Keep checking here for rolling coverage throughout the day on Sunday. If you see anything confusing, unusual, or controversial, please let us know.
:01 on the kickoff
Jaguars at Cardinals. On the final multiple-lateral, —26 yard kickoff return by the Jaguars, there was only 1 second on the clock at the beginning of the play. The Jaguars could only have an opportunity for a snap with 1 second if the kickoff (1) goes out of bounds, (2) goes into the end zone, or (3) is fair caught. Since it was a squib kick up the middle, none of these were available. If the Jaguars touch the ball in the field of play and immediately surrender to a knee, the 1 second comes off the clock by rule.
Additionally, if there was a foul by the Cardinals, it would extend the game by an untimed down.
Another oddity on this kickoff is that the Cardinals were penalized for a rare kickoff delay of game foul and kicked off from the 30.
Opening kickoff voided
Seahawks at 49ers. The opening kickoff by the 49ers was voided, because the ball fell off the tee just prior to the kick. Because this is an illegal kick when it is done deliberately, the kicking team is allowed a redo without penalty since it’s not intentional. A holder will be required for the kick once it falls off the tee.
Football Zebras presents You Make the Call
Saints at Rams (video). Greg Zuerlein of the Rams kicks off to Tommylee Lewis of the Saints. Lewis touches the ball at the 2, and grabs the ball in the end zone, where he takes a knee. Now you make the call: is this a touchback or a safety?
What call did you make? A kick remains a kick until it’s possessed, and since the Saints did not take possession of the ball until the end zone, it is a touchback. Saints ball at the 25.
Three ejections in Oakland
Seahawks at 49ers. 49ers safety Eric Reid hit and knocked a receiver to the ground and was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver, though he wasn’t thrown the ball. Any receiver running a route has defenseless player protections now. Does not have to have the ball thrown to them for it to be a flag. Rule change was passed by a majority of owners in the offseason.
Howey working in TN
Colts at Titans (video). A late addition to the substitution list today. Swing down judge Jim Howey is working the Titans-Colts game. He is working on Craig Wrolstad’s crew. Another swing official, umpire Bill Schuster, is also on the game.
Panthers at Jets. A NY Jets touchdown catch by Austin Sefarian-Jenkins was overturned as it was determined that he did not control the ball going to the ground out of bounds. Replays showed Sefarian-Jenkins landed out of bounds while still bobbling the ball, therefore it was ruled incomplete due to the player touching the out-of-bounds line. It is worth noting that Fox NFL Sunday rules analyst Dean Blandino did not see enough of a bobble to rule it incomplete, and I tend to agree. Movement of the ball is not automatic grounds for not having control.
Bobby McCain ejected
Dolphins at Patriots (video). Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain threw a punch and threw himself out of the game. A closed-fist punch that connects is an automatic ejection. It is the 12th ejection this year, and the first by Ron Torbert’s crew.
On the succeeding play, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tackled Patriots running back Dion Lewis with an assist from an uncalled face mask foul. Suh initially contacted the face mask with an open hand, which is legal. There was a subsequent grasp and twist of the headgear which was not seen by the covering officials. The penalty yardage was moot as the Patriots scored a touchdown on the next play.
Riding the sideline to the pylon
Buccaneers at Falcons (video). Julio Jones keeps his feet in bounds as he dives for the pylon to get a spectacular touchdown.
No forward progress without contact
Bears at Eagles.Late in the second quarter the Eagles challenged the spot when a pass from quarterback Carson Wentz to Nelson Agholor was marked short of a first down.Though Agholor caught the ball beyond the line-to-gain as he fell back towards the line of scrimmage, he was not contacted by a defender until he was short of the first down. Forward progress is not considered until there is contact from a defender, so the call was confirmed.
Be ready even when players aren’t
Dolphins at Patriots (video). The Patriots snap it to Tom Brady, which came as news to him. The Dolphins recover the loose ball and take it in for a touchdown.
Good alert officiating by referee Ron Torbert and umpire Dan Ferrell.
Was it something I said?
Browns at Bengals. Browns receiver Bryce Treggs locked up after the play with Bengals cornerback William Jackson. There was some shoving back and forth, but at a level that the players get separated, and the official cools them down with a warning. As they are separated, two flags fly immediately, meaning something verbal crossed a hard line. Treggs was penalized for taunting, and with the -1 yard pass on the play, the Browns were faced with 2nd & 26. (The dead-ball foul means the down counts.) Treggs will face an ejection if he receives another unsportsmanlike conduct foul in the two-step disqualification category.
Officials pick up a block in the back
Bears at Eagles. The officials call a block on the back on the Bears, but after the penalty announcement, Walt Coleman’s crew picks up the flag. Replays show there was no block in the back and the TV announcers praised the officials for reversing themselves.
Two turnovers on one play
Bears at Eagles (video). During the first quarter in Philadelphia, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw a pass that was intercepted by Eagles defensive back Malcom Jenkins. During the return, Jenkins fumbled and it was recovered by the Bears. The Bears’ possession ended with the interception, so recovering the fumble starts a new possession for the Bears. The chains are reset to 1st and 10, and the clock starts on the snap.
Fake punt transition
Dolphins at Patriots (video). Patriots coach Bill Belichick calls for an opening-drive fake punt on a 4th-and-9 from their own 26. The down judge and line judge still maintain the line of scrimmage, since that is still in play. The deep officials have to adjust on the fly to a potential pass, although they already have a keyed receiver before the snap. They will assume every punt can be a fake punt, and prepare accordingly.
At the end of the video, the touchdown run was reviewed and confirmed.
Rice back on the field
Bears at Eagles. Umpire Jeff Rice is back on the field today after a Week 10 spill.
The following are scheduled substitutions, and we will revise if we see any late substitutions.
- U20 Barry Anderson to Triplette’s crew (TB-ATL)
- U64 Dan Ferrell* to Torbert’s crew (MIA-NE)
- U71 Ruben Fowler to Parry’s crew (NO-LAR)
- U129 Bill Schuster* and DJ37 Jim Howey* to Wrolstad’s crew (TEN-IND)
- DJ91 Jerry Bergman to Boger’s crew (LAC-DAL/Thanksgiving)
- DJ134 Ed Camp to McAulay’s crew (NYG-WAS/Thanksgiving)
- LJ68 Tom Stephan* to Hussey’s crew (CLE-CIN)
- SJ26 Jabir Walker to Morelli’s crew (SEA-SF)
- SJ41 Boris Cheek to Allen’s crew (HOU-BAL/Monday night)
*Swing officials that are assigned to different crews each week