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Quick calls: 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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19 thoughts on “Quick calls: Week 12

  1. wow line judge in Jaguars-Bills game keeps clock going when Bills runner obviously stepped out of bounds. That is horrible and shows how bad the league is. It appears he just wanted to get the game overwith.

  2. the Ryan Brothers owe this horrible crew many steak dinners 🙁 No call on PI No call on Horse Collar won’t stop the clock when the play is over 🙁 #NFLREFSUCK 🙁
    Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
    R 99 Tony Corrente 22 Cal State-Fullerton college officiating coordinator
    U 64 Dan Ferrell 14 * Cal State-Fullerton director, parts logistics and supply chain management
    HL 13 Patrick Turner 3 Hochuli Cal State-Long Beach plant manager
    LJ 2 Bart Longson 2 * Brigham Young co-founder and CEO, digital finance company
    FJ 82 Buddy Horton 18 * Oregon State water service worker
    SJ 75 Rob Vernatchi 13 Morelli California-Riverside enforcement investigator
    BJ 30 Todd Prukop 8 Anderson Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative
    Replay official: Russell Yurk

  3. The NFL officials are determining the outcome of most games. This sucks big time and the NFL is doing this to maintain control of the game. Its has become as bad as the NBA, trying to keep all games close in the first half. It’s gone beyond sport to just entertainment. What a disgrace. We are now seeing the same control in the NCAA. It’s ruining the sport and can explain to some extent the lose of viewership.
    Way to go NFL. Ruining another American tradition.

  4. Seriously…there were not comments about the REPLACEMENTS in 2012. Bring many of them back. Several I know were told by recruiters IN 2012 that if not for the politics of the union (for part-time employees!!), they were good enough to work in the NFL, AND I know TWO PERSONALLY who had not worked higher than D-3 NCAA ball because of the politics there (these 2 were MEN of non-color).

  5. Once again, we have a coach on the field of play disrupting play: this time in the Sunday Night game. Once again, the NFL will grouse about it and warn coaches to stay off the field of play. Once again, the coaches will ignore this, and once again, the NFL won’t do anything about it until it disrupts another play where we’ll do it all over again.

  6. I have to giggle about the holding / safety in the Seahawks game. No doubt it was the right call, but when you “can call holding on virtually every play” choosing to call it there was funny.

    I also though the defender did about two rolls on the ground just to hit the QB, which was in my mind a dirty play even if there was no damage done.

  7. One more thing about Gary Kubiak getting penalized for disrupting a play: when the official called the penalty, the Denver fans booed him! It’s like the fans were saying, “Those darn officials, they’re getting in the way of the coaches on the sideline” as opposed to the other way around.

  8. Here we go with phantom penalties again. This time it’s McCauley’s crew. Holding against Carroll when he didn’t even touch the guy and even Gruden shook his head. And Rogers gets the benefit of a phony roughing call. More inconsistancies again. May as well turn this into flag football. What a disgrace and they wonder why ratings are down???

  9. Refs completely altered the outcome of the Monday night game. Packers brought their own refs. Here’s just a sampling… 1) Refs blew it on the field and again on replay for Packers punt that should have been ruled a touchback. Packer clearly touched ball and goal line. 2) It’s ok to hit Aaron Rodgers. Fletcher Cox should not have been flagged. 3) Packer O-Lineman faked a reaction to Brandon Graham jumping. Graham was completely back before the reaction. 4) Nolan Carroll did not hold the GB WR in the end zone. Even the announcers had to admit it. 5) Jordy Nelson pushed off on Jalen Mills on the 4th down catch late in 4th quarter but wasn’t flagged. 6) Countless holding penalties against Packers o-line were not called. 7) Dorial Green-Beckham was ok to block on the 39-yard screen play but was wrongly flagged. Do I need to continue? No. Refs changed the outcome of the game. Apparently Aaron Rodgers’ career is over and he needs that much help for Packers to be given a “win.”

  10. To respond to some of Charles’s points
    1) When he first touched the ball there was green betwen the player and the goal line so it was the correct call
    3) I have seen that called both ways. If it was me I would have called false start on the OL because it was not the player lined up immediately across from Graham, but it is not a clear cut call either way
    4) I thought there was some contact when I watched it live
    6) This happens every game. Watch the Dallas Cowboys. They hold every play knowing the officials are not going to flag it. It is the offensive version of the Seattle Seahawks defense.
    7) You cannot be blocking downfield like that before the pass is thrown. That is why the flag was thrown

    The other calls I did not see (or have not seen video of so it would not be fair to comment)

  11. why hot mention the obvious DPI by Eagles against Jordy Nelson earlier when the defense clearly arm-barred Nelson’s left arm preventing him from catching long pass down the sideline? there were bad calls both ways just like every game this season.

  12. wow that’s the only thing you saw with during the Jaguars at the Bills game? Were you bribed too? 🙁

  13. After watching last nights officiating debacle (Cowboys vs Vikings) it should be pretty obvious to anyone who looks at NFL games and the officiating that the comment made above by MW Moore is correct. The NFL officials are being told to keep the games close, at least in the first half, to try to keep viewership and TV ratings up. Especially on Thursday and Monday night games. As the one Viking player said after last nights game – “I am sick and tired of the reffing in this league right now!” I am not a Viking or a Cowboys fan, anyone could see the officials were doing their best to try to keep the game from turning one-sided in the first half. The penalties, many of which are not penalties at all, are simply called to control the game and the score. As MW Moore correctly states – the NFL has turned into the NBA where the officials (and the game) are a joke. This corporate NFL strategy, to usilize the officials to keep the games competitive and the scores close, might work in the short run, but in the long run it will (and already is) drive away viewers and football fans. MLB tried to mess with the game and get viewership and fan turn out based on home runs. By shrinking the strike zone to the size of an apple, and (possibly) juicing the ball (while looking the other way on performance enhancing drugs), and they eventually paid the price as baseball fans walked away. They (smartly) changed, cracked down on the drug use, put the strike zone back to where it needed to be, and now the game is as good as it ever was. The NFL had better wake up and do the same with the officiating of football games before it turns into the NBA for good.

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