AFC 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.)
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Today’s crew his headed by Jeff Triplette. The full crew list is at the bottom of this post.
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.
: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.
: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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Kickoff conditions: 39 º, overcast, chance of rain, wind SSE at 8 mph.
|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