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League admits errors on Lions-Saints fumble

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Sunday’s game between the Steelers and Broncos included a bad call on an apparent fumble that allowed the Steelers to force an overtime period from which the Broncos emerged with a memorable win.  Saturday night’s game between the Lions and Saints included a bad call on an apparent fumble that could have allowed the Lions to seize a 21-7 lead late in the first half.

The league admits that two mistakes were made on the play.  One hurt the Lions, and one helped the Lions.

With 5:39 left in the second quarter, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was hit while attempting a pass.  The ball popped forward.  Believing it to be an incomplete pass, an official blew his whistle.  Lions linebacker Justin Durant thereafter recovered the ball and ran toward the end zone.  Then, it was announced that the ruling on the field was that Brees had fumbled — and that Detroit had recovered.

This prompted outrage from Lions fans, who believed that Detroit had been robbed of a touchdown.  Those Lions fans are right, but it could have been even worse.

“Referee Tony Corrente ruled the play was a fumble and a recovery by Detroit,” the league said in a statement emailed Sunday night to PFT.  “However, during the play and before Detroit recovered the fumble, another official blew the whistle believing it was an incomplete pass.  Because the ruling on the field was a fumble, and the whistle came before the recovery, the play is dead because of the inadvertent whistle and the Saints should have retained possession of the ball.  New Orleans would then have had the choice to put the ball in play at the spot where possession was lost or to replay the down.  Inadvertent whistles are not reviewable.”

So, basically, the inadvertent whistle took away the Lions’ touchdown.  But the rules dictate that the inadvertent whistle also should have given possession back to the Saints, since the ball had not been recovered at the time the inadvertent whistle blew.  (Given the option of taking possession at the spot of the fumble or playing the down over, the Saints would have taken the Mulligan.)

It’s a nonsensical provision, and if the Lions had lost possession of the ball entirely there could have been a “Fire Millen”-style march upon the league offices.  Given that video is now used to award possession after a whistle is blown in multipe other situations, the league needs to ensure that, if/when last night’s events happen again, the defense will at a minimum retain possession in the event of an inadvertent whistle.

Not because the officiating crew made a mistake in applying the rules, but because that’s what the rules require.

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139 Responses to “League admits errors on Lions-Saints fumble”
  1. cobrala2 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:06 PM

    Pereira will tell you it’s okay, don’t worry.

  2. outlawshark says: Jan 8, 2012 11:08 PM

    How about the league admitting the officials this year have sucked more than ever?

  3. pbolyard says: Jan 8, 2012 11:08 PM

    As a Lions fan and a fan of the NFL I am sick of he league apologizing for mistakes made in games when it’s already too late to fix it. Instead of writing apologies to teams and fans maybe the league could hire some capable officials that know all the rule to the NFL.

  4. db105 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:09 PM

    Does that mean players should play through a whistle? Does that also mean there will no longer be personal foul penalties for late hits?

  5. footballisking says: Jan 8, 2012 11:09 PM

    How many days will i have to wait for the league to admit that the line judge for the denver-pittsburgh game deserves to be banned from officiating any level of football..Harrison and Woodley get held every play all the time so usually it is not worth pointing it out becasue it is just a waste of energy…. but it was straight up criminal what the broncos were able to do and a line has to be drawn somewhere

  6. omegaichiban says: Jan 8, 2012 11:10 PM

    When is the league going to admit that Santonio Holmes never got two feet down in the end zone against the Cardinals. Put that on tv and discuss. Refs pretty much suck.

  7. briscocountyjr says: Jan 8, 2012 11:11 PM

    Just do a 2-for-1 with the steelers/broncos blown lateral fumble non-call…

  8. swgiblin says: Jan 8, 2012 11:11 PM

    Why does everyone assume it would have been a TD for the Lions? The Saints players didn’t attempt to recover the ball when the whistle blew. If the ref hadn’t blown the whistle, the Saints could have recovered the ball. So all in all, the Lions got lucky.

    But this is all spilt milk. Lions are sitting at home. Saints are getting ready for 49ers.

  9. binarybulge says: Jan 8, 2012 11:15 PM

    Yeah, I’m sure that’s consolation for Lions fans.

    I believe it highlights a huge problem with the current rules. I can’t believe how hard it apparently is for the refs to hold off on the whistle on close plays like QB fumbles or something even remotely resembling a lateral pass. Let the coaches have the ability to review the damn calls. You give them challenges precisely for situations like this, then come up with head-scratching reasons they can’t use them.

  10. bluestar12 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:15 PM

    Yo refs, the players should deciede games not you zebras.

  11. igetlaidmorethanyou says: Jan 8, 2012 11:15 PM

    Obvious to everyone except Cryon fans and conspiracy theorists. Saints kicked their a– up and down the field. Coulda scored 50+ but took their foot off the pedal.

  12. mt99808 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:16 PM

    Why don’t you ask them to explain the “hit to the head” on Spievey, the ridiculous spot on third down and the 10-15 blatant holds the Saints O-line was allowed to get away with?

  13. jhtobias says: Jan 8, 2012 11:22 PM

    Does the league admit the bears still suck

  14. thejuddstir says: Jan 8, 2012 11:23 PM

    I’ve been preaching for 40 years, yes 40….that the NFL needs full time officials. These officials could be going training camps and week practices where teams prepare with scrimmages and other actions that the officials could be watching, officiating and learning from. Do you know that of all the major sports in America that the NFL is the only one that does not have full time officials?

  15. elmstreeteagle says: Jan 8, 2012 11:24 PM

    All I have to say about the Broncos/Steelers game is that Teblow had (John) 316 yards.

  16. steelerrc says: Jan 8, 2012 11:25 PM

    Too many rules for the refs to decipher during a very fast game…….

  17. scra22 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:31 PM

    It bugs me that people say it would have been a sure TD for the Lions if no whistle had been blown. Everyone stopped playing when they heard it, no way to know if he would have been tackled. They were in not in Saints territory.

    Also, why do they call it an “inadvertent” whistle? Makes it sound like it was an accident. The guy was wrong, but it wasn’t like he didn’t mean to blow it.

  18. edavidberg says: Jan 8, 2012 11:32 PM

    It looked like the Lions would have almost certainly gotten the ball but I don’t think that guy would have taken it to the house. Inexcusable mistake though.

  19. polegojim says: Jan 8, 2012 11:34 PM

    This play didn’t beat the them, the Lions had many other opportunities to win the game… but at least it’s good the league saw the error.

    Next year, the Lions will be better equipped for 60 mins of hard nosed football.

    GO LIONS!

  20. rubicon202 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:38 PM

    Referees are horrible and continue to even worse. They miss calls and throw the flag on plays ur like WTF? I hate the ref’s I think they should should be disciplined with fines or suspensions for making dumb ass calls

  21. vikesfansteve says: Jan 8, 2012 11:38 PM

    Try having a 4th & 1 stopped short called a first down & then a pass interference called when the player wasn’t even touched handing the Saints the win. Also a low hit on the QB almost breaking his ankle that results in an INT not called. Also holding on nearly every offensive play not called. Welcome to the club Lions.

    pbolyard says:
    Jan 8, 2012 11:08 PM
    As a Lions fan and a fan of the NFL I am sick of he league apologizing for mistakes made in games when it’s already too late to fix it. Instead of writing apologies to teams and fans maybe the league could hire some capable officials that know all the rule to the NFL.

  22. rubicon202 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:41 PM

    Man i hate referees…did I already say that?

  23. fanisy says: Jan 8, 2012 11:41 PM

    The Lions may have gotten hosed, but you don’t deserve to win if your D is giving up over 600 yards of offense and missing tackles left and right.

    Still, got to be optimistic. Stafford is only getting better, and this is going to be the offense that probably gives the most D coordinators nightmares next year.

  24. vickspuppy says: Jan 8, 2012 11:46 PM

    True fans of the NFL accept that mistakes sometimes happen and then they move on. No sense whining about what you can’t control.

  25. sterlingsaint says: Jan 8, 2012 11:47 PM

    swgiblin is right on the mark here. You can watch Meachem just standing there with hands on hips because whistles were blowing nonstop, not just one whistle.

    BTW, how much time elapsed from whistle being blown and Justin Durant securing the ball? I count around 4-5 seconds. So please stop with the “HE WOULD HAVE SCORED” theme.

    The side ref came in clearly scissoring his arms saying it was incomplete. So if a Saint goes over and waylays Durant it’s a 15 yard penalty against the Saints.

    STOP pretending to know Durant would have scored if no whistles were blown.

    The only analyst that’s pointed this out is Trent Dilfer.

  26. richieab says: Jan 8, 2012 11:47 PM

    @footballisking no Bill Levy in this game so take your lumps like a man and shut it.

  27. briank1ne says: Jan 8, 2012 11:48 PM

    So wait a minute the lions are lucky cause 2 refs blew the whistle at 2 different wrong times? Lol

  28. dapell says: Jan 8, 2012 11:48 PM

    The officials in that game were some of the worst I’ve seen in a playoff game since they jobbed the Seahawks many years ago.

    They didn’t call a single hold on the Saints’ OL, and as the game wore on and the Saints figured out that there was no way they were going to call holding in the Superdome, the holds got more and more blatant. Detroit’s defense works off the pass-rush. Allow the opponent to hold on every play and it’s going to look as bad as it did last night.

    I’m not excusing some horrible defensive play by Detroit, but almost every big play the Saints had, you’d watch the replay and there was a Detroit defensive lineman getting held. The TD Brees threw to the wide-open receiver, he only had time to find that receiver because Suh was being bear-hugged from behind. And there were at least 10 other key plays where Brees had time to throw because a Lion was being held enough that in most games we’ve played this year our own offensive line would’ve drawn a flag.

  29. effedinLA says: Jan 8, 2012 11:49 PM

    I think the lack of an off season affected the refs more than the players. So many bad calls that were never corrected this weekend alone.

  30. smurfm69 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:49 PM

    Regardless of who your favorite team is, I’m sure most fans will agree that the officiating has not been very good this year. The players are getting reprimanded left and right for their actions but the officials seem to be immune form repercussions for their mistakes.

  31. dlmcc1010 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:52 PM

    The officiating all year has been incredibly bad. Between all the flags when someone gets hit too hard and the nonsense with whats a catch and what isnt a catch, its been a bad year in general for the refs.

    The league needs to really start coming down on officials who screw up as badly as these did on this play. This absolutely cost the Lions a TD and in a playoff game thats unnacceptable.

  32. der6495 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:55 PM

    These are the most important games of the season, why isn’t there another head official in the booth that can buzz down and say, “Hey, you can’t rule it that way.”

    You would think the officials would know the rules anyway, but they can’t allocate another referee upstairs for such instances to page through the rule book when stuff like this happens?

  33. frank booth says: Jan 8, 2012 11:56 PM

    pbolyard says:
    Jan 8, 2012 11:08 PM
    As a Lions fan and a fan of the NFL I am sick of he league apologizing for mistakes made in games when it’s already too late to fix it. Instead of writing apologies to teams and fans maybe the league could hire some capable officials that know all the rule to the NFL.
    ===================================
    Lion fans- your season is over. Stop whining.

    Missed calls are a part of the game. I don’t know where these other capable officials are for hiring or if there is anyone better. Neither do you.

    You have seven officials watching 22 men in motion on a 120 x 53 yard field. They aren’t going to see everything that goes on- They are at field level and don’t see the same things that 75 different cameras at different angles pick up on a telecast. They don’t have the benefit of seeing plays unravel in slow-motion.

    I think they have an incredibly tough job, yet they get more crap than anyone for missing a call. Given what they have to do, I think they do an incredibly good job under immense pressure, having to look through a sea of massive humanity for infractions. I severely doubt that anyone yapping on these boards can call a pee-wee level game without any mistakes, let alone a college or NFL game.

  34. roamingabriel says: Jan 9, 2012 12:00 AM

    All these old officials in the NFL are NOT cutting it.

    Set an age limit of like 40 and send these guys to the college game…

    It’s embarrassing…

  35. formervikingfan says: Jan 9, 2012 12:03 AM

    These playoffs have seen some of the worst officiating in years..
    Normally I don’t like to sit and piss & moan about the refs but dang..

  36. downsouth49er says: Jan 9, 2012 12:03 AM

    Why doesn’t the league just let the play play out and then review it to make the correct call? It seems that would be easier for the officials and fair to both teams.

    If the ball comes out of the QB’s hand and the defender recovers it, allow him to advance it until he is either tackled or scores. Then proceed with an automatic review like the current touchdown rule to determine rather it was a fumble or the hand was coming forward. Of course there are many different things that need to be looked at and the rule isn’t going to be as simple as I made it out to be.

    I just feel the competition committee needs to put in ample time reviewing, correcting and dismissing some of the current rules. It’s at the point now where the league is confusing not only the players and fans, but the very people who are supposed to enforce the rules on the field.

  37. jefferee101 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:06 AM

    Refs really screwed that game up…..Lions had a legitimate shot to win that game until the refs intervened to ensure their Packers vs Saints NFCCG. With all the money that hangs in the balance with TV ratings and contracts and Vegas, its naive to think that these games are not “pre-influenced” from up on high. But do they have to be so obvious?

  38. musicman495 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:07 AM

    “Because the ruling on the field was a fumble, and the whistle came before the recovery, the play is dead because of the inadvertent whistle and the Saints should have retained possession of the ball. New Orleans would then have had the choice to put the ball in play at the spot where possession was lost or to replay the down. Inadvertent whistles are not reviewable.”
    ———————————
    Well, well, well. Does this mean I won’t be reading any more dopey comments from Jim Schwartz about how the refs stole the game from him and his team?

  39. fijabbersman345 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:10 AM

    swgiblin says:
    Jan 8, 2012 11:11 PM
    Why does everyone assume it would have been a TD for the Lions? The Saints players didn’t attempt to recover the ball when the whistle blew. If the ref hadn’t blown the whistle, the Saints could have recovered the ball. So all in all, the Lions got lucky.

    ——————————————————-

    Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. A corner picked up the ball and had open field. It would have taken a Tebow for him not to score. Did you watch the play?

  40. roamingabriel says: Jan 9, 2012 12:11 AM

    And how stupid does an official have to be to blow an early whistle on an incomplete/fumble play?

    Anybody with half a brain knows the play is going to be a review and they should let it go to see who gets possession and where…

    Then blow your little whistle you morons!

  41. tatum064 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:12 AM

    But this is all spilt milk. Lions are sitting at home. Saints are getting ready for 49ers.

    ========

    If todays Bronco game was any indicator , the Saints should prepare to get rolled. Every home team won in the first round.

  42. firethorn1001 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:12 AM

    It all started with Fuqua clearly touching the ball and it has been downhill since…

  43. lhgpts says: Jan 9, 2012 12:14 AM

    swgiblin… you are either high, stupid, or a saints fan to realize how bad the officiating the entire game was. You have shown you know nothing about football, or anything to do with anything relevant in life in general.

  44. jlswisc says: Jan 9, 2012 12:16 AM

    The NFL’s explanation does not square with the Hochuli rule.

    This play should fall under the Hochuli rule (and unlike the Denver play, it is not exempted from the rule. Infact is is very similiar to the Cutler throw.)

    QB is attempting to pass but he (a) fumbles or (b) pass is incomplete.

    In the Huchuli play, the pass was ruled incomplete and the whistle blew. The Rule was then made that if a pass is ruled incomplete (play dead and whistle blows), but replay shows it was a fumble, if there is evidence the D recovered, D gets the ball but cant advance it.

    The only difference in the current play, is the call was a fumble (opposed to an incomplete). But replay clearly shows the lions recovered and thus they should get the ball but cant advance…But the NFL says this was improper.

    However, if the refs had ruled the Brees pass an incomplete (and thus blew the whistle), the Lions would be able to challenge and they WOULD get the ball. (Exact application of Hochuli play)

    Thus, it is actually better for the D if the play is ruled incomplete on the field.

    The distinction of allowing recovery after a whistle if initially ruled incomplete but disallowing recovery after a whistle if ruled a fumble is not one of substance, and is (if anything) backwards.

    The refs in the Lions game seemed to apply the Hochuli rule correctly based on what it was intended to do.

    Someone please explain further.

  45. lhgpts says: Jan 9, 2012 12:17 AM

    this spreads WAY beyond the Lions despite them being an almost bullseye for questionable calls this year.
    The nfl officiating has given the league a reputation on par with “pro” wrestling this year. The outrageous and blatently stupid and forged calls have cost several teams many victories this year.
    You cannot with a straight face say a team like the patriots was worth their record this year, the team was terrible. Their defense is childish at best.
    This is a vegas dream league.

  46. klunge says: Jan 9, 2012 12:21 AM

    An admission of error on by the league is more singular & monumental than a player breaking any statistical record this year. But again, too little too late.

    And nobody’s crying over spilt milk, except anyone who had money on the Lions to cover. Defense was bad, they’d have found a way to give that one away no matter what.

  47. mightyleemoon says: Jan 9, 2012 12:22 AM

    Not that it made a difference in this game. The Saints owned the Lions in the second half.

  48. Soulman45 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:24 AM

    All they need is the Jordan rule get to close it call foul.

  49. Soulman45 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:26 AM

    Stole that game from
    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS.

  50. kngunde says: Jan 9, 2012 12:26 AM

    @omegaichiban

    Santonio Holmes didn’t make that catch?! Really?! Get some glasses. Possession, feet down, catch. Don’t know what you’re seeing.

    However, I agree refs are inconsistent, but the best thing the league did was reviewing all scoring plays. Move in the right direction.

  51. 1historian says: Jan 9, 2012 12:28 AM

    what part of ’45-28′ don’t you understand?

  52. tzoppi says: Jan 9, 2012 12:29 AM

    why can’t the refs just let the play completely develop and make a call at the end? the worst that would happen would be there’s a few extra seconds of meaningless action, but its worth it to get the outcome correct.

    p.s. I also don’t understand why in this day and age there cannot be a review team in the booth to review every play and make Nfl less referee discretion.

  53. Ted Skroback says: Jan 9, 2012 12:40 AM

    Funny thing is the Lions got screwed earlier this season when almost an identical play happened the qb’s hand wasn’t coming forward the Lions challenged it was a fumble but since no Lion went and picked up the ball the ruling was fumble and the offense retained possession.

    In this case you can’t write the Lions would be screwed too if the correct call was made because even though there was a whistle blown if they reviewed the play saw that Durant obviously picked it up the Lions would have been in the same situation of getting the ball where they did. The head ref just cut out it having to be reviewed because he saw what happened.

    To sum it up Lions got screwed as they have all season a challenge would have gotten them the ball anyways according to the rule but that play should have been allowed to go, refs need to let close plays play out because of replay.

    Also a bit of star treatment for the Saints pro bowl oline, yes they did a great job against the dine, but there were multiple missed holding calls which goes back to the Lions being dirty and not getting calls their way.

    This league is too political

  54. bobhk says: Jan 9, 2012 12:47 AM

    It was a blown call for sure.

    But, I for one, say that the Saints would have still won. They came out and imposed their will on the lions in the second half.

    Lions had two things going against them: they couldn’t tackle anyone (is this the worst tackling effort anyone has ever seen?) and they could not run the ball themselves. It was like run-n-shoot all over again. Brees basically had his way with them.

    Lions better get a running game and a better D.

  55. askbri says: Jan 9, 2012 12:48 AM

    When is the league going to admit that Santonio Holmes never got two feet down in the end zone against the Cardinals. Put that on tv and discuss. Refs pretty much suck.

    ************

    I thought I was the only one who noticed that, since nobody ever wants to mention these things.

    Bottom line: Refs are destroying the game in crucial situations. Ron Winters and his crew are the worst. Mister F’n Magoo!

  56. realfann says: Jan 9, 2012 12:50 AM

    At least the league owns up to mistakes unlike a certain website that guaranteed us all a package of Brady Quinn 3rd down plays.

    The guarantee that “some (gave) the same weight as the four primary books of the New Testament”

    /bound to be censored because the truth always hurts

  57. athleticmedic says: Jan 9, 2012 12:54 AM

    Officials are human, they make mistakes. People frequently “forget” and move on.

    Nobody seems to remember this, and I’ll get blasted by all the Packer fans here, but last year’s title run SHOULDN’T have occurred. Now the evidence:

    MN played at GB week 7. Brett Favre throws a TD pass to Shiancoe, ruled a TD on the field, overturned by the officials on replay after being challenged by GB. The league ADMITTED that it was a blown call (2 days later) and the TD should have stood. Vikings lose 28-24.

    IF that play stands and IF the rest of the game/season plays out – Vikes WIN 31-28. Packers have one more notch in the loss column, missing the playoffs by one game….no Super Bowl win for them.

    My point being, officials make mistakes, even when plays are reviewed! We can all sit here and gripe “if this, then that”… simply put, the teams can’t leave the game outcomes up to the officials…play the game, overcome those ref mistakes (they don’t statistically happen more than 1-2 times per game at most) and move on.

    The NFL doesn’t go head-hunting at YOUR place of business when you make a mistake at work…

  58. slatetundra07 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:56 AM

    So wait…the Saints was suppose to retain the ball but they didn’t. The Lions were rewards with the turnover when they weren’t suppose to, but missed their opportunity to score.

    And the Lions are upset?! Sounds like the Saints got the short end of the stick here.

  59. sonic8us says: Jan 9, 2012 12:58 AM

    The Saints were clearly the bettet team, but man, those are big calls to blow. Last week Lions/Packers was so much worse. Blown TD calls that were “within rules” makes me think that instant replay has reduced the quality and/or accountability of the refs. This is hands down the worst officiating I’ve ever seen in a given year.

  60. naednek says: Jan 9, 2012 1:14 AM

    why can’t they just let the play happen and then decide if it’s a fumble or not at the end of the play. This has been a growing problem over the years. I’ve seen it happen against the niners for a long long time.

  61. hyzers says: Jan 9, 2012 1:20 AM

    Why does everyone assume it would have been a TD for the Lions?
    ——————————————

    It might have something to do with the convoy of Lions surrounding Durant, who had 30 yards of clear grass in front of him to the end zone. Just a guess.

  62. 504in860 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:47 AM

    Okay, so let’s say the Lions score a TD on that play. Umm…they would still end up losing. So, stop crying.

  63. nocookies28 says: Jan 9, 2012 2:10 AM

    The League spoke against the referees…quick! Fine them!

  64. ilovefoolsball says: Jan 9, 2012 2:25 AM

    This should help lions fans believe they would’ve only lost by 10 and not 17…because that’s important.

  65. hnrqoliv says: Jan 9, 2012 2:47 AM

    I thought you were supposed to play through the whistle? Because of the Ed Hoculi rule?

  66. presidentjesus says: Jan 9, 2012 2:58 AM

    Wait a minute…wasn’t that game a blowout?

  67. seahawksfan25 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:00 AM

    Atleast it didn’t take almost 6 years like it took for them to admit they blew calls like in superbowl 40. Poor Seahawks got screwed.

  68. xcomboy says: Jan 9, 2012 3:13 AM

    I agree with swgiblin. Look at all the nearby Saints that are doing nothing because the whistle blew. But also, the Saints still went into the locker room down at the half. Do you really think that the second half would have gone much differently if they had been down by another seven points? Or that the Saints would have given up? You give momentum too much credit. It can change quickly and the Saints didn’t panic. If it makes you feel any better you can think of the final score as 35-45.

  69. lemmam says: Jan 9, 2012 3:14 AM

    the reason the officiating in the NFL sucks – two officials in the Houston-Cincy game are “legacies”.
    Both the HL – Tony Viteri and the LJ – Jeff Seeman have dad’s that were NFL officials. There are far too many officials in the NFL who got there due to daddy.

  70. cowboychris5xchamps says: Jan 9, 2012 3:20 AM

    Can anyone say MLB?! The same losers that are complaining about the NFL refs are the same losers that love baseball and their outdated system of officiating!!!

  71. cowboychris5xchamps says: Jan 9, 2012 3:24 AM

    Oh and by the way “swgiblin” Ray Charles could see that the Brees fumble was gonna go the other way for 6! And Mr. Charles is blind and dead!!!

  72. hedleykow says: Jan 9, 2012 3:24 AM

    Too much interpretation of the rules is left to be decided during replays, which makes the process pointless and frustrating to the people paying good money to watch the game. Screw it if it is this difficult…going with the wrong original call is better than going with the wrong call after review.

  73. damnyoulinelliot says: Jan 9, 2012 3:49 AM

    Does it really matter? Detroit got manhandled by NOLA. Case closed.

    If you can’t stop the Brees, close the window.

  74. bearsstillsuck says: Jan 9, 2012 3:55 AM

    I like officiating mistakes, it’s part of the game and there’s always some on both teams, so it usually evens out. It’s a human element of the game I’d like to keep and I hope replay doesn’t ruin it. It’s the way the game was originally played and it shouldn’t change any more than it already has.

  75. grandpoopah says: Jan 9, 2012 4:50 AM

    Oh, don’t worry, our other screwup balances out this screwup, so you’re basically even Steven.

  76. Cosmo Houck says: Jan 9, 2012 4:51 AM

    @cobrala2 Mike Pereira gets a lot of hate on this site, and I don’t really understand why. He doesn’t have a position of authority within the league anymore, and has no ability to change the rules. He is hired by Fox to explicate the rules AS THEY EXIST, as if he were a referee. Not to pass judgement on the rules; not to say whether they’re good or bad. He is paid merely to interpret the rules in the booth, and provide us, as fans, a barometer on the performance of the referees. I think he’s pretty good at that. Do I think all the rules are good? No! I hate a lot of them–the inadvertent whistle rule being pretty high up there. But that’s not Mike Pereira’s fault, and if he explains it it doesn’t make it his fault.

  77. James Myers says: Jan 9, 2012 4:57 AM

    How about that BS 1st down when Brees stuck the ball out before tucking it back in…and the refs treated it like it was the plane of the end zone? Gonna admit that one too?

  78. the1849ers says: Jan 9, 2012 5:10 AM

    This is a tricky situation. Players have to stop when the whistle blows. I think most of us agree on that. But if they have to stop, then how can you rule based on their actions AFTER stopping?

  79. snarkzilla says: Jan 9, 2012 5:37 AM

    footballisking, I saw three facemasks on Tebow that weren’t called and the defenseless receiver hit by Harrison knocked Decker out for the season. None drew a penalty. Pittsburgh shouldn’t even have been in an overtime period.

  80. rajuncajun28 says: Jan 9, 2012 5:55 AM

    Ok, give Detroit the 7 points…now quit bothering me so I can game plan to destroy the forty whiners…

    Sincerely,
    Sean Payton

  81. stanklepoot says: Jan 9, 2012 6:03 AM

    Given that video is now used to award possession after a whistle is blown in multipe other situations, the league needs to ensure that, if/when last night’s events happen again, the defense will at a minimum retain possession in the event of an inadvertent whistle.
    ______________________________
    One problem with this idea: The whistle is supposed to end the play and all activity. If, for instance, a player hits another after the whistle has blown, they can be cited for a personal foul for a late hit. So, making the recovery of a fumble reviewable after the whistle has blown would mean that the league would be punishing players who abide by the rules and cease activity, and rewarding those players who refused to listen to the orders of the refs. Unless the league wants to change its policy and tell players that they are free to keep doing whatever they want after the whistle is blown, you can’t punish players for stopping when the whistle is in fact blown…and allowing the opponent to claim possession of the ball after the whistle is blown would be doing just that. Sometimes you simply have to accept the fact that refs are human, and from time to time they will make mistakes that can affect the outcome of the game. There’s no reason to compound the problem by making the rules even hazier.

  82. tommytd says: Jan 9, 2012 6:06 AM

    NFL officiating sucks…always has, always will!

  83. kmdp4 says: Jan 9, 2012 6:24 AM

    Here is an idea how about the Lions not giving up 5 TD’s in the second half, how about that.

    When the whistle blows the play is dead, if not then you can’t enforce late hits, throw stones at the Refs all you want but the fact is that the Lions were out played by a better team very simple.

  84. bleedgreen says: Jan 9, 2012 7:10 AM

    What they’re saying is, that despite rule changes and mandates against it, the refs can’t keep the whistles out of their mouths. There was a big deal after that Denver/SanDiego game that the refs were to let a play play itself out after ANY possibility of anything remotely resembling a fumble. Yet twice in two days, there have been instances where the refs blew the whistle as soon as the ball touched the ground. If I ignored mandates from my boss, I’d get fired. Aren’t they supposed to call anything close a touchdown as well and let it get reviewed? Instead they’re not calling close tds and forcing coaches to challenge.

  85. jeffchadwick says: Jan 9, 2012 7:23 AM

    I’d like an explanation on the Drew Brees goal line style ball extension for a first down on fourth and inches in Saints territory in the third quarter. Where the ball ended up clearly was not a first down spot. Since he lost forward progress by his own volition by pulling the ball back after he stretched it forward, why was he awarded the distance needed for a first down? This wasn’t a goal line where the rules for forward progress are different.

    Just curious to see if anybody had seen an explanation of that play.

  86. 1bigtex says: Jan 9, 2012 7:25 AM

    @ footballisking
    Quit your crying! Go back and watch the Super Bowl against the Seahawks and explain to me about how the Steelers get the short end of the stick all the time.

  87. palpablyunfairact says: Jan 9, 2012 7:25 AM

    It’s not nonsensical. If the ball is possibly alive after the whistle blows no player will have any incentive to stop playing when they hear the whistle. It’s unfortunate for the Lions that the whistle blew, but the official obviously thought it was an incomplete pass and blew it – blowing the call in the process.

  88. orangeflh says: Jan 9, 2012 7:31 AM

    Refs are no worse today than they ever were. We just never had the technology before to see every blown call so clearly after the fact. Things are much different at game speed and I think over all they do a decent job. It’s not humanly possible to get every call right.

    For you kids that keep crying, get over it. This is a grown man’s game. They don’t hand out teddy bears and “special achievement” ribbons. Grow some, for Jebus’ sake.

  89. bwisnasky says: Jan 9, 2012 7:39 AM

    Funny… the league never admitted that Tom Brady fumbled… and for those that will say get over it.. go back and look at the still shots.. clearly shows Brady with both hands on the ball before Woodson’s arm comes down. Either way, there wasn’t conclusive evidence and the ruling on the field (FUMBLE) should have never been overturned.

  90. chatham10 says: Jan 9, 2012 7:51 AM

    The refs have made a ton of errors this year and I still cannot understand how Ron Winters was picked for the Denver/Pitt game, this guy and his crew have been bad all year. The error I see the most besides holding is the spotting of the ball at the end of the play, it is called guessing.

  91. chmba says: Jan 9, 2012 8:02 AM

    I think official who called it incomplete was same one who could not see ball and signaled touchdown for Steelers when ball was just short of goal line. Officiating this year was AWFUL! A la basketball, could gambling be raising its ugly head?

    Obviously NFL and Goodell could care less!

  92. bluepike says: Jan 9, 2012 8:10 AM

    How can a ref blow his whistle because he “thought” it was an incomplete pass?” Both of these terrible calls, against Detroit and Denver, came at critical times. The Lions could have been up by 14 instead of the ensuing tie and the Broncos could have been up by 17 or 21 instead of only by the ensuing 7. This awful officiating has got to stop. It’s very easy in these two instances – DON’T blow the whistle! Clear the air when the play is completely over. That’s pretty simple! Why does the college game seem to have a much better system of officiating? It’s time for the NFL to address this very disturbing and downright ridiculous situation this off-season.

  93. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jan 9, 2012 8:19 AM

    This may have already been said so I apologize if I am repeating something. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed the official move the ball back during the Giants/Falcons game about 6 inches from the previous spot while they were clearing off the pile. As a result, the measurement was literally 6 inches short of a first down and the Falcons went for it on 4th and tried the first of two idiotic QB sneaks. I can’t help but think that had they gotten the first down as it was originally spotted the momentum of that game might have been different. What made it worse though was the constant mistake after mistake that seemed like “correction calls” throughout the entire game.

    If there has ever been a need for full time officials, it is now.

  94. otis52gsh says: Jan 9, 2012 8:24 AM

    And the same type of error happened in the Denver-Steelers game. Difference is the Denver fans are not whining about it. They continued to play hard and won. So stop your excuse making lions lovers. You would have lost anyway. Officials make mistakes just like everyone else does. Lions won’t win it all with that head case of a HC.

  95. sojumaster says: Jan 9, 2012 8:26 AM

    Another ref error that seems to have gone unnoticed: why didn’t the clock stop after Brees kneeled down with 38 seconds left on 4th down?

    I know the game was over at that point, does that mean you just suspend the rules at that point?

  96. wingz101 says: Jan 9, 2012 8:31 AM

    I also find interesting the amount of holding by offensive linemen that goes uncalled now as opposed to the constant holding calls against DB’s. The Lions, Steelers and Giants were all victims of quite a bit of holding this weekend but I don’t think there was more than 3 calls combined was there? When you talk about record breaking passing attacks, I think you have to look at what o-linemen can get away with now. IMO that is a big part of some of these guys getting so much time to throw.

  97. rmc1995 says: Jan 9, 2012 8:39 AM

    Instead of a black bean bag maybe the ref who sees the fumble should shoot a flair in tbe air so all the other refs will swallow their whistles or better yet maybe refs should have some game awareness and understand what’s going on around them.

  98. sojumaster says: Jan 9, 2012 8:40 AM

    swgiblin says:Jan 8, 2012 11:11 PM

    Why does everyone assume it would have been a TD for the Lions? The Saints players didn’t attempt to recover the ball when the whistle blew. If the ref hadn’t blown the whistle, the Saints could have recovered the ball. So all in all, the Lions got lucky.

    But this is all spilt milk. Lions are sitting at home. Saints are getting ready for 49ers.

    ———————————–

    There was no way the Saints could have recovered the ball. The ball landed at the feet of 6 Lions and there was not a Saints player within 5 yards of the ball.

  99. mcporche says: Jan 9, 2012 8:45 AM

    @snarkzilla: Regarding the hit by Harrison on Decker.

    It’s true that Decker would likely be considered a defenseless receiver, according to the rules.

    However, the rules do not say you can not hit a defenseless receiver. The rules only say you can not hit a defenseless receiver in the head, or hit him with the crown of your helmet.

    Harrison hit Decker below the waist, so there was nothing in the hit that was against the rules.

  100. realkelevra says: Jan 9, 2012 9:00 AM

    What about just changing the rule so that if there is a possibility of change of possession, the play continues until the ball is actually dead? IE, a player is on the ground, with the ball and considered down.

  101. longdrivesaint says: Jan 9, 2012 9:05 AM

    James Myers says:
    Jan 9, 2012 4:57 AM
    How about that BS 1st down when Brees stuck the ball out before tucking it back in…and the refs treated it like it was the plane of the end zone? Gonna admit that one too?

    ———————————————–
    It’s called forward progress idiot. Get the cliff notes for football. Maybe that’ll help ya. Regarding this sat game, I see the Saints getting this one too. Two strength’s that will come down to adjustments. And of course turnovers that evidently the 9ers live off of.

  102. charlesbroccoli says: Jan 9, 2012 9:06 AM

    the league needs to figure out how to keep the refs from blowing their whistles too soon.
    maybe just make it a rule that you don’t blow the damn whistle when there is an obviously borderline fumble, catch, lateral, whathaveyou.

    how about going back to the old days when you had to hold a player down before the play was over?

  103. jackntorres says: Jan 9, 2012 9:16 AM

     I’d like an explanation on the Drew Brees goal line style ball extension for a first down on fourth and inches in Saints territory in the third quarter. Where the ball ended up clearly was not a first down spot. Since he lost forward progress by his own volition by pulling the ball back after he stretched it forward, why was he awarded the distance needed for a first down? This wasn’t a goal line where the rules for forward progress are different.

    Just curious to see if anybody had seen an explanation of that play.
    ———-
    Bringing the ball toward your body after extending for forward progress is not a loss of forward progress. Only moving your feet and giving up field position can constitute a loss of forward progress. Do you people ever watch football? How’s about the lions learn to tackle pierre Thomas instead of worrying about refs. He looked sick nasty. Ball at the 3 and the saints flex graham. Do the lions put someone on him? NO. Later meachem is WIDE the F open. Again all the refs fault right? Aaron berrys attitude is contagious…. Screw up and blame others. Everyone of the 32 teams gets away with 10+ holding calls every game. EVERY TEAM. The saints actually get more holding calls because they are under the “microscope” having the best guard tandem.

  104. jackntorres says: Jan 9, 2012 9:18 AM

    Why does everyone assume it would have been a TD for the Lions? The Saints players didn’t attempt to recover the ball when the whistle blew. If the ref hadn’t blown the whistle, the Saints could have recovered the ball. So all in all, the Lions got lucky.

    But this is all spilt milk. Lions are sitting at home. Saints are getting ready for 49ers.

    ———————————–

    There was no way the Saints could have recovered the ball. The ball landed at the feet of 6 Lions and there was not a Saints player within 5 yards of the ball.

    —————
    Doesn’t mean he would’ve scored. It was definitely not a CB as someone mentioned it was a LB I think durant. He may not have even kept the ball. Think meachem at the redskins in 09

  105. skippynj says: Jan 9, 2012 9:28 AM

    Anyone foolish enough to have bet against the Saints deserves to lose their money.

  106. 52claymaker52 says: Jan 9, 2012 9:32 AM

    They also butchered the 4th down dive play by Brees. This was on the same drive with the horrible 3rd down spot I believe. He jumped over the pile, stuck the ball out and pulled it back. This isn’t like crossing the plane of the goal line, if you are in the field of play and voluntarily go backwards you do not get forward progress.

    Nevermind the fact that Suh also stripped him of the ball and recovered it.

  107. dvdman123 says: Jan 9, 2012 9:49 AM

    The Saints still would have won the game.

  108. fatdaddy73 says: Jan 9, 2012 9:50 AM

    bobhk says:
    Jan 9, 2012 12:47 AM
    It was a blown call for sure.

    But, I for one, say that the Saints would have still won. They came out and imposed their will on the lions in the second half.

    Lions had two things going against them: they couldn’t tackle anyone (is this the worst tackling effort anyone has ever seen?) and they could not run the ball themselves. It was like run-n-shoot all over again. Brees basically had his way with them.

    Lions better get a running game and a better D.

    ————————————————–
    Yes the Lions need to get better, they will. The other equally important call was the spot of the ball on a 3rd down play by the saints from their own 10. Meachem made the catch, and was CLEARLY short of the first down by at least 6 inches, the official gave a ridiculous spot giving the the first down by over a foot… If an official can’t be accurate and precise, they shouldn’t be an official. No challenge came from Schwartz, I don’t blame him, the refs changing the spot of the ball after replay is about as rare as hens teeth…

  109. bigboi30 says: Jan 9, 2012 9:54 AM

    Anyone who knows me or reads my comments, know I am a Lions fan. That being said, the refs this year have been down right criminal. And im talking all nfl games. I may be a Lions fan but, I watch as many games as I can get my hands on. I watch as many key games and matchups just for the excitement, and there was alot of it. The problem with all that excitment is that, in most cases, it wasnt the great play that made the games close, it was refs getting involved at key moments, making phantom calls, missing blatant calls, making sure a drive ends so a team thats down can get that late 4th qtr winning drive, or even insure a drive is made sure to continue (2 very bad spots giving Saits 1st downs). Or the fumble play, call it dead before the Lions run up the score and make it a possible blowout with no ratings. Easy Saints fans, im not saying it would of been a blowout early, im just pointing out how the ref stay way to involved in big games. Same with last weeks horrible no touchdown catch by Young that was a TD catch. Thar TD would of put Detroit up 17. Everyone pulls the starters, and we play pre season football. Well we cant have that in week #17 between divisuional rivals

  110. fatdaddy73 says: Jan 9, 2012 9:57 AM

    and the Saints got away with 20 extra holds more than the Lions.

  111. easyeddie says: Jan 9, 2012 10:00 AM

    igetlaidmorethanyou says:

    Obvious to everyone except Cryon fans and conspiracy theorists. Saints kicked their a– up and down the field. Coulda scored 50+ but took their foot off the pedal
    —————————————
    if the Saints get hosed by the refs sometime this postseason and that it costs them the game your tune will change.

    1historian says: what part of ’45-28′ don’t you understand?
    —————————————–
    Again, wait til it (hopefully) happens to the Saints. P.S.: Here’s to Aldon Smith decapitating Drew Brees.

  112. ridiculousbacon says: Jan 9, 2012 10:22 AM

    I would pay good money to see any of the whiners here ref a single series in the NFL. Do you have any idea how much is going on at once during the live game? Personally, I’ve always been shocked the refs aren’t worse every wkend, but maybe that’s just because I don’t continously complain about things I don’t have any experience with….

    But the Bottom Line is that if the players, coaches, owners, etc. aren’t complaining, their “fans” certainly shouldn’t be, and that goes for any sport.

  113. warwicklionsfan says: Jan 9, 2012 10:30 AM

    Ok…for years I have told my Basketball/Hockey loving family members, who complain about officiating in the NBA/NHL that Football is better. A penalty is a penalty regardless of the team and the when the penalty occurred in a game of football…well, things have changed…football has has sadly become the new NBA…no defense and the refs control the game. The league is even worried about how they dress. I guess I will sit and watch dunks. Oops, I mean touchdown passes on sportscenter all night.

  114. cdsaints says: Jan 9, 2012 10:36 AM

    Those of you whining about forward progress on the 4th and 1 need to read the rules. Anyway, lets not forget the Saints were kneeling the ball on the 2 yard line….so instead of 35 second half points they could have scored 42. The Lions got tamed, end of story. (oh yeah, I went there)

  115. shlort says: Jan 9, 2012 10:44 AM

    It has always been the same. Humans are referees, and humans make mistakes. Now days we have HD TV and super slow-mo replay. The networks show us the play 10 times in slow motion and we think “What? Is that referee blind?”. Truth is, it happens a lot faster than that on the field. The referees blow the whistle to end plays and protect players from un-neccessary injury. Think about it. Do we want to see star players from our favorite teams injured in a scrum that should be a dead ball situation? If that were to start happening, people would be complaining about that too. It is what it is. Coaches have the ability to challenge a couple calls a game. Better than it used to be before challenges and all the new camera angles.

  116. bdub1147 says: Jan 9, 2012 10:51 AM

    I agree with kngunde, reviewing every score is a good start, but they also need to review every play that could have been a touchdown but wasn’t called one on the field. Doing it one way and not the other is unfair to the offense by forcing them to use challenges when the defensive team doesn’t need to.

    While they are at it, they should let an extra official make the call directly and stop having the on-field official go into the booth. They should both be looking for the same conclusive proof and it still slows the game down too much.

  117. rhoneyman says: Jan 9, 2012 11:01 AM

    people,

    one or two blatantly bad calls don’t change the game from this kind of blow out. however, there were a half dozen momentum killers called by the refs:

    1. killing the play on the brees fumble before allowing the play to end. td? who knows? but at worst, better field position.

    2. apply end zone rules to ball spot on fourth down when brees thrust the ball forward beyond the first down marker and then, while still suspended, pulled the ball back into his body, instinctively protecting it. at the end zone, the play ends when the ball breaks the plane. but midfield, the ball is spotted at the point that the ball carrier’s forward progress ends. had brees been tackled with the ball thrust forward, the spot would have been fine. by pulling it back into his body, the forward momentum gets redefined. when the play ended, the ball was short of the first down marker. the ball should have been detroit’s, getting the defense off the field, taking 60 yards off the saints’ total yardage along with seven points.

    3. bad spot on the third down catch that was caught a foot shy of the marker.

    4. holding call on backus vs zero holding calls on saints.

    5. personal foul on wright for allowing his right arm fly up while trying to block the end zone pass and, while struggling to leverage the ball out of the receiver’s possession, using the receiver’s helmet – without intent – to recover balance.

    6. pass interference on wright (i think) for the sort of touching that goes on all game long vs no pass interference on a cj pass where the defender was on his back before the ball arriived.

    add it all together and the refs made sure the lions defense stayed on the field and extra five or ten minutes. that’s not to say the lions would have won. but the game might well have gone to the last play. and it’s unlikely brees would have recorded record yardage.

    no question the saints are a better team with a highly skilled offensive unit that has been together long enough to intuit what everyone’s going to do. the lions need another two years to get there, assuming continuity of play makers and a return of injured running backs.

    on defense, they need two more play makers and they need a fair shake from the refs. no t

  118. rhoneyman says: Jan 9, 2012 11:02 AM

    to finish…

    no team is going to win if incompetent officiating prevents the defense from sitting down every so often.

  119. saints25 says: Jan 9, 2012 11:19 AM

    Of course he was throwing the ball!!!! Lions defender didnt punch it out,that damn far…NFL refs have screwed a bunch of NFL Teams…But they dont get fined for their mistakes.NFL needs to take money for these clowns for making bad calls,or do background checks to make sure these refs arent gambling on these Football games..Its been as bad as I’ve ever seen.

  120. sojumaster says: Jan 9, 2012 11:25 AM

    jackntorres says:Jan 9, 2012 9:18 AM

    Why does everyone assume it would have been a TD for the Lions? The Saints players didn’t attempt to recover the ball when the whistle blew. If the ref hadn’t blown the whistle, the Saints could have recovered the ball. So all in all, the Lions got lucky.

    But this is all spilt milk. Lions are sitting at home. Saints are getting ready for 49ers.

    ———————————–

    There was no way the Saints could have recovered the ball. The ball landed at the feet of 6 Lions and there was not a Saints player within 5 yards of the ball.

    —————
    Doesn’t mean he would’ve scored. It was definitely not a CB as someone mentioned it was a LB I think durant. He may not have even kept the ball. Think meachem at the redskins in 09

    —————————————-

    My response was more to the comment of “If the ref hadn’t blown the whistle, the Saints could have recovered the ball” …. Which there is 0% of that happening. Albiet the Lions might have not scored, but there is no doubt the Lions would have had a lot better field position if the play was allowed to progress without the accidental whisle.

  121. sojumaster says: Jan 9, 2012 11:43 AM

    ridiculousbacon says:Jan 9, 2012 10:22 AM

    I would pay good money to see any of the whiners here ref a single series in the NFL. Do you have any idea how much is going on at once during the live game? Personally, I’ve always been shocked the refs aren’t worse every wkend, but maybe that’s just because I don’t continously complain about things I don’t have any experience with….

    But the Bottom Line is that if the players, coaches, owners, etc. aren’t complaining, their “fans” certainly shouldn’t be, and that goes for any sport.

    ————————–

    The coaches, owners and players do not complain about the refs, because they will get fined for publically critizing the officals.

  122. jackntorres says: Jan 9, 2012 11:57 AM

    people,

    one or two blatantly bad calls don’t change the game from this kind of blow out. however, there were a half dozen momentum killers called by the refs:

    1. killing the play on the brees fumble before allowing the play to end. td? who knows? but at worst, better field position.

    2. apply end zone rules to ball spot on fourth down when brees thrust the ball forward beyond the first down marker and then, while still suspended, pulled the ball back into his body, instinctively protecting it. at the end zone, the play ends when the ball breaks the plane. but midfield, the ball is spotted at the point that the ball carrier’s forward progress ends. had brees been tackled with the ball thrust forward, the spot would have been fine. by pulling it back into his body, the forward momentum gets redefined. when the play ended, the ball was short of the first down marker. the ball should have been detroit’s, getting the defense off the field, taking 60 yards off the saints’ total yardage along with seven points.

    3. bad spot on the third down catch that was caught a foot shy of the marker.

    4. holding call on backus vs zero holding calls on saints.

    5. personal foul on wright for allowing his right arm fly up while trying to block the end zone pass and, while struggling to leverage the ball out of the receiver’s possession, using the receiver’s helmet – without intent – to recover balance.

    6. pass interference on wright (i think) for the sort of touching that goes on all game long vs no pass interference on a cj pass where the defender was on his back before the ball arriived.

    add it all together and the refs made sure the lions defense stayed on the field and extra five or ten minutes. that’s not to say the lions would have won. but the game might well have gone to the last play. and it’s unlikely brees would have recorded record yardage.

    no question the saints are a better team with a highly skilled offensive unit that has been together long enough to intuit what everyone’s going to do. the lions need another two years to get there, assuming continuity of play makers and a return of injured running backs.

    on defense, they need two more play makers and they need a fair shake from the refs. no t

    ———-

    I don’t know if there are books in Detroit or not. What part of “bringing the ball back towards your body does not constitute a loss of forward progress” does your mind not comprehend?

  123. rmc1995 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:04 PM

    KC wants to be New England so badly they will hire a successful Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator who was once s fired head coach for the Browns.

  124. bobhk says: Jan 9, 2012 12:31 PM

    fatdaddy73 says:
    Jan 9, 2012 9:50 AM
    bobhk says:
    Jan 9, 2012 12:47 AM
    It was a blown call for sure.

    But, I for one, say that the Saints would have still won. They came out and imposed their will on the lions in the second half.

    Lions had two things going against them: they couldn’t tackle anyone (is this the worst tackling effort anyone has ever seen?) and they could not run the ball themselves. It was like run-n-shoot all over again. Brees basically had his way with them.

    Lions better get a running game and a better D.

    ————————————————–
    Yes the Lions need to get better, they will. The other equally important call was the spot of the ball on a 3rd down play by the saints from their own 10. Meachem made the catch, and was CLEARLY short of the first down by at least 6 inches, the official gave a ridiculous spot giving the the first down by over a foot… If an official can’t be accurate and precise, they shouldn’t be an official. No challenge came from Schwartz, I don’t blame him, the refs changing the spot of the ball after replay is about as rare as hens teeth…
    ——–
    Are you saying that the lions have never been beneficiaries of bad calls? It goes both ways.

    I am not a Saints fan but they kicked the lions tail all over the place in the second half. As bad a the lions played on D and how one dimensional they were they got what was coming.

    Stop making excuses.

  125. leofan1234 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:32 PM

    musicman495 says:
    Jan 9, 2012 12:07 AM
    ———————————
    Well, well, well. Does this mean I won’t be reading any more dopey comments from Jim Schwartz about how the refs stole the game from him and his team?
    _______________________________
    please show me the article or comment you are referring to. Schwartz, in all interviews I have heard and read, has blatantly said that we lost this game to poor tackling and missed opportunities (3 dropped INT’s).

    Did you even watch the game? It was not the blowout the score indicates. It was much closer and if you watched the game you would know that.

  126. tbone188 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:33 PM

    I think the only reason this is an issue is because the replays are scrutinized adnausium. Today’s technology is so far advanced they would make anyone look bad. These refs are also trying to stop unnecessary injuries by stopping the play as soon as it’s over,

  127. longdrivesaint says: Jan 9, 2012 12:54 PM

    Jan 9, 2012 9:32 AM
    They also butchered the 4th down dive play by Brees. This was on the same drive with the horrible 3rd down spot I believe. He jumped over the pile, stuck the ball out and pulled it back. This isn’t like crossing the plane of the goal line, if you are in the field of play and voluntarily go backwards you do not get forward progress.

    Nevermind the fact that Suh also stripped him of the ball and recovered it.

    ——————————————-
    FORWARD PROGRESS FOR THE LAST TIME. Quit the crying and Suc(suh) didn’t recover. Check the replay. Haters will hate plain and simple.

  128. jackntorres says: Jan 9, 2012 1:03 PM

    please show me the article or comment you are referring to. Schwartz, in all interviews I have heard and read, has blatantly said that we lost this game to poor tackling and missed opportunities (3 dropped INT’s).

    Did you even watch the game? It was not the blowout the score indicates. It was much closer and if you watched the game you would know that.
    ———————
    I watched the game. If you read the article the saints should have gotten the ball by the letter of the law, and we kneeled down at the goal line when it was 45-28. The game was every bit of a blowout. The lions could not stop the run and could not cover receivers streaking down the field wide open. Get real.

  129. jmmisview says: Jan 9, 2012 1:07 PM

    All these fools here, mainly Saints fans, a team I like. Feel that this argument is about the win or öoss of the final score. Nope, its about justice of the league being fair and equal. How can the officials just say ooppss two weeks in a row against the Lions and pts on the board. Last week 14 this week 7. An actual differance of 24 GB and 10 for the Saints. Now you guys can imply it makes no difference because of the score. But the fact remains teams play different down 14 or 4. Playing into another teams strategic advantage is like not blocking for a scream pass when the QB wants to throw a bomb. A major disadvantage for the team trying to catch up. I believe the outcome would have had the same team wining. But I want good football games and not dictated results. And thats what it looks like. We all seem to forget the first half of the SB Card and Steelers. Arizona was not allowed to move the ball due to spotlight seeking officials. I almost turned it off because of the ref dominance of the game. But the secon half was so awsome many believe it to be the best SB ever. Nope only the best second half SB ever.

  130. jackntorres says: Jan 9, 2012 1:35 PM

    All these fools here, mainly Saints fans, a team I like. Feel that this argument is about the win or öoss of the final score. Nope, its about justice of the league being fair and equal. How can the officials just say ooppss two weeks in a row against the Lions and pts on the board. Last week 14 this week 7. An actual differance of 24 GB and 10 for the Saints. Now you guys can imply it makes no difference because of the score. But the fact remains teams play different down 14 or 4. Playing into another teams strategic advantage is like not blocking for a scream pass when the QB wants to throw a bomb. A major disadvantage for the team trying to catch up. I believe the outcome would have had the same team wining. But I want good football games and not dictated results. And thats what it looks like. We all seem to forget the first half of the SB Card and Steelers. Arizona was not allowed to move the ball due to spotlight seeking officials. I almost turned it off because of the ref dominance of the game. But the secon half was so awsome many believe it to be the best SB ever. Nope only the best second half SB ever.
    ——-
    CAN YOU READ? The refs gave the lions the ball when the saints should have gotten it. The score should have been 59-21

  131. hawker1 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:57 PM

    @igetlaidmorethanyou……….Yeah, but do you make them all use condoms?

  132. frank booth says: Jan 9, 2012 2:26 PM

    Do the Lions fans ever stop whining? They bitch and moan about the refs after every single game on these boards- Whiniest fans on PFT for sure!

  133. BJ Swearer says: Jan 9, 2012 2:44 PM

    To the NFL and to the writer of this article:

    I suggest that you look up the Ed Hochuli Rule which determined that “An inadvertent whistle which occurs during the course of a fumble does not prevent a player from recovering the football in the immediate aftermath of said whistle.”

    So no, the Refs made the textbook CORRECT call during the Lions/Saints game and made the absolute INCORRECT call during the Broncos/Steelers game.

  134. leofan1234 says: Jan 9, 2012 2:49 PM

    jackntorres says:
    Jan 9, 2012 1:03 PM
    please show me the article or comment you are referring to. Schwartz, in all interviews I have heard and read, has blatantly said that we lost this game to poor tackling and missed opportunities (3 dropped INT’s).

    Did you even watch the game? It was not the blowout the score indicates. It was much closer and if you watched the game you would know that.
    ———————
    I watched the game. If you read the article the saints should have gotten the ball by the letter of the law, and we kneeled down at the goal line when it was 45-28. The game was every bit of a blowout. The lions could not stop the run and could not cover receivers streaking down the field wide open. Get real.

    ___________________________
    I wasn’t debating that the Saints shouldn’t have had the ball….My point is that there are people on here that comment that don’t watch games (you know they do). The guy I quoted is implying that Schwartz was blaming the refs — which we both know is not true. He admitted it was bad defense (and so do I). I’m not trying to be a d!ck.

    I never once thought we would actually win, but you can’t tell me that going into the fourth quarter you weren’t just a little nervous (just a smidge) that the Lions *might* actually pull off the upset. The middle to end fourth quarter was a blow out. I will give you that. I guess my definition of a blowout is different than yours.

  135. banjostang says: Jan 9, 2012 3:48 PM

    How about we just go to the highlight reel and review the two plays in question:


    watch the highlights.

    at 2:48 shows all the saints (and some Lions) clearly standing around because the play was called dead.

    at 2:52 when your guy picked up the ball – Robert Meachem (Saints fastest receiver) was only 2 yards from him. He was walking slowly back since the play had been whistled dead. He would have been running and even closer to your guy if there was no whistle. Lions still recover, but no TD.

    Same highlight reel:

    Go to 5:11 you can see that even after Brees pulled the ball back to his body that it was still forward of the down marker – he was pushed back by the pile.

    As for the last 38 seconds…. Don’t know the exact rule. Some say that the play clock stops, but not the game clock since it ended on a run (knee down). Either way, the Saints could have punched in another score easily, but chose not to. The Lions didn’t even line up to hike the ball – the game was over.

    The Lions played very well for three quarters in a tough place to play. It might have been a different outcome if the Lions were able to do something with the two recovered fumbles. When the Saints defense made the stops and takeaways, they kept scoring. That’s how you win in the playoffs.

  136. leofan1234 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:09 PM

    banjostang says:
    The Lions played very well for three quarters in a tough place to play. It might have been a different outcome if the Lions were able to do something with the two recovered fumbles. When the Saints defense made the stops and takeaways, they kept scoring. That’s how you win in the playoffs.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Thank you. I think that is what most of us fans want to hear.

    We were the bottom feeders and laughing stock of the NFL for so long and still feel like we don’t get respect. Which, is probably why many of the fans complain about officiating. It just seems like we are on the short end of the stick most games.

    Saints are a good team and deserved to win that game. No doubt about it.

  137. drpompanoduke says: Jan 9, 2012 4:17 PM

    Was a terrible call. Refs were terrible all weekend. The more football I watch on HD TV the more I realize that NFL officials on the whole suck. Tebow had his face mask grabbed, clearly evident to everyone except the 63 year old official watching the play. The league needs full time officials period. And if u can’t run a 100 yards faster in less then 25 seconds, retire .

  138. danthman42 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:46 PM

    whoever made these replay rules needs to have his head examined. here’s what i’ve gathered in the last two days, for those of you scoring at home: on a ball that travels forward, if the initial ruling is incomplete and the whistle blows, the opposing team can be awarded the ball, provided that a fumble and recovery are identifiable on replay (cutler rule); if the initial ruling is a fumble but one ref blows an “inadvertent” whistle, possession can NOT change hands; and if the ball travels backwards and is ruled incomplete, possession can not change hands. PFT, can you please either correct me have someone on earth give a rational explanation for how the rules were created this way.

  139. dscol715 says: Jan 9, 2012 7:33 PM

    @danthman42

    Don’t get caught up in the individual circumstances. Just think of it as once a whistle is blown the play is over. If not then you would have people fighting over the ball after every play. In the Steelers game the incomplete pass could not be recovered by Denver because the once it hit the ground the ref blew it dead before the recovery. Thats why refs are taught that if they aren’t sure they should hold their whistle and let things play out so they can sort it out later. That was the mistake made in the Denver game.

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