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Quick calls: Week 1

Liveblog coverage of the calls and rules interpretations in Week 1.




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 Sep 10 • 10:45 pm EDT


Giants at Cowboys

A fumble by the Giants was ruled to be recovered by the offense in a pile fairly quickly, but the Cowboys contended that they had a recovery. The replay angles showed the fumble was conclusive, and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was deliberating calling for a challenge, but he was wise not to do so.

While it appears the Cowboys could have recovered, the video evidence must be conclusive for the fumble and possession. For possession, the player must demonstrate complete control of the ball. In the video, the ball disappears with an apparent struggle, which does not lend to a clear and indisputable recovery.

On the succeeding play, a penalty flag was picked up for Garrett being outside of the designated bench area. Since he was considering a challenge, he was permitted to be near the official, and is not penalized even though he declined to challenge.

Mark Schultz
Sun Sep 10 • 10:31 pm EDT


Texans at Jaguars (video)

Referee Tony Corrente and umpire Alan Eck with nice reverse mechanics to get to the goal line on this scoop and score. But we’ll give a gold star to down judge Patrick Turner for motoring down the sideline.

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 9:12 pm EDT


Philadelphia at Washington (video)

Replay is centralized now, and there are three new people in the command center to handle these calls. Under Dean Blandino’s leadership, the standard of conclusiveness was very rigid, almost to a fault. Now we will have to see how those standards are applied under new leadership.

An Eagles scoop-and-score off a fumble by quarterback Kirk Cousins late in the fourth quarter was subject to a review. A very tight play, but it seems conclusive that Cousins’ arm is going forward slightly when he loses control of the ball. This would have reversed the call to an incomplete pass, and Washington keeping the ball. Instead, the replay office decided it was inconclusive, and that the result of the play “stands.”

Curious to say the least. We shall see if this pattern of “stands” continues on close calls.

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 8:24 pm EDT


Raiders at Titans

The Titans were assessed a 5-yard running-into-the-kicker penalty which was enough to bring the Raiders in field goal range, but not enough for a first down.

However, this is clearly a roughing foul, which is 15 yards and an automatic first down. Contact with the plant leg of the kicker is 15 yards, 5 for the kicking leg (unless there is some other flagrant roughing).

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 7:22 pm EDT


Steelers at Browns (video)

A catch by Antonio Brown was upheld on replay. Difficult to see on the video above, but the ball was on the turf under Brown and it was reviewed to see if the catch process was finished to complete the pass. The ruling in replay was “stands,” lacking conclusive evidence.

Mark Schultz
Sun Sep 10 • 6:23 pm EDT


Steelers at Browns (video)

The Steelers block a Browns punt for a touchdown. The ball came right at referee Craig Wrolstad. He had to scramble into position to rule on the ball going out of the back of the endzone. He did well to put himself into position….better than the camera work on on the original play!

Mark Schultz
Sun Sep 10 • 6:04 pm EDT


Raiders at Titans (video)

Adoree’ Jackson with a big time hurdle. This is legal in the NFL and NCAA. If this happened in a high school game, it would be a 15-yard penalty.

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 5:57 pm EDT


Seahawks at Packers

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was ejected for throwing a punch early in the game, although the penalized action was not seen on video. Details are in a separate post.

Cameron Filipe
Sun Sep 10 • 4:11 pm EDT


Steelers at Browns (video)

On a short touchdown pass from Browns’ quarterback DeShone Kizer to receiver Corey Coleman, Steelers’ defender JJ Wilcox launched and contacted Coleman in the head while he was still in a defenseless posture. Back judge Lee Dyer threw the flag for the unnecessary roughness foul. CBS analyst Trent Green questioned why Cleveland did not enforce the penalty on the try and attempt the two-point conversion from the 1-yard line. Referee Craig Wrolstad explained to Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson that this is not possible. The penalty was enforced on the kickoff. Only fouls that occur on the try can be enforced to retry for two points from the 1-yard line. Cleveland still scored the two points, and then kicked off from midfield.

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 3:54 pm EDT


Falcons at Bears (video)

Falcons tight end Austin Hooper is able to extend the play via a stiff-arm and score an 88-yard touchdown. The ball carrier is allowed to make contact with the opponent’s facemask, but cannot twist or pull.

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 2:20 pm EDT


Cardinals at Lions

The leaping foul called against the Lions is a separate post.


Rich Madrid
Sun Sep 10 • 1:38 pm EDT


Raiders at Titans (video)

13:02 | 1st qtr. Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper caught a pass from Derek Carr and appeared to score before going down. Cooper caught the ball, turned up field and completed the catch process before pinning the ball against the ground to regain balance. He then fought his way into the end zone and video replay confirmed the ball broke the plane. 

Cameron Filipe
Sun Sep 10 • 1:26 pm EDT


Jets at Bills (video)

9:02 | 1st qtr. Following an interception in the end zone, New York defensive back Juston Burris’s return into the field of play ended following an inadvertent knockdown from behind by a teammate. As a result, Burris started to stand up to run off to the sideline, but was hit late by a Buffalo offensive lineman which knocked the ball loose. When Burris was hit by his teammate and went to the ground, he is not down by contact, so the late action by the Bills’ lineman is legal. However, Burris was upright on his knees when he was touched, so now he is down by contact after being touched by an opponent, and the Jets took over at their own 42-yard line.

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 1:07 pm EDT


Buccaneers at Dolphins

Today’s game was postponed to Week 11, but we are thinking about all our friends and family in Florida and who had to evacuate. Stay safe!

Ben Austro
Sun Sep 10 • 1:03 pm EDT


Today’s officials

Week 1 referee assignments

2017 officiating crews


  • SJ 55 Alex Kemp to Anderson’s crew
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