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Ed Hochuli’s crew gets a big call right

hochuli Getty Images

When Ed Hochuli refereed a Chargers-Broncos game in 2008, disaster struck: Hochuli wrongly ruled that Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler had thrown an incomplete pass when Cutler had actually fumbled, and the botched call handed the Broncos the game. When Hochuli refereed in San Diego tonight for the first time since then, he was booed by Chargers fans.

But on a tough call in the first quarter of tonight’s Raiders-Chargers game, Hochuli got a tough call exactly right, to the Chargers’ benefit.

It happened when the Raiders ran a fake punt, with Shane Lechler taking the snap and throwing a deep ball to Jacoby Ford. Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer hit Ford just before the ball arrived, and the Raiders were incredulous, demanding a pass interference flag.

But no flag came, and after a brief consultation Hochuli turned on his microphone and explained a little-known rule: When the offense lines up in a punt formation, there’s no such thing as pass interference on the end man on the line of scrimmage.

The pass interference section of the NFL’s online digest of rules makes it clear: “Whenever a team presents an apparent punting formation, defensive pass interference is not to be called for action on the end man on the line of scrimmage.”

So the call was the right one, and it was also smart of Hochuli to turn on the microphone and explain the rule. When a rule comes up that the fans are unlikely to know, it’s helpful for the ref to explain it.

Ford was later carted off the field with an apparent ankle injury. Chargers tackle Marcus McNeill has also left the game, with a stinger. Late in the first quarter the Raiders lead 7-3.

UPDATE: Hochuli later got a call right on a Carson Palmer fumble that was reminiscent of the Cutler play.

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53 Responses to “Ed Hochuli’s crew gets a big call right”
  1. edmazeing1 says: Nov 10, 2011 9:13 PM

    Dumb rule, P.I is P.I no matter what!!!

  2. tomsd1 says: Nov 10, 2011 9:15 PM

    Does that apply just to the line of scrimmage or downfield?

  3. deangelo23hall says: Nov 10, 2011 9:17 PM

    Ed Hochuli is the man

  4. staffordsyear says: Nov 10, 2011 9:22 PM

    What,is this the first?

  5. sharksfan754 says: Nov 10, 2011 9:23 PM

    This rule sucks. It should be the defenses responsibility to react to a fake.

  6. pikindaguy says: Nov 10, 2011 9:24 PM

    Does the same apply for FG formations too? Really interesting rule that makes sense.

    /Raiders fan satisfied with explanation, bitter about the play call.

  7. packernation90 says: Nov 10, 2011 9:25 PM

    i was shocked by that no-call, glad to see them get a call correct though, now if they would only get the roughing the passer penalties called correctly

  8. wwwmattcom says: Nov 10, 2011 9:25 PM

    Worst crew in the NFL.

  9. tampajoey says: Nov 10, 2011 9:27 PM

    I didn’t know you could not get a pass interference call on a fake punt. I thought I knew everything. Ok, NOW I know everything.

  10. donniebrownsco says: Nov 10, 2011 9:27 PM

    A Hochulian effort..

  11. dumplingsrbrown says: Nov 10, 2011 9:30 PM

    NFL refs must all be retired weathermen.

  12. bigbeefyd says: Nov 10, 2011 9:31 PM

    Makes perfect sense. No way the gunner could possibly even know if the ball was in the air. Good call, Ed.

    (full disclosure…I am a Bronco fan. While Bolts fans were sending Hochuli death threats, I was making cupcakes to send to him).

  13. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 10, 2011 9:35 PM

    wwwmattcom says: Worst crew in the NFL.
    ————-
    Why? Cause it was a good no-call?

  14. briang123 says: Nov 10, 2011 9:39 PM

    30 -plus years of watching football and never heard of that rule. You learn something new all the time in football.

  15. warvette says: Nov 10, 2011 9:44 PM

    wwwmattcom says: Nov 10, 2011 9:25 PM

    Worst crew in the NFL.

    i would say phil luckett’s crew is far worse.

  16. edhochuli says: Nov 10, 2011 9:50 PM

    Upon further review…. I effed up.

  17. nevin999 says: Nov 10, 2011 9:56 PM

    I was impressed too.

  18. naeem42 says: Nov 10, 2011 9:59 PM

    bigbeefyd says:
    Nov 10, 2011 9:31 PM
    Makes perfect sense. No way the gunner could possibly even know if the ball was in the air. Good call, Ed

    _______________________

    That’s a great point. Not only was the call right, but the rule is a good one. The return team players opposite the gunners have a responsibility to physically prevent him from getting downfield. Their backs would be turned to the punter and they’d have no idea that the punt was a fake.

    If the rule was not in place, it would be conceivable for a punter to chuck the ball towards a gunner, if he was being roughed up, for an instant PI.

    That said, I had no idea this was a rule.

  19. jbaxt says: Nov 10, 2011 10:00 PM

    These poor teams playing for 2nd place in the AFC West, a 1 team playoff race. Go Chiefs!

  20. klunge says: Nov 10, 2011 10:00 PM

    Finally something on this site that is REALLY news!

  21. forthelove says: Nov 10, 2011 10:03 PM

    Hochuli is a beast. I need to get one of those padded muscle shirts, too.

  22. straightcash844 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:03 PM

    Hochuli just wanted to explain the rule so his biceps could get a little more camera time.

  23. war27 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:03 PM

    the rules you learn while watching Raider games are amazing.

  24. jbaxt says: Nov 10, 2011 10:21 PM

    @war27

    “the rules you learn while watching Raider games are amazing.”

    Now if the faiders could just learn the rules.

  25. derekjetersmansion says: Nov 10, 2011 10:21 PM

    @ war27

    Yeah, like the read-option still allowed in the NFL.

  26. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Nov 10, 2011 10:23 PM

    i’m glad they got something right. they handed the vikings a W 2 weeks ago on a pathetic offensive PI called on steve smith when he blocked a dude across the field while cam was in the end zone. if they are 50% correct 50% of the time then i wish they’d get fined for sh!tty officiating.

  27. david7590 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:28 PM

    Most, myself included, probably didn’t know that rule. How often does a Punter throw the ball, let alone chuck it 40 yards down field?

  28. raiders757 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:42 PM

    At first I was yelling at the TV. Good job by Ed and his team to not only make the right call, but for Ed to make sure he took time to explain the rule to the rest of us. I have to agree with the others who think this is a good rule. It does make sense.

    I liked the fake punt attempt, but would have preferred a higher percentage pass play. Even better, just line up and run Bush.

  29. PCa Survivor says: Nov 10, 2011 10:45 PM

    wwwmattcom says:
    Nov 10, 2011 9:25 PM

    Worst crew in the NFL.

    _____________________

    You haven’t seen Walt Coleman

  30. tatum064 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:45 PM

    AND IT HAD CRAP TO DO WITH THE OUTCOME OF THE GAME – take that “gets a big call right”

    Raiders DOMINATING!!! Refs aint deciding this

  31. tatum064 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:47 PM

    Hochuli got another controversial call… on that Charger TD

    crazy

  32. wwwmattcom says: Nov 10, 2011 10:48 PM

    Worst crew, not based on one call, duh. Based on watching them with NFL ticket.

  33. tatum064 says: Nov 10, 2011 10:50 PM

    jbaxt says:
    Nov 10, 2011 10:21 PM
    @war27

    “the rules you learn while watching Raider games are amazing.”

    Now if the faiders could just learn the rules
    ==============
    They learning to smash some Chargers ….

  34. grandpoopah says: Nov 10, 2011 11:13 PM

    Ed Hochuli and his crew just overturned an obvious touchdown pass based on some complete BS and on the very next play, failed to call Wimbley for a blatant helmet to helmet hit on Rivers. Ed Hochuli and his crew are HACKS!

  35. grandpoopah says: Nov 10, 2011 11:13 PM

    Ed Hochuli and his crew just overturned an obvious touchdown pass based on some complete BS and on the very next play, failed to call Wimbley for a blatant helmet to helmet hit on Rivers.

  36. kankles12 says: Nov 10, 2011 11:17 PM

    what about the next line in the rules: Defensive holding, such as tackling a receiver, still can be called and result in a 5-yard penalty and automatic first down from the previous spot, if accepted.

  37. raideralex99 says: Nov 10, 2011 11:56 PM

    now that every player sees that play … There should not be another fake punt pass caught again … Dumb rule

  38. rayjayjohnsonjr says: Nov 10, 2011 11:58 PM

    Can Hochuli find a tighter shirt somewhere? What a stud he tries to be.

  39. keeponhating says: Nov 11, 2011 12:00 AM

    Its funny how all the “little known” rules come to light when the Raiders are playing.

  40. sammievee says: Nov 11, 2011 1:08 AM

    Considering the rule, it’s silly to call a play wher throwing to a player that can be legally mugged with the ball in the air.

  41. discosucs2005 says: Nov 11, 2011 2:16 AM

    Why is no one else curious whether that applies to offensive pass interference? Because if so…

  42. bigguy54 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:23 AM

    grandpoopah
    Not sure what you were looking at, but the ball came loose and the defender who was out of bounds touched the ball, therefore the ball was out of bounds. The announcers were very poor on that play, it was obvious the ball came loose. Sorry, but you are wrong with this one.

    OH and I am no Faider fan, so don’t even go there.

  43. tatum064 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:25 AM

    keeponhating says:
    Nov 11, 2011 12:00 AM
    Its funny how all the “little known” rules come to light when the Raiders are playing.

    ============

    Especially when they are dominating the Chargers – 6 sacks, well over 160 yards rushing…it shouldve been much worse – Hochuli tried to get in on the action, but the Raiders manhandled them and Chargers were leaving the game left and right.

    as Jamie Dukes said..They’re soft. Whenever people go to the “horrible officiating take” its when a team is puting a physical beatdown on someone .

  44. db105 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:38 AM

    Little know rule like the tuck rule.

  45. gsr1191 says: Nov 11, 2011 7:42 AM

    i dont understand how you are not allowed to call PI on a punt but later in the game you can call “defensive holding before the ball was punted” and give an automatic first down. In my eyes defensive holding is called when a receiver is running a route for a pass. doesnt make sense.

  46. vickadelphiaphreedom says: Nov 11, 2011 8:41 AM

    Unfortunately…rules are rules….however dumb they may be. See “tuck rule”.

  47. adstout says: Nov 11, 2011 9:04 AM

    WOW the IQ on these boards continues to impress me. For those of you that can’t understand why the rule is in place, maybe you should quit watching football.

    Its pretty simple that the defender can block the offense wideout down the field so the punt returner can have a chance to return the kick. it is impossible for the defender to know if the punter tosses up a pass while the defender is blocking. There would be pass interference on every play as fake punts would be the norm if interference could be called.

    Dumb rule??? More like dumb fans

  48. adstout says: Nov 11, 2011 9:07 AM

    gsr1191 says: Nov 11, 2011 7:42 AM

    i dont understand how you are not allowed to call PI on a punt but later in the game you can call “defensive holding before the ball was punted” and give an automatic first down. In my eyes defensive holding is called when a receiver is running a route for a pass. doesnt make sense.
    ——————————————-

    so the defense should be able to grab ahold of the wideout and hold onto him preventing him from going downfield to tackle punt returner. Thanks for making my point about ignorant fans.

  49. jnks10 says: Nov 11, 2011 9:20 AM

    What you guys don’t understand because you’ve never played football or are a raiders fan is when a team punts a lot of times your are blocking a person all the way down the field and not looking at the play. There for you could fake punt it everytime and nearly every time will get a pass interference call unless there is a rule like this.

  50. realitypolice says: Nov 11, 2011 9:38 AM

    edmazeing1 says:
    Nov 10, 2011 9:13 PM
    Dumb rule, P.I is P.I no matter what!!!
    =========================

    No, dumb post.

    If you could call pass interference on the man on the end of the line, all the punter would have to do is take the snap, wait for some to engage the man on the end of the line, and then throw the ball at him.

    It would have to be called PI every time.

  51. raiders4life says: Nov 11, 2011 9:48 AM

    I was thinking you were referring to the Chargers’ TD pass that was later reviewed and waived off due the fact the football was in contact with Raider DB Lito Shepperd while he was out of bounds while simultaneously in the receivers’ hand, making the football a dead ball. Well officiated game overall, I thought.

  52. minkytails says: Nov 11, 2011 12:22 PM

    Every time I hear Ed Hochuli’s name I think back to the game that John Madden gushed incredulously about the size of his pipes. “Ed Hochuli’s been working out!”

  53. radrntn says: Nov 11, 2011 1:07 PM

    you are correct MDS, it is in the nfl rule book, under section 16, part k, under. Rules to screw the raiders, and falls right under the tuck rule, followed by the louis murphy rule, followed by on any third and long play for any opposing team against the raiders call defensive holding, followed by that call.

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