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Wild Card quick calls: Chargers at Bengals



Wildcard_10AFC Wild Card Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the Chargers-Bengals Wild Card Playoff game from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. (If you see continue reading below, click it to see the entire feed.)

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

Today’s crew his headed by Jeff Triplette. The full crew list is at the bottom of this post.

Sun • 4:08 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


In the past two seasons, many of Triplette’s mistakes have revolved around instant replay challenges, replay rules, and his determinations based on replay.  Today, Triplette faced several tight replay challenges and he got them all right.  What’s more, he did a nice job explaining his reasons for his rulings.  Triplette and crew can be very proud of their efforts today.  


Sun • 3:38 pm EDT • Ben Austro


:02 | 2nd qtr. I wasn’t a big fan of the description, however. Triplette said that there were two feet down in bounds, then forward progress was stopped, making it a completed catch. That is incorrect. It is correct that the call should be a completed catch, so the net result is the same. The process of the catch was (1) securing the ball, (2) two feet down in bounds, and (3) having the ability to make a football move.

If a player is falling to the ground, then Criteria #3 is maintain control of the ball through to the ground.

The ability to make a football move is satisfied by the push out of bounds. Therefore, Jermaine Gresham was not going to the ground by rule. Once that determination is made, the forward progress ruling goes back to the spot of the catch which is in bounds.

The clock was correct at :02, because the replay review came a fraction of a second prior to the snap of the next play. In any event, if there is not a reversal call, the time on the clock cannot be adjusted by a replay review.


Sun • 2:41 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


:00 | 2nd qtr.

Triplette did a very nice job explaining why the “Calvin Johnson rule” didn’t apply to the Jermaine Gresham catch (Pereira agreed with the call on twitter).  The clock was going to wind on Triplette’s signal.  The crew did a great job getting everyone set up and ready for the whistle and snap.  This crew has had a very nice first half.


Sun • 2:24 pm EDT • Mark Schultz


1:31 2nd qtr.

Both of Triplette’s replay review have been handled well confirming a Bengals’ catch, and saying the Bengals’ catch and fumble stands.  Triplette also called a very good holding foul on the Bengals.  The crew is working very well together.


Sun • 2:23 pm EDT • Ben Austro

3:37 | 2nd qtr | Booth review. Ruling on the field: completed catch by Bengals, fumble recovered by the Chargers with a runback. Ruling stands. No conclusive evidence that the process of the catch wasn’t met.

Sun • 2:23 pm EDT • Ben Austro

3:37 | 2nd qtr | Replay challenge by Chargers. Ruling on the field: completed catch by Bengals. Ruling is confirmed. Chargers have 1 challenge remaining.

Sun • 2:03 pm EDT • Ben Austro

5:59 | 2nd qtr. Bengals — Jermaine Gresham 4-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton. Tied 7-7.

Sun • 1:34 pm EDT • Ben Austro

:48 | 1st qtr. Chargers — Danny Woodhead 5-yard touchdown run. Chargers 7-0.

Sun • 1:21 pm EDT • Ben Austro


A source with knowledge of the grading told us that the chain fiasco in Week 13 did not count as a downgrade for Triplette. Even  though it was the league’s preference to have stopped the clock to reset the chains, the rules do not obligate him to do so. Therefore, it was his judgement that, by virtue of the Washington hurry-up offense, that it would be an unfair advantage to stop the clock.

In any case where there is ambiguity, the referee’s signal is the only one that counts. So, if Triplette was downgraded for his decision, he could easily have appealed it based on that criteria.


Sun • 1:14 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Jeff Triplette’s assignment to this game was questioned by casual and expert opinions alike. Even if Triplette is playoff qualified by NFL standards, the choice of him to work a game in Cincinnati is a real head scratcher, to say the least. Triplette controversially overturned a 4th down stop to a Bengals touchdown, which a former official told us “Jeff and the replay crew didn’t do their jobs properly.  This is an egregious error, and I’m sure the league will take a lot of heat for it.”

Triplette’s replay official from the regular season, Al Hynes, is working today’s game, too.


Sun • 1:03 pm EDT • Ben Austro


This is Jeff Triplette’s 12th postseason assignment: 7 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, and 1 Conference Championship (including assignments prior to being promoted to referee).


Sun • 12:58 pm EDT • Ben Austro


Kickoff conditions: 39º, overcast, chance of rain, wind SSE at 8 mph.

      Yr. Crew College Occupation
R 42 Jeff Triplette 18   Wake Forest restructuring consultant
U 40 Butch Hannah 15 Triplette Middle Tennessee State retired federal probation officer
HL 5 John McGrath 12 Leavy Kentucky vice president of sales
LJ 32 Jeff Bergman 22 Triplette Robert Morris president and chief executive officer, medical services
FJ 80 Greg Gautreaux 12 Coleman SW Louisiana athletic programs manager
SJ 116 Mike Weatherford 12 Steratore Oklahoma State energy trader
BJ 12 Greg Steed 11 Winter Howard computer systems analyst
  • Alternates: Phil McKinnely, Dave Meslow, Tony Steratore
  • Replay official: Al Hynes
  • Replay assistant: Don Langeloh