Keep checking here for rolling coverage throughout the day on Sunday. If you see anything confusing, unusual, or controversial, please let us know.
Vikings at Packers
Vikings center Joe Berger does not get the ball through his legs on a shotgun snap. While a snap must go to a player who is not on the line, once the ball touches the ground, any offensive player, including the snapper, may recover and advance. In this case, it did not matter, as the Packers recovered.
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) December 24, 2016
Browns at Steelers (video)
Very tough call for wing officials Ron Marinucci and Wayne Mackie and DeAngelo Williams barely gets the ball out of the endzone to avoid a safety.
To avoid a safety the entire ball has to break the goal line and get into the field of play.
Excellent positioning by Mackie and Marinucci to break back to the goal line. There were in great position to rule on the Williams run.
12:52 | 1st qtr.
First foul of the night. Pass interference on Michigan thrown by the back judge. Easy call.
Beautiful night for a ballgame! 60-degrees and clear.
Referee Matt Austin leads the Southeastern Conference officiating crew.
FYI, the NCAA always assigns neutral crews to officiate bowl games. Up until about 25-years ago, there would be a split crew between the conferences playing in the bowl game.
49ers at Rams (video)
49ers running back Carlos Hyde caught a short pass from quarterback Colin Kaepernick and subsequently dropped the ball. Walt Anderson and crew officiated the play as if it was a catch and fumble, but later ruled that the pass was incomplete. This was challenged by the Rams. It was determined that Hyde caught the pass, turned upfield and fumbled the ball, and that there was a clear recovery by the Rams; therefore the call on the field was reversed.
Colts at Raiders
Ed Hochuli (and crew) flagged Derek Carr for intentional grounding. This is a “crew call”, where the officials near the pass bring information to the referee who then combines that with what he has seen and makes the determination. Carr threw the ball with no receiver even close to being in the vicinity. However, it didn’t appear that Carr was under pressure, which is a necessary element to the penalty.
Hochuli’s announcement of the rule was not incorrect: after Carr protested (picked up by the stadium mic) that his receiver ran the wrong route, Hochuli explained that the intent of the receiver does not matter when determining if he was in the vicinity.
Buccaneers at Saints
On a punt by the Buccaneers to the Saints, Buccaneers DB Ryan Smith was forced out of bounds on the coverage. By rule, if forced out, a kicking team player must return in bounds in a “reasonable amount of time.” Instead of this, Smith juked as if he was coming back in bounds and continued to run out of bounds in an attempt to get around Saints blockers. This is, by rule, enforced as an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.
Colts at Raiders
Chippy start to the game. Ed Hochuli flags offsetting personal fouls. The crew is pinching in on just about every play to snuff out any tinderboxes. Hochuli was also seen scolding two players who were threatening fisticuffs. It will be a busy game for the crew.
Vikings at Packers (video)
Line judge Sarah Thomas had to leave the game, presumably to be evaluated for a concussion, after being mixed up in a sideline tackle. Thomas returned later in the game.
Dolphins at Bills (video)
The Dolphins kicked a field goal to tie and send the game to overtime with 6 seconds remaining. Bills coach Rex Ryan realized that he only has 10 defensive players, attempted to call timeout and “ice” Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks, but did not call timeout in time. After the play, Ryan was quite flustered, protesting that he called timeout. Broadcast replays confirmed that the timing of his request was indeed too late.
Bills cornerback Corey White (#30) can be seen signaling timeout before the snap. However, he was in very close proximity to (although also behind) the side judge. If he was verbalizing “time out”, he would have at least gotten the official’s attention, but appeared to simply signal it in the general direction of the sideline. The signal itself does not grant a timeout — players or coaches must be recognized by the official.
Vikings at Packers (video)
Sarah Thomas calls this closer-than-it-looks Aaron Rodgers touchdown scramble.
Washington at Chicago (video)
Bears quarterback Matt Barkley throws into triple coverage and is intercepted at the goal line by cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The call on the field was that the interception occurred in the end zone.
The review showed that Breeland was touched on the helmet on his way to the ground, which puts him down by contact by rule.
Without the contact, however, the same ruling would be made. Since Breeland lands in the field of play, this is where the interception occurred under the intercepting momentum rule. This means, if the ball is intercepted at the 1, a player’s momentum cannot carry him into the end zone for a touchback. If he doesn’t attempt to advance from the end zone, the momentum exception reverts the change of possession back to the 1-yard line.
- U 81 Roy Ellison* to Coleman’s crew (SD-CLE)
- LJ 101 Carl Johnson to Blakeman’s crew (NYG-PHI/Thurs.)
- FJ 95 James Coleman* to Cheffers’ crew (CIN-HOU)
- SJ 89 Jon Lucivansky* to Corrente’s crew (DEN-KC/Sunday night)
- BJ 39 Rich Martinez to Morelli’s crew (TEN-JAX)
*Swing officials that are moved between crews each week.