5 officiating observations from Wild Card weekend

Six wild card games in three days, including a triple header one day! Whew! Six crews, 42 on field officials, and lots of calls. Here are a few thoughts about the weekend. 1. Mistakes happen no matter the experience The Raiders-Bengals game featured an erroneous whistle (formerly called an inadvertent whistle). While

A shocking 3 officials miss all or parts of 3 games in Week 17

In an unprecedented situation, three NFL officiating crews worked all or part of three games with six-person crews. To the best of our memories, we cannot recall two crews working an official down on one day, let alone three. Hochuli crew starts with six Down judge Ed Camp did not start Giants-Bears

2 unusual penalties on the same play: illegal hideout and sideline interference

The Rams attempted to catch everyone off guard with a quick substitution/fake punt in the first quarter of the game against the Giants. The play eventually wound up confusing everyone watching the game as well. The Fox Sports broadcast crew had to dump out of the replay of the third down

Players are adapting to the taunting point of emphasis faster than expected

For 2021, the NFL Competition Committee issued a point of emphasis directing the officials to strictly flag a player for unsportsmanlike conduct if they taunt an opponent, through words and actions that disrespect or demean. At the time I predicted that players and coaches would adapt to the new emphasis point after

Instant replay mistake in AFC Championship Game confirmed

Sources tell Football Zebras that the NFL has internally acknowledged that replay incorrectly reviewed whether or not Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen stepped out of bounds before he threw a pass in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. https://streamable.com/c7ex0s Referee Bill Vinovich ruled that Allen had stepped out of bounds before he threw the

5 observations from championship weekend, 2020

We've made it all the way through the conference championships, and here are my officiating impressions from the weekend. 1. Umpire hustle https://streamable.com/38ntps Both Barry Anderson and Ramon George showed lots of hustle this weekend. It is hard to see in snippets of them running through the frame, but experienced zebra-watchers could tell

5 officiating observations from the divisional playoffs

The divisional playoff weekend featured two ho-hum games on Saturday and two intense games on Sunday. No matter the game, all four crews did a very nice job. Here are some officiating observations from the divisional weekend. 1. Great to see Clay Martin Martin was hospitalized a few weeks ago after going on

6 officiating observations from Super Wild Card weekend

Six football games in 48 - hours! Whew! The games start to blend together. Here are some officiating observations and notes from this weekend. 1. Two alternates The last time an alternate came in to work was in 2007, due to an injury. This week we had two alternates start the game --

Officially, beards are in this season

  Have you noticed something different with NFL officials this year? This year, NFL officials have been sporting facial hair and down judge Sarah Thomas is wearing her hair in a ponytail, out the back of an adjustable official's hat. (Up until this season, she wore her hair pinned up under