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Quick calls: Week 12

Liveblog coverage of the calls and rules interpretations in Week 12.



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

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 10:05 pm EST

Giants at Browns

Giants safety Eli Apple had an apparent interception at the sideline, but he was ruled out of bounds. Apple got his toes on both feet down in bounds, and if only his toes tapped in bounds, this is a legal catch. However, since Apple’s heel subsequently comes down, the entire step of his foot is counted. In this case, the heel comes down out of bounds, making this an incomplete pass.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 9:15 pm EST

Seahawks at Buccaneers

SVP/officiating Dean Blandino addresses the forward-progress ruling that allowed the clock to run at the end of the first half.


Matt Holmquist
Sun Nov 27 • 7:29 pm EST


Patriots at Jets

On a 2-point conversion attempt, Patriots receiver James White caught a pass and appeared to sneak inside the pylon to score. On the field, it was ruled a successful conversion. The play went to review and was overturned: the ball, in White’s left arm, never crossed the plane of the goal line before White’s foot stepped out of bounds.

Ben Austro
Mon Nov 28 • 1:07 am EST


Chiefs at Broncos (video)

Avoiding the third tie of the season, Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos, at the expiration of overtime, banks in a field goal that would make Minnesota Fats proud. Both the field judge and the back judge have to keep the deflecting ball in their sights — precisely why there are two under the posts. Since the ball did not go over the top of the uprights, this was reviewable if necessary, a rule provision that has not yet been used. That review rule was a reaction to a field goal attempt in 2007 that deflected off the upright and the support arm of the goalpost. The referee in that game, just as this game, was Pete Morelli.

Ben Austro
Mon Nov 28 • 1:06 am EST


Chiefs at Broncos (video)

On a 64-yard pass by the Broncos, 15 of that was taken back due to sideline interference on Broncos coach Gary Kubiak. The six-foot border around the field is for the officials and the chain crew only, and a coach or player that is in the white border is warned. However, if there is any interference with the officials or the chains in that area, it is an immediate 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Isn’t this a little harsh? It actually matches the infraction. Officials have to watch the play and run in a direction they are not looking. They must have a clear lane to operate in under those circumstances. Collisions in this area can lead to serious injuries, as we outlined in a 2014 post.

Patrick Weber
Sun Nov 27 • 11:56 pm EST


Chiefs at Broncos (video)

With just over ten seconds remaining in the game, Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill made a catch and was tackled near the goal line. Initially ruled short, the Chiefs scrambled to the line to attempt to get a play off. With the snap imminent, the replay official properly buzzed down to referee Pete Morelli to initiate a review. Replays showed that Hill gained possession with the football across the plane of the goal line, and the play was reversed to a touchdown. 


Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 10:53 pm EST


Patriots at Jets

The Patriots were hoping to catch the Jets into a substitution mismatch by attempting to go for a fourth down, then swapped in their punt team. The Jets are given time to match up their substitutions as the play clock winds (which the Patriots are well aware of). One point that was raised is that the Patriots did not kick with the designated K ball for the kicking game. In situations were fakes and quick substitutions occur, the proper protocol is to use the ball that is ready for play, as there is little opportunity to circumvent the ball procedures to gain an advantage.

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 9:53 pm EST


Chiefs at Broncos (video)

The Chiefs force a fumble which results in a safety. Pete Morelli waits until the lineman has secure possession before signalling the safety.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 9:44 pm EST


49ers at Dolphins (video)

Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker had a touchdown taken away in replay. Before the second foot or a knee comes down in bounds, his forearm lands out of bounds. Contact with the pylon is disregarded, but there is clear evidence that his arm touched the end line.

Later in the game, Parker made a spectacular catch at the sideline. 49ers coach Chip Kelly challenged the call, and it was reversed to incomplete because … Parker’s hand touched out of bounds before his second foot came down in bounds.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 8:56 pm EST


Patriots at Jets (video)

A butt equals two feet. Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa lands in the end zone before going out of bounds with possession of the ball, reversing the incomplete ruling to a touchdown. The pylon is not relevant regarding a player touching it; only a loose ball is ruled out of bounds when touching the pylon. A player must touch the sideline to be ruled out.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 6:51 pm EST


Panthers at Raiders (video)

Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson drew an unsportsmanlike conduct foul for “disrespectfully addressing an official” — standard terminology referee Jerome Boger has used to classify any non-contact confrontations with officials. It seems that Anderson’s jawing extended beyond what was shown in the replay, because Boger said that Anderson “came out of the team area.” In other words, he left the bench and was not an incoming substitute, solely to complain to the official. Anderson is halfway to an automatic ejection.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 5:21 pm EST


Seahawks at Buccaneers (video)

The Buccaneers were flagged for a holding penalty near their goal line. When determining the spot of the foul, it is where the holding infraction is initiated, which is a safety if it occurs in the end zone. A hold in the field of play that continues into the end zone is enforced from the previous spot and is not a safety.

This season, the spot of a foul is a reviewable aspect, which allows referee Bill Vinovich to slow down the infraction in replay. Vinovich determined this occurred in the end zone and awarded the safety — the first use of this rule to my knowledge.

If the call on the field was a safety by penalty, the spot is reviewable, but it must be initiated by the replay official, as it would be a scoring play.

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 5:17 pm EST


Panthers at Raiders (video)

Cam Newton draws his first roughing the passer penalty since 2014. Referee Jerome Boger rules that the Raiders defender drove his weight into Newton. 

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 5:12 pm EST


Jaguars at Bills (video)

Line judge Mike Spanier with a close spot, gives the Bills a first down. But first, referee Tony Corrente calls for the chains.

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 5:01 pm EST


Panthers at Raiders

Referee Jerome Boger is battling a cold today. His voice is hoarse and raspy on the mic. I’m sure he hopes for few flags and instant replay challenges today!

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 4:42 pm EST


Bengals at Ravens

The intentional safety by the Ravens is a separate post.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 4:01 pm EST


Giants at Browns

Browns quarterback Josh McNown is ruled to have thrown a forward pass, but it is very close. The point where the ball is released is compared to the point it is touched or contacts the ground. There is less than a half-yard difference between the two, but it is enough to prevent the Giants from picking up the ball for a scoop-and-score.cle-nyg-fwdpass

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 4:00 pm EST


Rams at Saints (video)

Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro intercepts a pass from Jared Goff. In the process of snatching the ball away, he is touching Rams tight end Lance Kendricks. This means when Vacarro lands, he is down by contact, and does not have the ability to get up and run.

Although the play ran with Vaccaro getting up, the decision was to revert back to the catch spot. Saints coach Sean Payton argued with John Hussey’s crew and kept pointing to the scoreboard, but the officials may not even seal a glance.

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 3:34 pm EST


49ers at Dolphins (video)

Good positioning by Greg Gautreaux on this Kenny Stills catch and run for a touchdown.

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 3:02 pm EST


Titans at Bears (video)

The Bears recover a surprise onside kick to start the second half. Alex Kemp and Scott Helverson are on the call. Once the Titans touch the ball, it is live and the Bears can recover the kick, even if the ball didn’t travel 10-yards.

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 2:53 pm EST


Chargers at Texans (video)

Brock Osweiler reaches the ball over the goal line for a touchdown. This always presents a challenge for the wing officials as the ball could get knocked out of the quarterback’s hands and they have to judge if the ball broke the invisible plane of the goal line. Sarah Thomas and Jeff Bergman did a nice job on this call.

Mark Schultz
Sun Nov 27 • 2:47 pm EST


Cardinals at Falcons (video)

Patrick Peterson’s interception for the Cardinals is wiped out by pass interference. Line judge Jeff Seeman called Peterson for the DPI.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 1:49 pm EST


Bengals at Ravens (video)

Ravens receiver Steve Smith and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict tangled a bit early in this AFC North matchup. After Smith gets knocked over at the conclusion of the play, which Smith replies by burying his helmet into Burfict. Burfict then falls over backward which is the clear frontrunner for the Academy Award for the Best Performance by a Player in a Flopping Role. Smith’s hit, while seemingly an innocuous retaliation, is flagged for unnecessary roughness.

Burfict’s action is not illegal contact, as Smith is within the 5-yard zone for a chuck. Since the final contact came as the quarterback was being sacked, Burfict was able to get the final shot in when it was still legal.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 1:09 pm EST


Thanksgiving games

Our coverage of the Thanksgiving games can be found here.

Ben Austro
Sun Nov 27 • 12:00 pm EST


Today’s officials


  • U 124 Carl Paganelli* to McAulay’s crew (GB-PHI/Mon.)
  • U 81 Roy Ellison* to Morelli’s crew (KC-DEN/night)
  • U 96 Undrey Wash to Hussey’s crew (LA-NO)
  • U 115 Tony Michalek to Vinovich’s  crew (SEA-TB)
  • LJ 108 Gary Arthur to Blakeman’s crew (CIN-BAL)
  • FJ 43 Terry Brown to Anderson’s crew (NYG-CLE)
  • FJ 95 James Coleman* to Coleman’s crew (PIT-IND/Thurs.)
  • SJ 89 Jon Lucivansky* to Triplette’s crew (SD-HOU)
  • BJ 105 Dino Paganelli to Morelli’s crew (KC-DEN/night)

*Swing officials that are moved between crews each week.


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