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Week 13 Officiating Video: Pass Interference Clarification, Blocks and Tucks, and The Review of the Week in Tampa Bay


NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino today released the Week 13 media video covering noteworthy calls and penalty enforcements from last week. Pass interference, blocks and tucks, and too many men on the field calls were all highlighted (view the video here).

  • As we covered on Sunday, and in what Blandino dubbed the “play of the week,” the situation in Tampa Bay Sunday drew lots of attention. You’ll recall that the Bucaneers offense had too many players on the field during a play in the 4th quarter, the Bengals head coach then attempted to challenge the play once it was over (it’s not reviewable), and the eventual review from upstairs explained a complicated set of circumstances that is rarely seen on the field.
  • The tuck rule was also discussed as a play during the game between Bills and Browns led to Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel being — what many thought — sacked, but turned out to be an incomplete pass as he was ruled to have been in a forward passing motion. The ball then hit the helmet of the defender, thereby knocking the it loose and to the ground. Because Manziel was not attempting to tuck the ball and he was in what was determined to be a forward motion, it was ruled an incomplete pass.
  • During Monday night’s game, Jets Tight End Jeff Cumberland (#85) was not flagged for an illegal clip/block because of where he was lined up at the snap. Remember, players lined up outside the tackle box at the snap are allowed to block low toward their own goal line from the side and are not subject to the ‘peel back’ rule. This is precisely what Cumberland did. Blandino emphasized that the Competition Committee will review this no-call rule in the offseason in an effort to increase the focus on player safety.
  • Pass interference clarification was discussed this week as well. Pass interference calls are usually big yard gain/loss calls, so the league has been training game officials to really make sure a receiver was interfered with if a pass interference flag is thrown. The rule states that a defender cannot significantly hinder an eligible receivers ability to catch a pass. Whether the defender is looking back at the ball or not is not necessarily a determining factor for calling pass interference; the officials must focus on whether or not the receiver’s ability to catch the pass was significantly affected.
  • Finally, during the Panthers at Vikings, NFL sideline crews alerted the officials in New York that teams were heating up balls on the sideline using the gas heaters, which is not allowed. Blandino’s office issued reminders to each team this week reminding them that the use of heaters, or any other methods of altering the game ball, is prohibited.
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8 thoughts on “Week 13 Officiating Video: Pass Interference Clarification, Blocks and Tucks, and The Review of the Week in Tampa Bay

  1. Oh my! Talk about CYA!!

    So, if I got that correct: The replay officials didn’t notify the on field official of the 12 men on the previous play because they wanted to make sure how it would enforced *IF* the offense didn’t line up for a play in time on the NEXT play?


    A penalty is a penalty. They should NOT be waiting to see if they can end the game or not. Call the penalty. Enforce the yardage. Carry on.

    They missed it on the field…they missed it in the replay booth…they missed it period.

    And they got saved by Marvin Lewis breaking the rules (knowing his only penalty would be a timeout) and drawing their attention to it.

    This video makes it worse than the initial explanation in my book.

    I’m glad they got the call right…I’m disappointed that they can’t admit they blew it in the first place.

  2. And THEN they reset the clock to the time of the foul as it was a live ball foul anyway!

    This makes less sense in regard to the above where they wanted to make sure the team got set legally before 10 second were left! LOL!

  3. Part 2: The only way that’s still attempting a forward pass in Cleveland is if Johnny is trying to pass it into the defenders ear hole. People with two functioning eyes can see him not throwing the ball forward but pulling the ball back in.

  4. Lastly the cherry picked example of pass interference are nice and I would agree with each call in the video.

    But we could post dozens of example that look more like the first that get no call and more like the second that get called.

    Its the inconsistency that drives us crazy…

  5. @TheGlenn they would never admit to screwing up a play that ultimately didn’t matter to the outcome of the game, so they stuck to their guns. I still think it’s bogus.

  6. @TheGlenn PI is so subjective sometimes. Other times, the speed of the game is too much for the officials. In today’s Bills-Broncos game, Stephon Gilmore got called for it when replays showed he arrived at the same time as the ball. However, at full speed and with how hard he hit the receiver, it looked like it. Some officials cannot interpret things as fast as the game is played and that’s why we get some bad calls. They call ’em like they see ’em…

  7. @Matt Yea, I’ve saying CYA since the second tweet from Blandino last week.

    But the PI calls are way too inconsistent. That Bills one was tough, but the defender did everything right and still got called for a penalty! And then the unsportsmanlike comes BECAUSE tempers flared after the flag.

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