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Quick calls: Week 11

Keep checking here for rolling coverage throughout the day on Sunday. If you see anything confusing, unusual, or controversial, please let us know.

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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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44 thoughts on “Quick calls: Week 11

  1. Tampa bay and philly early double fumble how was it considered a second fumble player had possession with both knees down?

  2. An interception by the Colts stood after review when the ball seemingly moved after it hit the ground in the player’s hands. The TV “guru” called the review incorrect, but said, ” The league is trying to overturn fewer calls.” What give Some?

  3. Just another horribly officiated game in Carolina. First, a pick 6 by REDSKINS nullified by an incorrect call illegal hit on defenseless player. REDSKIN corner led with forearm to shoulder, not head or neck area – legal and in the strike zone – and subsequent slight helmet contact after initial hit. Ball pops up and is returned for REDSKIN TD. Then, later in same drive after taking six points from REDSKINS, Carolina scores a TD. Great catch by Carolina, ruled incomplete by deep wing 112 – one of the terrible Steratore brothers – who comes in strong selling both an incomplete as well as a hold (and by the way, showboating a sell only makes you look like a clown – especially when you are incorrect on two, not one counts ON THE SAME PLAY!) that he is damn sure it is incomplete. So Steratore is not only wrong on the hold, he is wrong on the TD incompletion which is reversed to a TD as it should be. So this clown official not only throws on an incorrect hold – non-existent – he then calls an incomplete pass which is correctly reversed to a TD. Will this official be suspended from further games? Or will he continue to be allowed to officiate? Does anyone know what repercussions this clown faces for missing two calls on the same play?

  4. FJ Rick Patterson went down with about 11 minutes to go in the fourth in DEN-CHI and left the field. Any information about his status?

  5. Please tell me how the officials can call the broncos for 100 yards in penalties and be so blind or chose not to call one single infraction on the bears. I know the Broncos are not innocent but come on. As all Bronco fan we are tiered of every official picking on our team. The only call against the Bears was picked up and was clearly a penalty. All we want is to call a fair game and not so one sided it seems to happen every game.

  6. Can the STL@BAL ref crew be criticized for missing the Keenum concussion (looked very obvious, he couldn’t get up), or is this solely the responsibility of the new NFL concussion observers?

  7. Any individual that refers to any official, especially one who works the NFL, as a “clown” really does not deserve a response but I will give you one anyway. Tony Steratore is one of the better Back Judge’s in the NFL and has worked the Super Bowl and many play-off games. You (John) on the other hand, I suspect have never officiated anything. The call on the Olson play was borderline and the officials are told to err in a conservative direction on calls related to safety. Officials on the field do not have the benefit of instant replay or multiple angles. If that is the best comment that you can make, you should keep it to yourself.

  8. Regarding the Broncos-Bears timeout situation with the injury… How would this be rectified if the Bears had received a fourth timeout due to the error?

  9. Colts @ Falcons early in the 4th Andre Johnson catches a pass in the EZ but was ruled out. I say his rt toe was still on the ground then he step once more for a catch. It wasn’t reviewed and the TV crew agreed with the call. I’d like an educated opinion on it. I say, its a catch even if the toe is about to come up when the ball hits the receiver’s hands as long as its a solid, instantly secured ball. It wasn’t obvious if that was the case but it was certainly worthy of a look.

  10. Bengals/Cardinals……Peko was telling his defense to get set because the cardinals were getting ready to run a play. ESPN and NFL Network commenting how it was a blown call. Perfect example on how the official determined the outcome of the game. Also, several helmet to helmet calls missed in this game. All this crew is worried about is holding calls and making phantom calls at the end of the game.

  11. Art,

    If that’s the case how did they all miss the hit on Green in SNF? I get erring toward player safety…but in a “bang-bang” like the Panthers/Redskins game, when it was close, they make the game changing call?

    No one is perfect, but the inconsistency is what is killing the fans of the game.

    Denver / Chicago:

    Denver: 8 penalties for 118 yards.

    Chicago: 0 for 0.

    Read that again: 0 for 0 (Except for one defensive holding that was declined)

    I suppose you believe there was not one foul committed by the Bears the entire game. In a league where “you can call holding on every play” is used an excuse when holding is called in a game changing manner.

    Enough with the sanctimonious “you were never an official” talk. A mistake is a mistake. And these officials are suppose to be the cream of the crop and held to a higher standard.

  12. With regards to the Redskins vs. Panthers game and the call on Culliver. I am so sick and tired of the officials getting defended for horrible calls and using the tried and true (and way too easy excuse) of, “well, they don’t have the luxury of being able to look at review”. Perhaps this is something the NFL should look at going forward. It seems that in College the refs have the ability to go back and make a change on a call when it regards to targeting. I saw it happen this weekend where a targeting call was reversed after the officials reviewed the play. With such a HUGE impact as that play was on the game, why can’t a call like that be reviewed? If you go back and watch it on tape (and I have SEVERAL times), you clearly see Olsen braising himself and lowering his head for a hit by Culliver. Is this a defenseless receiver? Culliver then leads with his forearms, not his helmet, and hits Olsen just above the numbers. Mind you, Olsen has a pretty good height advantage, and the only helmet contact comes just after the forearms hit Olsens sternum area and really was only a result of Olsen lowering his helmet to brace for a hit. I understand trying to protect players, but there are certain things that can’t be taken from the game, and slight helmet to helmet is going to happen, and it does on just about every play, but to RUSH to judgement and reverse a call like that when the refs huddled up and had the ability to say, “You know what, that was a bang bang play, it clearly wasn’t malicious, and rather than just say it was an illegal hit, how about we assess the situation and say, the fact that the corner made such a great play and returned the ball for a touchdown, we might want to give them the benefit of the doubt”. No, instead they take the easy road (and the Roger Goodell friendly), and the more fan friendly being as the game was in Carolina, and nullify a great play, and completely turn the tide of the game. Of course I’m sure those that are defending the call will always make excuses for the officials, using the same old played out excuse of, “Well, it is a difficult job, and they have to make bang bang calls”.

    And not to get off of this call, but later in the 2nd quarter, right around the two minute warning when a HUGE Cousins run inside the 5 is nullified by a holding call on Jordan Reed. When you watch the call, you see Reed squared up with the defender with his arms inside the shoulder pads, as all players are taught to do. When Cousins gets by Reed and the defender, Reed sheds his block. He doesn’t tug or pull. The defender never gets pulled around. Show we where this is holding? Tell me what the player is supposed to do, when he is taught to block and told that this is how it is done in the NFL? Yet the officials, using their JUDGEMENT, decide this particular time it is a hold and let’s nullify a huge play that could have brought the Redskins back into the game before the half. Instead, this turned into a possible 10 point swing, just like the Culliver play turned into a 14 point swing. How is a team, coming into a hostile environment against an undefeated team supposed to respond to this? Sure, they are professionals, but they are people to, with emotions, just like you or I, and just like the officials, who are supposed to be professionals. But unlike the officials, the players don’t get an easy excuse for their blatant and egregious mistakes. All they get is a “man up and accept it, it’s part of the game”. Such a double standard. I’m just tired of the officials getting an easy out week after week. When is change going to take place, and when are the officials going to be held accountable for the decisions they make on a call by call, week by week basis? And an officials pedigree, or past performance has NOTHING to do with the immediate. This may be a game, but it is a serious game for many people, players, coaches, and fans who whether many like it or not, having thousands upon thousands of dollars on the line, and jobs, and families. So, yeah, it is easy to simple shove another horribly officiated game aside as simple human error, but at a certain point in time someone has to step up and call for change. Change only happens when people are sick and tired of accepting ludicrous and ridiculous answers to issues that clearly deserve more attention and a more detailed study. But hey, we are all human, so let’s be nice to the officials, because they have a tough job to do, and getting call after call wrong, well, it’s just tough to get them all right, especially the big ones.

  13. How about the Vikings-Packers game. The refs don’t call a face mask and a hit to the helmet on Teddy that take him out and would of gave the Vikings a first down! Instead teddy comes out and the Vikings punt the ball. The next drive for the packers, the refs call a roughing the passer on the Vikings for pushing Rodgers down to the ground, half of it was a fake fall by Aaron! The packers get the call and end up scoring a TD on that drive. This was the end for the Vikings! When you lose momentum in a game it’s hard to get it back.

    Fast question, does anyone think that the refs determine what gets called based on who is playing the game? Like do you think someone like Rodgers, Manning or Tom is more likely going to get a call then someone like Cam, teddy, or other younger QBs?

  14. Cory, you are absolutely correct. Watched that whole Packers-Vikings game wondering how the Packers could possible protect Rodgers so well without ever holding. Vikings lineman Kahlil has been criticized for not living up to potential; but two holding calls in the first half for a first-rounder and nothing on the side until the game is out of reach in the fourth…it was very one-sided.

    I’m too frustrated to think about collusion to protect the top-tier QB’s; but it’s hard not to think about that occasionally. I still doubt it exists; but you won’t be the only one to question.

  15. If it’s true, though I think it’s an excuse, that Peko was saying Get Set in a way to mimic offense signals so it’s a penalty! He did not even protest coz he knows what he exactly did. This call should be the call of the year. Well officiated game.

  16. I know that most of the call that the referees make are judgement calls but what about the hard and fast rules.

    No player shall remove his helmet on the field of play between downs unless there is a time out.

    Peterson takes his helmet off and blatantly walks around the field in front of two officials.

    But because it’s Peterson then it’s OK.

  17. Let’s not forget Cardinals moved the ball from their own 16 to Bengals 27 in 3 passes in like 30 secs total with no time out with no help from refs. Enough said. Maybe Bengals should look at that instead of attacking the refs.

  18. On the “gutsy” unsportsmanlike conduct call late in the Bengals at Cardinals game. When the umpire moves, late in the half, from behind the offensive line to behind the defensive line, isn’t he supposed to be 10 yards off of the line of scrimmage? In this case, he moved out of position to within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage. This would seem to point to an agenda on his part to presuppose a specific penalty? After all the Cardinals reportedly complained about disconcerting calls by the Bengals earlier in the game. Do officials have that discretion within the game to move to different positions on the field to check for specific infractions? Thx.

  19. Art- stop defending incompetant officials. Regardless of he worked a lot of playoff games, that was a horrible call. As far as strong on the side of safety, please. Football always has been a savage sport. A collision sport. What’s next – skirts on players instead of pants? The league for years refuses to punish bad officials. That fact that Triplette still has a job is proof. The officials can still use their judgement and a lot of times it isn’t good. A lot of calls don’t take a genius to figure out. There are way too many bad calls and non calls this year. And too much inconsistency. How is that good for the game? As much as the NFL has too many damn rules, the officials can still do better.

  20. And the fact that Blandino wasn’t immediately fired for being on the Dallas team bus last season shows the league doesn’t care.

  21. Disappointed to see an inadvertent whistle in the BUF-NE game by LJ Gary Arthur. Steratore crew granted New England’s pass completion although the whistle was erroneously blown?

  22. Bills vs Patriots. First drive in the second half. “Inadvertent” whistle by refs negates a potential big play by Patriots. Subsequent 15 yard penalty against Rex Ryan because, I guess, he was on the white part of the sideline. Head scratcher.

  23. It’s not a big deal Cam….being an official is tough and we need to take it easy on them. Don’t worry that it probably took a touchdown away from Amendola and the Patriots. They’ve got a hard job to do and we need to be nicer to them. It’s not like they are getting paid and have control over what is happening on the field. It’s not as if they are making crucial mistakes at crucial times of the game and playing the role of decision maker in this Billion Dollar NFL.

  24. Oh and instead of a touchdown, the Patriots get stopped and have to try a 50 + yard field goal, which they miss and the Bills turn around and score a touchdown. Wow, that just shows the power of momentum and what a single call like that can do to a game. Turning point? I’m a fan of neither team, but just like in the Redskins Panthers game yesterday, it just shows how big a call can be in a game. I can’t wait to hear Blandino on TV this week trying to justify this call and all of the other horrible calls this week.

  25. Albetros, I am a Bills fan, tried and true. And I have NO love for the Patriots. But they got boned, without the benefit of vaseline on that one. The Rex Ryan penalty was a feeble attempt to make amends.

  26. Art, Cory, Albetross, Glenn, John, Dave C, Micky: I have something for all of you – I hope. Read my other posts, and contrary to Art’s ignorant comments, you will know where I have worked as far as officiating goes. With that being said, Art – If you knew anything about officiating at upper levels of the sport, you would be aware that a few years back, the philosophy of calls involving a “player in a defenseless posture” was to err on the side of safety, i.e. throw the flag. Fast forward to the present, starting with last season. Now, the philosophy is to make sure, BEFORE YOU THROW, that you KNOW it was a prohibited hit on a player in a defenseless posture. The league does not want to penalize a defender who uses proper tackling technique as is currently being taught, keeping his head away from ANY body part of the player in a defenseless posture, as well as not striking the head or neck area of this player. They are being taught to lower their strike zone. The officials are to no longer err on the side of safety, but rather GET THE CALL CORRECT. If they can’t do this at this level for the very large game fee they are paid, then the league needs to get rid of them. As we see every Sunday, this will never occur. If the defenders are doing their part, why can’t the officials make the same type of discernment? Most can’t or don’t care to, as they are protected by their union and there is no accountability for their reckless, game changing calls.

    As for #112 being a top BJ? Please. All one need do is observe the play where he called a non-existent hold in the Carolina game, and on the same play, ruled an easily viewed TD catch, incomplete. 2 huge mistakes on one play. These types of mistakes would not be tolerated in any other industry. Then to make matters worse, mechanically he comes in full speed, running across the end zone at an angle, giving the holding signal while running, and making himself part of the show. I understand selling a call, but this is not selling a call. This is showboating and making himself part of the show (must run in the genes), which a good official will never do. All he needed to do is throw his incorrect flag to a quiet area, then come in and report to the R what he had, and of course (as you non-officials do not know) inform R what the enforcement is. (Yes, the calling official needs to report what he has, as well as the enforcement.) All this guy did was make himself look like not only a clown, as John stated above, but an ass-clown. John was calling a spade a spade, and I can’t help but agree, except to add the proper officiating term – ass clown. If you officiate, you get my meaning.

    As for the alleged hold by Reed, I did not see that play and therefore can’t comment. If it is posted, direct me to it and I will provide an expert evaluation as always.

    As for the Packer’s game, look in the second half (if I remember correctly) and you will see Rogers throw a TD pass to a sliding receiver on the right side of the end zone. Rogers had to roll out to his right to buy time for a receiver to break free. Watch the play. As Rogers rolled right, you will see not one not two but three count ‘em three materially restricting holds (left guard, left tackle, right tackle if I recall accurately), the type of holds where the defender has to “run funny” as they used to teach us, I mean three severe, materially restricting holds which allowed Rogers to get free and throw a TD pass. Incredible. I won’t speculate as to why none of these three holds were not called. I leave that to the conspiracy theorists. I just deal in cold, hard video facts. Hell, it could be as simple as the R and U failed to see these materially restricting must call holds. This would not surprise me in the least.

    Don’t get me started on the snap infraction which was incorrectly charged as a DOF against the Vikings this game which gave the Packers a free play as well as a first down when the pass fell incomplete. A good crew talks about this possibility in the pre-game, and is ready for it on a 4th and less than 5 situation. The Packer’s center knew exactly what he was doing. He set the Vikings (and crew up) on this drive. It worked flawlessly because this crew missed it and as a result, the Vikings suffered.

    You folks who continue to praise these officials and make excuses for them week after week after week after week can keep doing it. It is laughable. The proof of ineptness by a multitude of these officials (but not all) is seen on TV every week. The officiating in general is putrid. Clearly, as those “in the know” are well aware, a true vetting process is not undertaken before these officials are hired. And don’t tell me about the “training officials.” The same (lack of) vetting process is used to get these officials into this training level. The proof is in the pudding, as they say or in this case, on the TV every Sunday.

  27. Oh I agree. I was being very facetious. I loath the officials and find the defense of them by anyone annoying.

  28. Tony Steratore has worked 2 Super Bowls and numerous playoff games. I think he’s definitely a better official than you ever were Crusty. Somebody’s just jealous. And there’s NO need for name-calling. The officials deserve respect even if they are sometimes wrong.

  29. Blown call at end of MNF. Offensive player went out of bounds, backwards without any contact by a defensive player, but clock was ruled to keep running and ran out.

  30. I am surprised at the lack of calls, so far this season, on hits to qbs. Ryan Tannehill was actually speared(by Sean Lee?) to the helmet in Sunday’s game versus the Cowboys and the officials missed it. Very visible on replay though.
    In the Vikings/Packers game, a GB defensive lineman slammed Teddy Bridgewater’s head to the ground as he was climbing off of the pile on a sack. Not a huge deal, but a message should have been sent regardless.
    I take my hat off to those guys for catching all of the shenanigans that they do, but they’ve got to keep a closer eye on the qbs in my opinion.

  31. There is an interesting article on ESPN about officiating inconsistency. The crew that worked the Redskins, Panthers game calls 3x more personal fouls than the crew that calls the fewest. Which is why you saw the Redskins pick-six taken away. The league is considering rotating officials within crews to try to even out the calls.

  32. let me add to my last post, as you clearly hear the NFL network analysts making the claim that a player can’t go out of bounds backwards but most go out forwards in order to stop the clock???? If this is a rule. Why? This is just another example of a ridiculous rule that the NFL has that I just don’t understand. Can someone shed light on why this rule exists, if it is in fact the rule?

  33. Tom: I will explain. The philosophy on these types of sideline calls at the end of the game is to stop the clock. In addition, rules wise the clock should have stopped because of the lack of contact, and the Bills should have been given one more play at the end of the game. Again, philosophically the league wants him to have the sideline and thus clock stoppage at the end of the game. The philosophy on this type of play is that in the final two minutes, if the player is trying to get to the sideline and it is close, give it to him. This was the “unofficial” instruction I received, orally after the game. The evaluator told me that even though the player was technically in bounds and my wind was correct, to go ahead and give him the sideline and kill the clock. In the written evaluation, the comment said “When it’s a hurry-up situation and the runner wants to get OOB to stop the clock, even with defensive contact, give it to him and stop the clock, unless the runner is clearly driven backwards and OOB by defensive contact AFTER he has had his feet taken away” Personally, I believe the league wants a clock stoppage here to keep the excitement going at the end of the game. Makes sense to me, and is one of those things that does not have a huge effect on the game, like always spotting the ball on a line when a first down is earned in order to minimize measurements. Here, the covering official made a mistake, which was covered up by the R’s comments after the game. Just as this R covered the crew with his comment regarding the crew’s blown enforcement on the inadvertent whistle earlier in the game. Yes. They blew the enforcement on the IW.

    As an aside, IW’s should be out of any official’s system by the time they leave the high school ranks. There is no excuse for this type of mistake at this level by these officials. No excuse whatsoever. An IW is the most egregious error an official can make, and there is absolutely no excuse for this in the NFL. None whatsoever. Call it poor mechanics, but this is not basketball and a football official should never officiate with the whistle in his mouth, at any level. Yet they continue to do so. Why invite trouble? Keep the whistle out of your mouth because if a coach runs in front of you or bumps you, you can’t react by accidentally tweeting your whistle as it is not in your mouth. Yet these guys continue to work with the whistle in their mouths.

    All in all, this was an extremely poorly managed game by the R, who happens to be the brother of the official who screwed up in the Panthers game. I won’t get into fully analyzing all the game management mistakes and judgments by this R and this crew, but suffice to say it is another example of lack of a proper vetting as well as retention process (none) which allows these officials to not only get into the league, but permits them to continue on the field, despite demonstrated and continual unacceptable performance.

    In Week 4, officials missed an illegal bat penalty in the end zone on a critical fourth-quarter play in the EZ resulting in the Seahawks’ 13-10 victory over the Lions. A week later, the officiating crew did not notice a runoff of 18 seconds from the game clock during the Steelers’ 24-20 victory over the Chargers. Weeks later, the Jaguars are awarded an untimed down (the game should been over on the illegal motion converted to a false start at end of game, ending the game) and kick a game winning FG handing the Ravens a loss when the game should have ended with a Ravens win. Last night? Where do we start but the Bills certainly deserved one last Hail Mary shot at the EZ.

    LMAO where is all the noise in the media? We thought the officiating could get no worse after last season, but it did. This is the worse it has ever been, and I include in this the 2012 season when the replacements were working. I give those guys credit, as at least two thirds of them would do a better job than the officials we see out there presently. Guaranteed. Because they were accountable. Yes, about 1/3 of them were incompetent, but the remainder? No way. They were better than the product we see now, and if they were allowed a full season? We wouldn’t be where we are today. It would have been Major League Baseball all over again and we would have excellent officials. This may be an unpopular opinion on this board, but as always, I deal in facts.

  34. Tut…you must be a Cardinal fan. All defenses call different things at the line. If you heard one of the audios Peko was hollering “Get Set”. Even the MNF announcers mentioned that. Please get your facts straight.

  35. Tim,
    The MNF announcers are not refs and they have never officiated even a flag football game what they say is not a fact. That penalty in the rule book for a reason coz simply it happens. And let’s also believe Peko he saying that coz Cardinals would run the ball with 6 secs to go!!!!! realy!!! Yeah, you trust and believe him like Marven Lewis said. Good job!

  36. Tut,

    It’s not just from the announcers. Like I said earlier, did you hear the audio? Plain as day.

  37. Tim,

    and I ask you to read the rules. verbal or physical act trying to draw offense to false start. He did not only say something but his hand was moving that also made him guilty.

    j. Using acts or words by the defensive team that are designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap. An official must blow his whistle immediately to stop play.

    It’s not about Cardinals or Bengals, it’s about understand the rule. There’s a link provided on top to similar calls have been made in the NFL. They’re rare.

    Again, believing he was telling his defense to get set coz the Cardinals would run the ball with 6 secs to go and no time out, is a total BS. He did not even protest the call, he knew what he was doing.

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