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Divisional round liveblog: Packers at Cardinals


2015 NFC Divisional Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the Packers-Cardinals Divisional Playoff game from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post or tweet us @footballzebras.

Today’s crew is headed by Clete Blakeman.

         Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 34 Clete Blakeman 8    Nebraska attorney
U 44 Jeff Rice 21 Blakeman Northwestern attorney
HL 37 Jim Howey 17 Torbert Erskine College director of adult education
LJ 45 Jeff Seeman 14 Boger Minnesota brokerage sales
FJ 72 Michael Banks 14 McAulay Illinois State carpenter foreman
SJ 78 Greg Meyer 14 Hochuli Texas Christian banker
BJ 61 Keith Ferguson 16 Hussey San Jose State sales


  • Replay official: Charles Stewart
  • Alternates: Mark Hittner (HL), Steve Zimmer (FJ), Allen Baynes (SJ)


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23 thoughts on “Divisional round liveblog: Packers at Cardinals

  1. Would a launch by Fitzgerald to the head and neck area during his block be considered for an ejection? Or does it need to be more of a launch.

  2. Refs are now inserting themselves inbghe game and stealing It from GB. The Fitz play was not a catch.

  3. Pretty sloppy job by the officials at critical times in this game, but give NBC credit for catching the mistakes.

  4. On another note, this is the second year in a row the Packers have had their season ended in overtime when they other team has won the toss and scored. And you can say, “hey, they need to play better defense”, and I get that. But we also have to realize that the coin tosses are often deciding these games. If the Packers get the ball in overtime this year or last year, they might very well score and win. Why not give both teams an opportunity to possess the ball… at least in the playoffs… regardless of how a team scores?

  5. Ben, Could you explain the Illegal Motion penalty against GB with 12 seconds left? Why was play not shut down and why was there not a 10 second runoff?

  6. What an absolute sh*t show. Opi on az not called then pi on az not called then they cant flip a coin. Dont be fooled by the drama. Officials have sucked all year regardless who you root for. Boo!

  7. On final play, AZ should have been called for illegal man downfield as at least one lineman was 2+ yards downfield before Fitzgerald caught pass.

  8. 2q 12:49 – Blakeman said “there are fouls against both teams” and it ended with only Cards penalties. Anyway they did nice job. I hope to see Blakeman in a big one.

  9. Dean Blandino says he would’ve ruled the Packer’s Hail Mary as an incomplete on the field, but also says there probably wouldn’t be enough to overturn a catch call. Interesting (for never being an NFL official). I can’t tell if the ball hit the ground, but I feel I saw control when he wedged the ball between his side and his upper arm, similar to the helmet catch a few years ago.

  10. A lot of really tough calls in this game on both sides. Even with 5 angles of instant replay, some are too close to call. Kudos to the zebras who have to do it at game speed.

    1) Blakeman had to be relieved when the Cards won the second toss. If the Pack wins it and they move down the field for a TD, he would never hear the end of it.
    2) The Hail Mary had be called a catch.
    3) I thought all of the non-calls for pass interference were good calls except the OPI in end zone on the tipped pass. The only one I would have considered calling was DPI when Pack defender force LF out of bounds on another play. Hand checking is a part of the game and calling every ticky tacky PI makes a mockery of the game.
    4) Just think of the controversy if the Cardinals first half pick 6 is called back (still their ball) due to a taunting unsportsmanlike call rather than a hands to the face that wiped out the pick completely.

  11. Remember, Blandino was never an NFL official either so why would anbody take any of the garbage that comes out of his mouth seriously; especially since whether you want to believe it or not, it is he who makes the call on all replays (if you don’t believe me; if your boss says x and you say y, are you going to stand there and argue). Only in the NFL would we have a person who has never officiated a down of football in his life as the VP in charge of officiating. Makes no sense whatsoever.

  12. @JEFF S. Blandino would give orders from the League Office who in turn would decide the games and who should win based on viewer ratings. Come on, last year vs. Cowboys-Lions was yet another glaring example that many people have conviently forgotten because this entertainment and its perfectly legal to fix the games given US laws and protections.

  13. On Peterson pick 6, if the play would’ve stood. Why would the foul have been enforced on the extra point instead of kickoff?

  14. Fred Garvin – excellent points. There should be considerable conversation about the lack of OPI on the tipped pass for AZ’s TD. Also agree that GB could have been called for PI on the force out late in the game right before GB’s final possession. After all, GB benefited from the same call when it was called against WASH. And, we saw it called in the PITT / DEN game yesterday.
    The NFL officials have a built in safety/security blanket in games like these and throughout the season. Because the game carried such high entertainment value and and re-introduced the overtime procedure discussion, missed calls, calls that had a high impact, will be given a free pass as fans waste time discussing the changes needed to the overtime rules. Even if bad calls are discussed, they will only be addressed late in the week while everyone’s attention has shifted to the next slate of games. This is by design to continue to shield the refs from appropriate criticism. The NFL, Blakeman, and Blandino should send Christmas cards to Rodgers, Fitzgerald, and Palmer for letting another poor performance be swept under the rug due to the product the players put on the field.
    I do take issue with what is ticky tacky. A foul is a foul. If they call it, they have the rule book on their side. If they don’t call it, its a good “no-call”. Again, built in safety and security with no accountability.
    Authors of sites like this one waste time on “interpretation” of rules. The real issue is the poor judgement displayed by officials. This site should list all calls that are missed by each official in each game via the submissions of the coaching staffs following the game. Fans are deserving of transparency.

  15. fvyha
    The illegal downfield is when the ball was released not when the catch is made. Can you give me the player # and the yard line?
    When Palmer released the pass, all linemen were beyond the LOS at 20 yard line. 7 cardinals players were behind LOS. so who was the illegal one more than 2 yard down field?

  16. JW
    GB got the coin toss in 2007 against AZ. What happened next? Defensive TD after AR fumbled! There’s no “what if”

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