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‘Official Review’ Week 3: a hideout and TD wipeout


The semiregular “Official Review” segment appeared for (I believe) the first time this season on NFL Total Access. Vice president of officiating Dean Blandino addressed two calls (video):

  • The hideout play executed by Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (which we covered Sunday) was reviewed. Blandino added this illegal maneuver is legal maneuver between the goal line and the 32-yard line on either half of the field. In addition, this can also be executed from any yard line on the opposite sideline. (Note: I believe Manziel participated in the previous down, but if he was entering as a substitute, he would be required to enter as far as the field numbers before lining up that far out.)
  • Also presented was the Monday night fumble call that gave the Jets the fumble recovery on the replay reversal. The Jets are grousing this robbed them of a touchdown, because their offense was unable to gain a single yard, resulting in a punt. Referee Jerome Boger’s call killed the fumble play, which took a replay to clearly see that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was not down by contact prior to the fumble. Blandino added some extra commentary on the perspective Boger had, and why Blandino supports the call made in real time. That said, I do understand the frustration of the Jets, but a few years ago, these calls were not even reviewable. The Jets were at least granted possession of the ball in the end.
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Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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4 thoughts on “‘Official Review’ Week 3: a hideout and TD wipeout

  1. Shouldn’t the bias on a fumble recovery be to let the play run? Since you can always overturn the fumble (turnovers, scoring plays, and anything inside two minutes are automatically reviewed, and if Boger lets the play run, this play fits all three criteria) and hand the ball back to the original offense, isn’t part of getting it right swallowing your whistle in the first place here?

    Blandino’s defense is that Boger because he was standing at an angle that made it non-obvious that the ball should have been live. (He saw Cutler’s arm in between his eyes and the ball and assumed Cutler was holding the ball, while the ball was free already and his arm just happened to be there.) Shouldn’t Boger be relying on officials on the sideline for this before ruling a fumble?

    (Also of note, reviews are done in consultation with the league office now. Is the ref talking to Blandino personally during the MNF game (since no other game is in progress))?

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