Senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron released the week 10 officiating video. (video below)
Legal quarterback contact
First topic covered is legal quarterback contact. Redskins quarterback Alex Smith was hit legally when he broke outside the pocket and became a runner down the sideline. The defender lowered his shoulder in Smith’s chest/shoulder area and delivered a hit to tackle him along the sideline. He did not make contact with his helmet and he did not hit Smith to the head or neck area. Once a quarterback leaves the pocket, he loses the protections afforded a passer and becomes a runner. He is still protected from being hit in the head or neck area with forcible contact.
In the Panthers-Buccaneers game, quarterback Cam Newton ran out of the pocket in an attempt to pick up the first down and slid late before being contacted. If a quarterback slides late and is contacted by the defender, it is not necessarily a foul as contact was imminent. The defender can still draw a foul if he contacts the quarterback with forcible contact to the head or neck area. On this particular play, it was decided that the contact to the head was not forcible, but incidental.
Also, a quarterback or ball carrier who slides down is down immediately because he gives himself up and the ball is spotted where it was when the first body part touches the ground. The runner is not given any extra yards for the slide and cannot be considered to have fumbled if he loses possession.
Unnecessary roughness downfield
A receiver who catches a pass downfield is still awarded defenseless player protections after the catch if he is not able to protect himself in time to take a hit, therefore there can be no forcible contact to the neck or head area by defender.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes spiked the ball with nine seconds left in the first half of a game against the Browns. We covered this in a much longer thread, but briefly, the offense cannot spike the ball to run time off of a stopped clock. The quarterback may only spike it to stop a running clock. On the play before, the officials blew the whistle to stop play for an off-sides. After the Chiefs declined the penalty, the clock remained stopped as it is supposed to for declined penalties after the 2-minute warning in the first half. The signal was given to start the play clock, not the game clock. Mahomes was flagged for intentional grounding.