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Officiating Dept. Video

Officiating video: spiking in bench area, low blocks, picks, forward pitches

Senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron released the week 17 officiating video



Senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron released the week 17 officiating video (below). In it he covered, among other things, a taunting situation with Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson in their season finale against the Patriots. Anderson caught a pass and went out bounds inside the Patriots sideline. As he got up, he spiked the ball, and it hit a player from the opposing team (whose flop did not draw a flag).

Riveron pointed that spiking the ball in front of, or inside, the bench area of an opponent or at an opponent is considered taunting, though the rule doesn’t expressly that spiking the ball in the bench area is taunting, only if it’s “directed at an opponent.” No flag was thrown on this play; this should have been a 15-yard dead-ball taunting, which would have counted as his first unsportsmanlike penalty toward ejection. 

Also covered were blocks below the waist after a change of possession during the play. No player may block below the waist after a change in possession. Riveron also covered legal blocking on a pass play and used examples from the Seahawks-Cardinals game where receivers made contact within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage and the Falcons-Panthers game, where the receivers did not initiate contact on a pass until the pass was completed. 

On a forward pass in the Jets-Patriots game, Jets quarterback Bryce Petty caught the snap (which is considered a backwards pass) and tossed it forward but it fell incomplete. The play was ruled incomplete because Petty possessed the ball and then tossed it forward. If he had not possessed it, it would have been a fumble.

Lastly, in a play from the Packers-Lions game, a Packers defender Mike Daniels was flagged for leverage on a point-after-touchdown try as he put his hands on the offensive players in front of him and jumped into the back field on the snap. The foul is 15 yards and is assessed on the kickoff, since the kick was good.