Week 10: Packers at Titans (video)
A complicated set of circumstances combined, which referee Jeff Triplette worked out correctly after consulting the entire crew. The fouls that occurred:
- Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion beat the snap and got through the offensive line with no resistance for an encroachment
- Guion also knocked down Titans quarterback Marcus Mariotta, when it was clear there was no play because of the encroachment. This was an unnecessary roughness foul.
- Titans lineman Trevor Lewan confronted Guion, as expected when your quarterback was hit unnecessarily. No foul was called here, which was correct.
- When being separated, Lewan pushed back against back judge Steve Freeman. This was an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, and an automatic ejection for Lewan.
When working out these fouls, they must be handled in a systematic order to be assessed properly. The original play was 1st-and-10 from the Titans 15.
Since there is no snap, these are dead-ball fouls. The unsportsmanlike foul is against an official, and any foul against an official is assessed as a “between-downs foul.” It does not combine to offset other fouls. The remaining fouls are handled first: the encroachment is declined to enforce the Packers’ roughness foul. This is an automatic first down with the 15 yards.
The chains are reset with the first down. Now, by rule, between-downs fouls are assessed. This marches the 15 yards back to the 15-yard line, but the chains stay as they are. That made a 1st-and-10 into a 1st-and-25 from the same yard line. This is correctly enforced, even though confusing.
An unusual circumstance would have been created if the play originated from the 10-yard line, because the Packers foul would still be 15 yards, but the Titans foul would be half the distance to the goal.
This is the sixth ejection recorded by Triplette’s crew, with the previous five occurring in the last four weeks. All ejections were warranted or required under the 2-unsportsmanlike-conduct disqualification rule.