged for an illegal shift. This was a 10-second runoff in addition to the five yards.


Sun • 4:42 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


Packers at Bears

13:13 | 1st qtr.  A Bears’ punt is ruled a touchback after back judge Terrance Miles judged that the Bear player’s foot was on the goal line when he touched the ball.  Replays indicate that the player did touch the goal line, but had re-established himself in the field of play before downing the ball.  The Bears challenged the play and referee Clete Blakeman ruled that the call “stands” meaning he had no indisputable evidence to overturn the call.  FOX announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman thought otherwise.


Sun • 4:27 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Panthers at Falcons (image)

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton sold this late hit out of bounds for a 15-yard penalty (h/t @CorkGaines).


Sun • 4:06 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Jets at Dolphins (video)

Jets quarterback Geno Smith gets a little extra push into the end zone from running back Bilal Powell. This is a legal play, and more typically seen in a one-yard goal-line stack. The rarely called “assisting the runner” foul from Rule 12-1-4:

No offensive player may … pull a runner in any direction at any time

This rule previously included lifting a runner to his feet, but that was removed from the rulebook in the previous offseason.


Sun • 2:53 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


Texans at Titans (video)

Does anyone other than me hear a whistle while the ball is still alive? 


Sun • 2:47 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


Ravens at Bengals (video)

Great plays make for great calls.  The Bengals’ Marvin Jones makes this great catch and back judge Scott Helverson stays with the play all the way to its conclusion and makes the touchdown signal.


Sun • 2:39 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


Panthers at Falcons (video)

The Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams is running for a touchdown before being stripped of the ball.  Back judge Perry Paganelli and field judge Scott Edwards are in good position to rule on this play.


Sun • 1:35 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


Scott Green, Larry Rose retiring

Jim Nantz of CBS Sports just announced during the Ravens-Bengals game that referee Scott Green and side judge Larry Rose will both retire at the end of this season.


Sun • 12:16 pm EDT • Ben Austro

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