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Wild Card liveblog: Ravens at Steelers


2014 AFC Wild Card Playoff

This game had tinderbox written all over it, but Clete Blakeman’s crew handled the playoff game between these two heated rivals very well. The crew, especially line judge Jeff Seeman did not overlook any nonsense, flagging chippy play and unsportsmanlike acts. Back judge Perry Paganelli and a very good game flagging a helmet-to-helmet hit and passing on a pass interference flag ruling tangled feet. Side judge Rick Patterson had some close sideline calls that he got correct. Blakeman’s crew can be proud of their efforts tonight. The penalty and instant replay statistics are available below and you can read our real-time reaction to the officiating.

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the Ravens-Steelers Wild Card Playoff game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

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

Today’s crew his headed by Clete Blakeman.

Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
R 34 Clete Blakeman 7 Blakeman Nebraska attorney
U 40 Butch Hannah 16 Triplette Middle Tennessee State retired federal probation officer
HL 28 Mark Hittner 18 Wrolstad Pittsburg State investment broker
LJ 45 Jeff Seeman 13 Cheffers Minnesota brokerage sales
FJ 82 Buddy Horton 16 Morelli Oregon State water service worker
SJ 15 Rick Patterson 19 Blakeman Wofford banker
BJ 46 Perry Paganelli 17 Parry Hope College retired high school administrator
  • Replay official: Carl Madsen
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30 thoughts on “Wild Card liveblog: Ravens at Steelers

  1. The NFL refs are calling the most bogus calls and it seems to only be on one team. This league has truly gotten soft and I don’t believe that even the refs know what the rules are anymore. Since when is it ok to catch a ball with your knees and it’s even a confirmed interception. You people have got to be kidding me with what this league is coming to and I think the NFL needs to get an entirely new set of referees as the ones that we currently have do not pay attention.

  2. 1:17 First Quarter – was NOT an excellent no-call. Possibly the worst no-call of all time in that it decided the outcome of the game. This site is obviously created by a former figure skater.

  3. Excellent no-call?! I guess it was an excellent no-call when a Ravens player went helmet to helmet against Heath Miller?! Then an excellent no-call when a Ravens player grabbed Antonio Brown’s face mask and pulled his head around on a tackle. Both plays would have been automatic first downs with Pittsburgh having a first and goal. Then having a receiver tripped when he had obvious position on the safety and would have given a first down in the red zone. But on the other hand, let a lineman breathe a little heavy and its a false start or let a wideout shift his foot and then its 2 men in motion. Such crap. No way this was not a one-sided called game. So much for being fair and impartial. Smelled like a payoff to me.

  4. I have never seen such a one-sided miserably called game. I almost want to quit watching.

  5. As a steelers fan, I can’t blame their loss on the refs. But as others have pointed out, there were several missed calls near the end of the game that might have made a difference if the steelers could have capitalized on them. And I’m sure there were other calls that should have gone against the steelers that went unnoticed.

    Generally I think the refs do a decent job throughout the year, but you can’t miss calls like that in the playoffs. In this age of “getting things right” and “player safety,” these officials could have done better. The league has manufactured their own responsibility for “getting things right,” and I can’t help but feel that the league needs to acknowledge human error among its players, coaches, referees and other personnel. Maybe then we can all just let a lot of these things go and let football be a true sport.

  6. How can you say that Paganelli had a good no call? Even on the high school level we are taught that if a defender is beat and the feet get tangled, it is interference. The Baltimore defender did not even look back for the ball until too late. Also, notice that Paganelli is even with the players, and therefore “beat.” Honest truth here, there were replacements who made dinner cause and way better positioning in the D3 tonight. Both the field judge inside judge about 30 pounds overweight, and the reversal of a touchdown to down at the 1 yard line would not of happened if they feel judge was in shape and head down on the goal line instead of the three to make the call. This apparent rule that rookies cannot work the playoffs is ridiculous. They are going to be in better shape than anyone.

  7. The referees handed the game to the Ravens. If I could I would have those referees fired

  8. This is a site about officiating…. Not moaning about why your team lost. Sugg’ interception… The ball did not hit the ground, so it cannot be incomplete, sorry. Feet get tangled in pass patterns occasionally, it does not have to be defensive p.I. Good call be Paganelli. They may have a beef on the face mask, although it’s not definitive on whether the defender grabbed it or touched it.

  9. As I said elsewhere the “inadvertent tripping” was wrong. I was there. The WR did not slow down, the defender took the wrong angle and tripped him. If that is the “right” call under the rules then fine.

    But we all know it will get flagged as DPI (and has in the past) and there will just be ANOTHER explanation of why this time it was different.

    The lack of holding calls was laughable too. Well, until the 4th quarter to call back a TD.

    And the incorrect 12 men was embarrassing…all it did was stop the play long enough to give the Ravens time to see how the Steelers were lined up.

    Officiating did not cost the Steelers the game, but it was certainly one sided.

  10. Ben and Paganelli are correct on this one…. And the defender was not beat on the play, they were stride for stride. Easy to miss when you’re at the game and not seeing multiple HD replays. Holding calls…. Several missed on both sides and frankly you could call it on almost every running play if you held to the letter of the rules, the one preventing the late TD was pretty obvious.

    This is not a site for fans bemoaning a loss…

  11. Sir the fact that everyone is expressing their feelings about a game on a site that clearly says football zebras is ok. There is such a thing as freedom of speech which everyone has the right to do. So the fact that at the end of both of your posts you put this is not a site for fans to be moaning obviously that comment is irrelevant and no one is paying attention to it. So please let people express themselves how they choose and if you don’t like it then you don’t have to come on the site. But do not make people feel bad for expressing themselves.

  12. There was an illegal motion penalty called in the first half on 2nd and 10 2 players for steelers moved simultaneously. It was called a 5 yard penalty replay 2nd down. Should’ve been 2nd and 15 instead it was 3rd and 10 they settled for a field goal. I never saw the 2nd &15 snap. I rewound it never saw it looked like the got a down taken away on a pre snap whistle. Any thoughts?

  13. Again if that is the “right” call 100 out of 100 times I better never see it called DPI.

    But I know it will (and has been).

    As to holding…that was my point. Non-calls all game but someone that ONE got called.

    Spare me the “bemoaning”. I was there. The Ravens beat the Steelers. But that does not excuses poor officiating.

    Like the 12-man debacle.

  14. Actually James they said AB moved and didn’t set. It was close.

    I was more interested in the false start after the overturned TD in the 2nd half. Big screen HD replay didn’t show so much as a flinch.

  15. If this is the same play…

    2-10-BAL 33
    (1:11) (Shotgun) 7-B.Roethlisberger pass incomplete short left to 84-A.Brown. Penalty on PIT-11-M.Wheaton, Illegal Shift, declined.
    3-10-BAL 33
    (1:08) (Shotgun) 7-B.Roethlisberger pass short left to 83-H.Miller to BAL 29 for 4 yards (38-R.Melvin; 36-J.Miles).

    Initially the officials called the penalty then came back on and said Baltimore declined.

    I did not hear the call was on Wheaton. AB had gone in motion, got sent back and did not set.

  16. Absolutely ridiculous the way this game was called. And why was Jim Harbaugh allowed on the Ravens sideline? That’s 2 super bowl experienced coaches vs 1!!!! NFL should have never allowed it. Ben was literally taken down by his head in the 1st quarter, no call. Disgusting no call on the tripping, defender was beat and tripped the receiver. Horrible hold call to negate the Archer TD late which subsequently led to Big Ben and Heath Miller’s concussions(which was the clearest case of helmet-to-helmet I’ve ever seen) no call. Not only did the refs rob Pittsburgh of a great season but they turned their backs on the safety of two hall of fame players(Ben and Heath). This website is a joke

  17. I am convinced now that Blakeman’s crew is snake bit. I was worried about this game for a few days but after two views I think the crew did a good job. They missed a few calls on both sides but overall got it correct and were consistent for both sides . There were a lot of holding calls not made but that seems like every nfl game. There were a bunch of no calls on both teams that I thought were opi and dpi but it seemed consistent. They seemed to let them hold a receiver or defender preventing a leap and both teams o and d got away with it. The 12 man no call was weird with the 12 man actual penalty that followed.
    The legs twisted, if I had a nickel for every time I see it and it is never called seems like some defenders know how to do it on purpose and some don’t. I think that it is just not called. Seems consistent and just policy because it would be hard to determine if it was on purpose or not. I bet it is policy to call it this way unless there is blatant trying to trip.

    The thing I question is how they let Ben and Miller back in the game it seemed like they both might have concussions and should have been out for longer. Maybe it is on the steelers butI don’t want to see anyone wrecked for life because they came back to quick.

    My question to the fz people is was the foul called on Melvin for helmet to helmet correct? When slowed down to quarter speed Tate actually hit Melvin with the crown of his helmet and Melvin would not have had helmet contact otherwise but full speed it sure looked like Melvin hit Tate as called .

    I also want to say that Collinsworth did a great job calling the game. I was very critical of him on this site early this year about appearing biased for the steelers over the ravens, but he did a good job the second Ravens Steelers game and an outstanding job this game. I’m not saying that he saw the comments here and changed but if he did he deserved the highest praise he showed excellent journalistic integrity and it was a pleasure to watch that game last nigh, he obviously did his homework on both teams and gaveequal coverage to each team. It really showed that he dida lot of prep work for the game. My hat is off to you sir. That is all anyone can ask for in a national broadcast coverage, equal treatment of each team and good insight into each, not favoring either side. He seems to have high ethics and integrity and it deserves to be recognized. Thanks for calling a good game and coming off as fair to both sides.

  18. For the steelers fans complaining about the hit on Miller, he was clearly a runner and as much as I don’t like it, the hit was legal. Go back and look at the hit on Owen Daniels right after the helmet to helmet on JJ. Daniels was more protected than Miller and they didn’t call that either. Are you complaining about them notccalling that hit? I sure would like to hear what you say after all the seemingly steelers policy to ear hole people on a regular basis like kickers. I don’t like the helmet to helmet hits at all by anyone, but Miller wasa clear runner taking 7 steps after the catch and to my knowledge that makes helmet to helmet hits legal even though I personally don’t think they should be OK. What you IMHO should be screaming about is how and why the steelers doctors should let Ben and Miller back in that game. Then cover it up by saying that Ben had whiplash (he shook his headback and forth and people just don’t do that who feel like they had whiplash, look at the tape). The steelers would have hada better chance if they let the backup qb stay in they would have gotten the td. I’m Ravens fan and despise Ben but I don’t wish concussion or injury on him and think the steelers screwed him by putting him back in. Same with Miller who looked even more woozy. Then on nfl dot com and the steelers pressers they say whiplash to cover up the concussion protocol being madea mockery. It seemed like Harrison helmet to helmet hit on Colt McCoy and him going right back in all over again.

    My question to the FZ people ishow can the refs keep out players who areppossibly concused and what are th herules on that. It seems like they saw bothbBen and Miller as possible concussion victims and they were both back on the game right away. Isn’t there some rule they have tokeep them out for their own protection?

    Football Zebras is a superb site, come back in a month when the loss hurts less and read the archives they do very good work here you just can’t find anywhere else. Let the emotions subside.

    To the FZ people I would suggest just trying to educate the upset fans to the rules. they are an undeserved customer base for you that doesn’t know how to ask rule questions and is seeking explanation for why things happend iI don’t think they should be abusive but maybe you can help them understand the rules. You are doing an outstanding job on this site, don’t let a few people get you down.

  19. horrible officiating by these referees. I have never in my life seen a more 1 sided play off game called by the zebras. defensive holding should have been called numerous times against ravens and the long pass attempt to Bryant with the “tangled legs” is an obvious attempt to keep what would have been a great catch negated. I can intentionally trip someone without looking back at the ball and I would be flagged EVERY SINGLE TIME. However, when you have money riding big on a team, you will find ways to misinterpret events and make calls that fit your agenda as a corrupt NFL work crew. Never have I felt that there is a bigger smoking gun that this game (but there are many) that lead one to believe that sports are fixed…..and the helmet to helmet stuff is just downright stupid.

  20. A presnap illegal motion penalty is not declinable! They cost the Steelers a down. Al Michaels clearly says…”that will move the ball back to the 38″…should be 2nd and15 from 38, instead it’s 3rd and10 from 33. No one ever mentioned any decline and why would the Ravens decline ( even if they could) when the penalty changes a possible 50 yd field goal to a 55 yard in the supposed toughest place to kick?

  21. Matt…after reading your posts there was no need to add “I’m a Ravens fan”.

    Anyone who LIKED Collinsworth on air obviously has problems understanding things like football. 🙂

    Nonetheless, I’m not saying anything about the H2H on Miller. the NFL doesn’t care about head injuries or ALL H2H would be a penalty and they are not. they give the window dressing for legal reasons and that’s it.

  22. Apparently, the ill motion penalty was declined, I stand corrected. But at no time did the Referee announce that to anyone.

  23. Tcq I could’ve sworn I heard a whistle on that 2nd down illegal shift call before ben threw the ball making the play dead . So even if they decline it should’ve been 2nd and 10. And yep they should’ve kept back up in

  24. I still don’t see anything on TV about the loss of down after the illegal shift call what happened there ref even said replay 2nd down then boom it went to 3rd whats going on here

  25. I didn’t say I particularly likd or disliked Collinsworth calling the game, just that he did a good job of being fair and was well prepared. It was very good for a national commentator.
    What I would like to see for the playoffs is head to head commentary by the two opposing home color commentators mediated by a national commentator. That would be cool and well worth listening to.

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