You are here
Football Zebras > Calls > Quick calls: Week 14

Quick calls: Week 14

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

Matt Holmquist
Sun Dec 11 • 7:41 pm EST


Bears at Lions

With 7:48 left in the 2nd quarter, umpire Shawn Smith threw a flag for illegal hands to the face. While the foul was reported  as being charged to Lions center Graham Glasgow (#60), it should have been the result of actions by Chicago defensive nose tackle Eddie Goldman. Triplette and crew erroneously enforced the 10-yard penalty on the Lions, and wiped out the 14 yard run on the play.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 5:44 pm EST


Vikings at Jaguars  

Vikings running back Matt Asiata was ruled short of the goal line on third down, and the call was upheld in replay.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 11:44 pm EST


Cardinals at Dolphins (video)

The Cardinals scored the fourth “4-point touchdown” under the new conversion rules (+6 points, then -2 points) when the Dolphins returned a blocked extra-point kick for a defensive two.

Mark Schultz
Sun Dec 11 • 11:26 pm EST


Bears at Lions (video)

Back-to-back holding fouls on the Bears take the team out of field goal range. The first one was thrown by Jeff Triplette and I can see why he threw the flag.

The second flag was thrown by umpire Shawn Smith. I would have kept the flag in my pocket, but I’m not in the NFL. It will be interesting to hear what, if anything, Dean Blandino has to say.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 9:55 pm EST


Cowboys at Giants (video)

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott fumbled the ball, which was recovered by lineman Doug Free, who got up and ran with the ball, getting within field goal range. The Giants challenged the call, and Free was touched by a Giants player’s foot while on the ground, which makes Free down by contact and nullifying the advance.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 9:47 pm EST


Saints at Buccaneers (video)

This is not a high wire act, but the acrobatics by the Buccaneers to keep this punt from going into the end zone are incredible.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 9:28 pm EST


Cardinals at Dolphins (video)

Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell tackled Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill as he released the pass. Tannehill was injured and had to leave the game. This was a forcible blow to the knee area, which is a foul for roughing the passer, even though it was not a late hit.

Update: Previously, I stated this was not a foul, based on the replay angle that partially obscured the engagement by Campbell. The live shot clearly shows the low trajectory of the tackle, that it was a forcible blow that could have been avoided, and there are no mitigating factors, such as being blocked into the contact. There is no question it should have been flagged.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 9:20 pm EST


Cardinals at Dolphins (video)

As the game was played in a progressively heavier downpour, umpire Roy Ellison must provide the center with a dry ball when ready for play. Clearly it is a losing battle.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 8:22 pm EST


Cardinals at Dolphins (video)

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill attempts a swing pass, but a wet football can sometimes have a mind of its own. Since the ball landed behind the spot where Tannehill released the pass, it is a backward pass. If there was defensive contact that altered the flight of the ball, a backward pass can be ruled incomplete if the pass was clearly intended to go forward. Without the contact, the intended target is not a factor.

Mark Schultz
Sun Dec 11 • 8:15 pm EST


Chargers at Panthers (video)

No close goal line call on this safety! Ron Torbert on the call.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 7:36 pm EST


Chargers at Panthers (video)

The Chargers are flagged for a false start, and quarterback Philip Rivers does a behind-the-back spike to make sure he’s not pursued on a dead ball. I can’t tell exactly what was said, but the response to the call drew a smile from referee Ron Torbert.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 7:31 pm EST


Chargers at Panthers (video)

Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart runs down the sideline and is brought down as he tumbles over a defender and his helmet contacts the ground.

Or did it?

To everyone’s surprise, Stewart keeps running after the somersault and is later brought down. Replay showed that Stewart’s helmet rolled over the defender’s leg and foot, but never contacted the ground. But, more significantly, it revealed that line judge Mike Steinkerchner was hyperaware of the situation and did not accidentally blow the play dead early. Both Stewart and Steinkerchner made one hell of a play.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 7:17 pm EST


Falcons at Rams (video)

Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. recovers a fumble and runs it back for a third-quarter touchdown. Beasley immediately leaps to dunk the football over the crossbar, and as he nears the apex, he apparently remembers: dunking over the goalpost is a foul. The graceful leap ends in a flop.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 6:21 pm EST


Saints at Buccaneers

After mishandling the kickoff and being tackled for a safety on consecutive plays, the ensuing free  kick by the Buccaneers goes out of bounds. On safety kicks, the receiving team gets the ball 30 yards from the spot of the kick (50-yard line when kicked from the 20); standard kickoffs are 25 yards from the kick spot. In all cases, if the out-of-bounds spot is inside that range, the kicking team can take the out-of-bounds spot.

Cameron Filipe
Sun Dec 11 • 5:50 pm EST


Saints at Buccaneers (video)

Numerous officiating highlights in just two plays. On a kickoff following a New Orleans field goal, the ball bounced up into the facemask of Tampa Bay kick returner Josh Huff, and it rolled out of bounds inside the Bucs’ one-yard line near the pylon. Line judge Byron Boston immediately ruled that the ball would be placed at that spot for the ensuing drive. If the ball had hit the pylon or had gone out of bounds in the end zone, there would have been a touchback, and Tampa Bay would have started at their own 25-yard line. The clock continued to run inadvertently after the whistle was blown, and referee Walt Anderson announced for a reset of the game clock.

On the very next play, Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin was swarmed in the end zone for a safety. The play was reviewed by the replay official to determine whether or not Martin was able to leave the end zone, but the ruling was returned by Anderson as “stands”.

Matt Holmquist
Sun Dec 11 • 5:18 pm EST


Seahawks at Packers

While on offense, Seahawks tackle Bradley Sowell jumped, drawing the flag for a false start. Packers  defensive tackle Datone Jones, who jumped  at Sowell’s movement, subsequently shoved Sowell, drawing a flag for a personal foul. The “5 vs. 15” penalty enforcement principle applies here. If a 15-yard foul occurs at the same time as a “simple 5” (5-yard penalties without an automatic first down, loss of down, 10-second runoff, etc), the 15-yard penalty is enforced while the 5-yard is ignored. Therefore, the false start (a simple 5) was ignored, and the 15-yard penalty was enforced.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 4:51 pm EST


Falcons at Rams (video)

The opening kickoff is muffed by Rams returner Michael Thomas. Since the Rams never possess the ball, the play remains a kick until someone possesses the ball. Once the Falcons possess the ball, it is a dead ball; any time the kicking team possesses any kicked ball, the play is dead. In the case of a kickoff, it is a live ball, so the Falcons get possession at the 3.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 4:35 pm EST


Broncos at Titans (video 1 | video 2)

A legal, but very questionable, cut block was administered by Titans receiver Harry Douglas on cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

Harris’s teammate Aqib Talib retaliated on the next down, engaging in a post-play shoving match with Douglas. A scrum ensued, but absent any flagrant actions in that scrum, the officials are going to enforce the initiating action and avoid offsetting fouls. Talib’s actions were not flagrant enough to warrant an ejection

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 3:50 pm EST


Steelers at Bills (video)

The grounds crew attempted to clear the snow off the frozen tundra in Buffalo. While it may have seemed to be a good idea on paper, the snow brushes actually kicked up the rubberized pellets of the FieldTurf surface — oddly reminiscent of the field issue that canceled the Hall of Fame game. Referee Pete Morelli delayed the start of the third quarter as the clumps of rubber were cleared from the field. Initially, piles were lined up on the sideline, but this is still a hazard with an uneven surface and inconsistent traction  going out of bounds.

The Bills issued a statement admitting they had  brushed the surface too hard.

Matt Holmquist
Sun Dec 11 • 3:38 pm EST


Redskins at Eagles

As Eagles punt returner  Darren Sproles looked to catch a punt, Redskins safety Deshazor Everett led with his shoulder and hit Sproles as his concentration was on the ball. Everett earned a  personal foul for interference with the opportunity to catch a kick. This does not count towards Everett’s 2 fouls toward disqualification.

Sproles’ teammates rushed to defend him and a scuffle ensued, but Corrente’s crew managed to keep the teams separated and save additional penalty yardage.

Matt Holmquist
Sun Dec 11 • 3:32 pm EST


Redskins at Eagles

In the 4th quarter, Redskins receiver Jameson Crowder reached for a catch on the sideline. It was ruled a catch on the field, but after review it was ruled an incomplete pass. Crowder’s left foot was down, but came off the ground before the ball arrived. Therefore, with only one foot down, the call was overturned to an incomplete pass.

Matt Holmquist
Sun Dec 11 • 3:19 pm EST


Redskins at Eagles (video)

Late in the 3rd quarter, DeSean Jackson (playing for the Redskins, not to be confused with his former team as opponents) made an acrobatic catch  on the sideline. The play went to review. It seemed to be a clear “confirm”, yet the decision from replay was “stands.” The potential deliberation was if the left foot came off the ground before the catch was secured. Even so, with the ability to slow it down in replay, it was clearly a catch.   This continues the obvious trend  toward preferring the  “stands” verdict this season.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 3:19 pm EST


Cardinals at Dolphins (video)

Cardinals safety Marcus Cooper and Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills are fighting for possession of a pass. The ruling on the field was Cooper got the interception.

This is  not a call of simultaneous possession. Since Cooper has secured the ball first — or, in other words, his catch process started first — he is awarded possession if he is able to complete the process of the catch. It is incredibly close, but the simultaneous possession does not get invoked unless it is undetectable as to who controlled the ball first. When simultaneous is ruled on any loose ball, the tie goes to the team last in possession, or to the receiving team on kicks.

Cooper also loses the interception if he loses control of the ball during the catch process, as this would reset the catch process to Step 1.

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 2:18 pm EST


Broncos at  Titans (video)

On a botched play, Titans tight end Delanie Walker caught a pass and ran along the sideline to the end zone. However, Walker was ruled to have stepped out of bounds at the 5-yard line. Even though the play naturally carried into the end zone, replay cannot intervene to add extra post-whistle action to the play, with the allowable exception is the immediate recovery of a loose ball. However …

When there is a play at the goal line, a reversal is possible if there is only one more in-bounds step prior to an effort to get to the end zone. This is an officiating mechanic not delineated in the rulebook, but the official interpretation is that “a step and a leap” to the end zone may be allowed in replay. Since the plane of the goal is also a reviewable element, the rationale is that the goal line review takes precedence when both the goal line and sideline are in play. Thus, replay could not give the Titans the 1-yard line on a step-and-leap review, only the touchdown.

Referee John Parry announced that “multiple steps” could not be added in replay, and he is correct on that aspect. But, this was the rationale to disallow the challenge by the Titans. Even though replay is technically not able to assist until replay is actually invoked, there is some wiggle room for the replay official to prompt the field officials to consider if there were multiple steps. This actually saved Titans coach Mike Mularkey a challenge, as officiating senior vice president Dean Blandino tweeted “foot at sideline not definitive,” which means they would have gone with “stands.”

Ben Austro
Sun Dec 11 • 12:44 pm EST


Today’s officials


  • U 81 Roy Ellison* to Boger’s  crew (AZ-MIA)
  • FJ 95 James Coleman* to Parry’s crew (DEN-TEN)
  • SJ  89 Jon Lucivansky* and BJ 63 Jim Quirk to Morelli’s  crew (PIT-BUF)
  • BJ 78 Greg Meyer to Cheffers’ crew (DAL-NYG/night)

*Swing officials that are moved between crews each week.


book ad 3

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Similar Articles

26 thoughts on “Quick calls: Week 14

  1. Chi vs Det: 2nd qtr, ~7:25: Illegal hands to the face called on the wrong team. Officials got lucky break with Lions scoring a touchdown.

  2. Triplettes crew should be suspended they are just incompetent. They continue to make huge mistakes. Re: Hands to the face called against Detroit when it was the Detroit player who had hands to his face. This is why NFL approval is dropping

  3. Really Derek? It took away a substantial gain and pushed them back 10 yards. It was a 30 yard mistake. No more will I listen to ‘don’t leave it in the hands of the official’s crap. That is mitigating the huge mistake that was made. Truth is they could have score a touchdown and 2 point conversion just as easily. Where is NY to fix this? Another apology on Monday does not cut it anymore!

  4. Vikings game – Asiata on the goal line, play was challenged and after review the call on the field stood. It was definitely very close but, assuming the camera angle shown was directly down the goal line, it sure looked like the ball broke the plane. The runner was definitely not down prior to that at least… Thoughts?

  5. I was watching the Vikings vs Jags game live and it was the correct call. Asiata was down and then the ball came out. Furthermore, I think John Hussy is a shoe-in to do the Super Bowl.

  6. I thought helmet to helmet contact – launching yourself was a personal foul also, as the Washington gunner Deshazor Everett did with Eagles’ returner Darren Sproles on the punt return. For a league so bent on the safety of the players and “protecting the shield” they do so much fining retroactively instead of punishment on the spot that there seems to be little consequence for actions such as this. IMO, that should have been 2 personal fouls – for the interference with that catch, and then for helmet to helmet on a defenseless receiver, resulting in an ejection. THEN the league could fine him too. Lesson learned.

  7. If you are a ref, former or present, you should be ashamed of Jeff Tripplette and his crew and in general the inconsistency in the way the game is officiated.

  8. The muffed free kick in Tampa. Did the ball touch the goal line after the muffed or break the plain?
    I was expecting a closer review of those in case it was a Touchback.

  9. In the Green Bay Seattle game in the third quarter with three minutes and change left we once again have a situation where a defensive player has to walk across the line of scrimmage and inform the officials that the playclock has run out, because the officials can’t watch the playclock and the play, and the NFL refuses to give them a buzzer system or visual aid to help them properly call delay of games. Sorry for the weekly reminder that it’s not the 1930s anymore and that this is a perpetual problem with an easy solution.

  10. Could imagine the HELL the replacements would have received in 2012 for these on-field mistakes? Amazing how quickly people tend to forgot that they weren’t too bad, and some of them quite good…certainly better than some of the benefactors of nepotism and PC-ness today.

  11. Jerome, you always default to defending the scabs…yet it’s universally accepted that the regular officials were and are better. Methinks that you were a scab or are really close to a scab.

    I’ll say it since you won’t; the scabs sucked. To the common fan, there was the illusion that there weren’t many misses, but to anyone with knowledge of rules and mechanics, their games were a nightmare. When they weren’t calling fouls, they appeared to be fine, and then when the flags flew, they had to think. And the overall game administration was worse. Rewatch the Atlanta/Denver MNF game in week 2, or the Ravens/Patriots SNF game in week 3 & you’ll see that you’re wrong; and this doesn’t even include Fail Mary. One would think most of the officials would have been at home on a Pop Warner or HS field…or on the couch like you.

  12. John Hussey cannot work the SuperBowl as he has been a referee for only 2 years. He has to be a R for 5 year
    He worked a Sb as a line judge.

  13. Wade, yes, close to a very good REPLACEMENT (who was told by two NFL executives he was good enough to be hired if not for politics), not a scab. Scabs were workers who crossed union picket lines. Replacements did not cross a pick line; the “regulars” were told not to go to work. The “Fail Mary” was a 1 in a million play, and by the way, the replay guys on that game (as they were for ALL the 2012 lock out games) could have, and should have reversed that call.

  14. Sorry Jerome, but when you work while there’s a lockout of the regular guys, you’re a scab; once a scab, always a scab. The officials during the first weeks of the 2012 season were never good enough. The officials who knew they were good enough to make the NFL wouldn’t and didn’t resort to scabbing. I have no sympathy for any one of them; they got what they deserved. But since you enjoy reading your own words, why don’t you tell us YOUR version of the lockout for the 35th time.

  15. I’m not sure how you can have a “scab” for a part time job…or really why part time employees have a union.

    But if the argument being made is the replacement refs made mistakes wouldn’t it be more because of a lack of prep time and experience? Something that could be handled with full-time officiating?

    Anyway back to this week’s games: If what Triplette did doesn’t become correctable during the off season (if not sooner) then we know the NFL doesn’t care about the “human element” in the game and enjoys the controversy.

  16. Another great day of NFL officiating……….can’t wait to see what Eddie does tonight in the Ravens/Patriots grudge match game. Ought to be interesting….I’m making the over/under on total flags thrown by Eddie and his crew at 15…….

  17. Ba ha ha ha I’d love to hear Blandino or what ever his name is make excuses for this one… Blandino is always protecting the horrible officiating like he’s back in 4th grade not wanting to rat out his friends. Newsflash Update Blandino you aren’t in elementary school anymore and this is real life you should be more concerned with the players, fans, and protecting the integrity of the game not covering up for your friends.

  18. Comparing the NFL officials today to the replacement officials is like comparing ice cream to horse manure. It was so frustrating to watch games with ever-changing rules back in 2013. Today’s officials make mistakes to be sure (they missed another blatant DPI on Seattle in the Green Bay game that was reminiscent of the Seattle Atlanta game) but they get it 90 to 100% right as opposed to making a mockery of the game on a weekly basis.

  19. “By the way, the replay guys on [the Fail Mary] could have, and should have reversed that call.”

    According to the NFL, there wasn’t enough evidence to show that Jennings had secured the ball before Tate to overturn the play. And, in fact, there are still people who believe that Tate caught the ball at the same time or even before Jennings. Cold Hard Football Facts writer Scott Kacsmar said “Golden Tate had the first control of the ball, catching it with his left hand, which never loses control of the ball throughout the entire process of the play. His two feet hit the ground to establish possession before M.D. Jennings establishes possession. Tate’s butt hits the ground, and at this point, he still has control, possession and is in the end zone for a good touchdown. Tate pushed off for an uncalled offensive pass interference that would have ended the game, but this is irrelevant when history shows no referee in football will make such a call on a Hail Mary. Seattle’s win is legit.”

    As a Packers fan who has seen the tape a million times, I find this rather laughable. Yes, you are right: the call should have been reversed.

Comments are closed.