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Wild Card liveblog: Eagles at Bears

2018 NFC Wild Card Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the NFC Wild Card Playoff game from Soldier Field in Chicago.

If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us  @footballzebras.

Today’s crew is headed by Tony Corrente.

         Yrs 2018 crew College Occupation
R 99 Tony Corrente 24    Cal State-Fullerton retired educator
U 128 Ramon George 3 Blakeman Lenoir-Rhyne vice president, operations
DJ 6 Jerod Phillips 3 Wrolstad Northeastern State elementary school teacher
LJ 79 Kent Payne 15 Martin Nebraska Wesleyan teacher
FJ 116 Mike Weatherford 17 swing Oklahoma State energy trader
SJ 56 Allen Baynes 11 Hussey Auburn realtor
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 10 Corrente Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative
  • Replay official:  John McGrath
  • Replay assistant:  Eugene Cunningham
  • Alternates:  Jerome Boger (R), Carl Johnson (LJ), Keith Ferguson (BJ)


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6 thoughts on “Wild Card liveblog: Eagles at Bears

  1. I don’t like the fumble recovery after the whistle provision in replay. Players are taught to stop after whistle, but here the actions after the whistle can still impact the ruling. I think this aspect of review needs to be changed to either have the incomplete/catch and fumble reversal benefiting the catcher or altogether remove the recovery after the play provision.
    I think the quick signal by the BJ made it worse. I get this is a bang-bang play, but they want to get it right and they can always back track their steps if need be. This is unlike other sports, where if you wait too long to make your decision it’s too late.

  2. I don’t agree with football zebras assessment at all about the referees getting the catch/fumble play with Anthony Miller. The fact is the ref blew the call first and foremost about it being incomplete, and he immediately blew the play dead and waved his arms that it was an incomplete pass. Why would any of the players attempt to recover the ball if he blew the play dead anyways? Once Miller made the catch and subsequent fumble, the play was then called dead at that point by the referee which officially ended that play. Then, and rightfully so, the Bears challenged the incomplete pass call by the referee in which it was unquestionably a catch and then fumble. But once the referee signaled the ball incomplete and blew the play dead, it doesn’t matter who recovers the ball at that point because the referee officially ended the play at the point when he blew his whistle and wrongfully called it an incomplete catch. So not only did the refs blow the call on the catch, but then they made it worse by ruling the play dead and then made a critical third mistake after watching the replay and saying it was incomplete on the basis that no one recovered the fumble? If the referee had not blown the play dead by wrongfully calling it incomplete and let the play continue, then I’m sure one of the players would of attempted to recover the ball. But because it was the referees mistake on the completed pass and then ruling the play dead, why should the Bears have to pay for their mistake? Historically, the referees have shown a bias against the Bears when it comes to judgement calls, and this is yet another example of them consistently making terrible judgement calls against the Bears at crucial moments during a game, and something needs to be done about this obvious prejudice against the team that started the league in the first place, other than an apology to the Bears organization after the fact.

  3. Really bad job on that Anthony Miller play by BJ 30 Prukup.

    Of course no player is going to go for that fumble after the play is waived dead and the whistle is blown. Inexcusable gaffe by the BJ.

  4. The rule is flawed in that it depends on dead ball action to determine the result of the play. In this case, once the incomplete signal is given, players will stop playing.
    Determining the result of the play after what happens after said signal is wanting.

  5. I wonder if the rule on dead ball recovery will change when we start players picking up dead ball every time, delaying the game or if it will take them starting to tackle each other while going for the ball after whistle.

  6. I’d like to add some last thoughts to my previous post concerning the officiating of this game. I realize that it is impossible for a referee crew to spot every single foul that gets committed during the course of a football game. And I also am aware that in the playoffs, most of the time the referees will “let the teams play” and will not call fouls committed that would be seen as being “ticky tack” or calls that would be considered being very picky, things such as Defensive backs and Wide Receivers hand fighting down the field or offensive lineman grabbing onto a defensive player by the shoulder pads, or even some pass interference fouls that normally would be called In other words, as long as the fouls committed are so obvious and flagrant that no one could question the validity of the penalty. That being said, and after watching the Bears Eagles Wild Card game again, there were obvious fouls committed that were not called, and decisions by these refs that played a critical role in determining the outcome of this game. Example 1: 1 minute 39 seconds left in the 1st quarter, the Eagles have a 3rd and 9 and backed up on their own 7 yard line. Darren Sproles gets the ball on a draw play and runs up the middle getting near the first down marker and gets tackled by Devon Bush of the Bears, seems short by several inches of the first down. The side judge immediately claims it to be a first down, despite the fact that Sproles never got to the line to make, and after watching the replay myself, he indeed was no where close to where the referee spotted the ball, prompting even the announcer, Al Michaels, to proclaim the referees have indeed “Given them (The Eagles) a very Fortuitous Spot” in giving the eagles the first down. This was a huge break for the Eagles in that it dramatically changed the field position since if the Eagles were short of that first down and being so deep in their own territory that they would of punted the ball to the Bears and more than likely, would of given the Bears excellent field position on their next possession. Example 2: This is a big one that somehow everyone has overlooked. 8:21 of the 3rd quarter, Eagles have the ball 3rd down 6 yards to go on their own 20 yard line. With thePlay cock running down and Foles noticing this, heclaps frantically to get the ball snapped to avoid a delay of game penalty.. The play clock runs down to 00, and it is at least a good half second later that the ball gets snapped. This should of been an obvious delay of game penalty against the Eagles. But instead the referees allow the play to continue and the first of 2 penalties that get called against the Bears happened on that play, which would of never happened to begin. had the play been stopped for the Delay of Game Penalty. The points in fact that I claim here are indisputable. I have evidence from this game that support these facts that cannot be explained away or argued to the contrary. The underlying fact is that the referees in this game made mistakes in their calls and coincidentally, were called against the Chicago Bears and were called at critical moments that, without question, had a major impact on the outcome of this game.

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