In this week’s officiating video, senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron touched on plays that cover a runner diving into the end zone, status of the game clock as time is close to expiring, and enforcing fouls during try attempts.
Runner diving toward the goal line
In the Sunday Night Football game from last week, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz dove into the end zone on a two-point conversion, and it was initially ruled good by down judge Jim Mello. However, once the play went into replay, it was clear that Wentz’s knee touched the ground during his dive, prior to the ball breaking the plane of the goal line. When any runner dives forward, he will be treated in the same manner as if he was sliding to give himself up. Thus, once his knee hits the ground, the ball is dead. Although Wentz was not touched on this play, he is treated the same was as if he was giving himself up, and as a result, is down short of the goal line on this try. The ruling was correctly reversed in replay.
Status of the game clock
As we saw the final sequence of the Bears-Broncos game, we wondered if Chicago was able to call a timeout prior to the game clock expiring. Although the game clock expired, Adrian Hill and his crew got together and added one second to the clock, allowing Chicago to kick a game winning field goal. Riveron explained that Bears receiver Allen Robinson caught a pass, and was touched down with one second remaining on the clock, and concurrently, a timeout was called from the Chicago sideline. Since the play ended with time still on the clock, Riveron confirmed the timeout was correctly granted to Chicago on the play.
Assessing fouls during the try
In another play from the Bears-Broncos game, while Denver was attempting a two-point conversion, their offense was called for delay of game. Instead of being backed up five yards on the run/pass conversion, Denver opted to be penalized five yards from the 15-yard line and attempt an extra-point kick instead. This extra point was missed, but Chicago was flagged for defensive offside. Under the rules, Denver is allowed to enforce the penalty for defensive offside on another kick attempt from the previous spot (the 20) or on a two-point conversion, moving up half the distance to the goal from the 2-yard line to the 1-yard line. When switching between the one- and two-point conversion spots, penalties on previous attempts are no longer applied, so the delay of game goes away.
Denver’s subsequent two-point conversion from the 1-yard line was successful.