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Pereira explains why Denver couldn’t have gotten possession of backward pass via replay

Mike Pereira, FOX NFL Sunday AP

In our prior post regarding the inability of the Broncos to obtain possession via replay review that would have converted a ruling of an incomplete pass to a determination that the ball had been thrown backward, I mentioned that we were trying to get in contact with former NFL V.P. of officiating (and current FOX rules analyst) Mike Pereira for elaboration on his 140-character-or-less explanation of the rule.

And within minutes, Mike called.  Here’s what he said.

After the Hochuli incident, the league decided only to allow possession to be awarded to the defense on replay review as to the question of whether the passer who had thrown an incompletion (per the ruling on the field) actually had fumbled the ball.  Pereira explained that the league specifically exempted possible lateral passes because there was a chance that more time would elapse after the whistle blew and before a defender clearly recovered the ball than when a quarterback possibly fumbles.

Pereira said that NCAA rules permit possession to be awarded in those situations, and he acknowledged that the NFL could alter the rules to permit possession to be awarded via replay review.  Currently, however, the so-called “Hochuli Rule” applies only to the question of whether the quarterback fumbled the ball while trying to throw it.

The problem in such situations is that players will be diving for a loose ball after the whistle has blown, despite being generally told since pee-wee days to stop all action when the whistle blows.  But since the league already has crossed the post-whistle bridge by permitting a possession change via replay review when a runner is ruled “down by contact” and in the “Hochuli Rule” setting, the league should allow the officials to get it right when assessing whether an incomplete pass actually was a fumble recovered by the defense.

If the Steelers win the game, it’s safe to say the rule will be changed.

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80 Responses to “Pereira explains why Denver couldn’t have gotten possession of backward pass via replay”
  1. skinsrock says: Jan 8, 2012 7:57 PM

    I quit… Cheatsburgh gets the call every time.

  2. 11wheatd says: Jan 8, 2012 8:00 PM

    Every time I’ve heard Periera make his case, it always seems to be wrong. Don’t even bother listening to him, there’s a reason why he’s not a referee anymore..

  3. jeffperk says: Jan 8, 2012 8:05 PM

    Even if Pissburgh loses the rule should be changed!!!

  4. bear0402 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:05 PM

    Come on Pittsburg!!!

    Getting tired of hearing about Denver and Satan’s quarterback.

  5. tmcb7 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:06 PM

    btw, Pereira is one of those jack-wagon officials i was talking about.
    Get lost fool! you blow.

  6. joetoronto says: Jan 8, 2012 8:06 PM

    The NFL has to make a decision, keep changing the rules, or hire competent officials.

    Something tells me they’ll keep changing the rules.

  7. xxwhodatxx says: Jan 8, 2012 8:06 PM

    That was a ridiculous call,they should never blow the whistle on plays like that.

  8. dolphins4 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:06 PM

    Pittsburgh must pay the refs everyyear.

  9. nflfollower says: Jan 8, 2012 8:07 PM

    Whether the steelers win or not, it should be changed. And the officials need to swallow their whistles in these questionable situations. That way they can use replay to het it right, as they have proven themselves incapable of getting it right at real time speed.

  10. trollhammer20 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:08 PM

    Pereira is no longer a head official, he’s a head apologist.

  11. ppc50 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:08 PM

    Periera is in the booth as an “advisor” for a reason. It was a blown call, bad early whistle, and the “rule” needs to be changed. It cost the Broncos at least a 10 point swing – game would be over, they would have taken more time off the clock (3 mins or so), and it was an obvious lateral. The refs, 90% of them, are too old – no disrespect – to call a fast game with fast players. The game has changed, in regards to players, etc. so much over the last decade that the NFL needs to address it. I don’t get the ref OT explanation either with both teams getting the ball, like college.

  12. nflfollower says: Jan 8, 2012 8:09 PM

    Ha ha pick your poison with tebow in OT ha ha ha

  13. justwaittilnextyear says: Jan 8, 2012 8:09 PM

    Periaiera or whatever your name is, we in Detroit will beat your ass you ever show your punk butt here,you blow… and your explanations are lame at the very best!

  14. huskersrock1 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:09 PM

    29-23 JUSTICE!

  15. steelersmichele says: Jan 8, 2012 8:09 PM

    so we lost and the rule is okay? sometimes you don’t make any sense. if the rule is bad, it should be changed no matter if a team benefits from it or not.

  16. dolphins4 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:09 PM

    I’m surprised the refs didn’t call a flag on that touchdown pass from Tebow,they always help the Steelers.

  17. doorandwindowplus says: Jan 8, 2012 8:09 PM

    Guess the refs couldn’t call a penalty on that TD. Go Broncos!!!

  18. zaggs says: Jan 8, 2012 8:10 PM

    Dont matter. Steelers just got TEBOW-ED!!!

  19. tobiasjodter says: Jan 8, 2012 8:12 PM

    Congrats on the win Broncos!

    But geez, why the virulent anti-Steeler hatred on this web site? Man, every possible angle to stick to the Steelers whether reasonable or not… Good Lord…

  20. binarybulge says: Jan 8, 2012 8:12 PM

    Now let’s see how much class the Steelers fans have. All of ‘em bragging all week… let’s see what they have to say now. Probably dig up some obscure non-call somewhere. Just admit Denver beat you and be a gracious loser for once.

  21. packfaninchitown says: Jan 8, 2012 8:13 PM

    I guess the Stairway to Seven just got demolished for the second year in a row.

    Sorry Steeler fans, better luck next year!

  22. everyoneholdsorakpo says: Jan 8, 2012 8:13 PM

    Guess the Steelers and the Officials couldn’t beat Tebow today. Enough about the steelers. They are done, for a long time. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Put the towels away. YOU ARE DONE.

  23. zonedogz says: Jan 8, 2012 8:14 PM

    Tebow > Pereira

  24. everyoneholdsorakpo says: Jan 8, 2012 8:15 PM

    One and done…Priceless. Enough about the steelers.

  25. ppc50 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:15 PM

    Regardless of all the bad calls vs the Broncos, the right team won the game. I’m not a Bronco fan at all, but I want them to win the SB. My team is the Cowboys, who I wish had half the desire that the Broncos have had.

  26. tatum064 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:15 PM

    Pereira cant explain Tim Tebow’s heart or knack for the big play at the crucial time.

  27. skinsrock says: Jan 8, 2012 8:17 PM

    The great thing about a terrible towel… It can be easily converted to a kleenex.

  28. Deb says: Jan 8, 2012 8:20 PM

    I come on here after my team loses to congratulate the Broncos on a well-deserved win. But instead of a post-game wrap-up, I can only find headline after headline whining about the officials and James Harrison. Can’t this jukebox ever find another tune? Good grief. :roll:

  29. madmike66 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:20 PM

    Hey Steelers fans, when the refs try to give you the game through blown fumble calls and double face masks on Tebow, your team still has to actually play a little. I guess they got spoiled from the Seahawks Superbowl and thought the refs would do it all for them again. LOL.

  30. thevikes85 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:20 PM

    Merril Hoge owes Tebow an apology

  31. oscojoe says: Jan 8, 2012 8:21 PM

    Good for the Bronco’s and for Tim Tebow!

  32. roamingabriel says: Jan 8, 2012 8:23 PM

    The NFL needs young athletic officials. Not those fat ole men!!!!!!

  33. moerawn says: Jan 8, 2012 8:23 PM

    Wow maybe there is something to the Tebow Time thing.

  34. justwaittilnextyear says: Jan 8, 2012 8:24 PM

    I heard all week how Troy Polomalu was going to smash Tebow …really hows that humble pie tastin?

  35. broncotis3000 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:28 PM

    Hmm.. I thought Brady Quinn was set to come in this week…What happpened???

  36. savagenation2011 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:29 PM

    TEBOW beat the Steelers AND the refs !!!!!

  37. berto55 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:31 PM

    Congrats Denver, you were the better team this week. Good luck!

  38. drew44 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:32 PM

    Another rule that makes no sense, like the tuck rule, the Charles Johnson call against the bears. The league uses this kind of stuff to alter the outcome. You’ll never see the Cardinals get a call like that over the packers, or the Jags get a call over the Steelers. It’s BS

  39. doorandwindowplus says: Jan 8, 2012 8:36 PM

    I am a little disappointed that this site doesn’t have a new story talking about the win. I guess the Brady Quinn story is more important.

  40. dolfan34 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:36 PM

    Looks good on the Steelers losing today. Steelers fans….the most arrogant fans on the planet. Guess God wasn’t a Steelers fan after all.

    Enjoy your offseason!!…..

  41. drakost says: Jan 8, 2012 8:38 PM

    I think if the Broncos make it to the Superbowl I might actually have to start believing in god…

  42. stew48 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:38 PM

    Oh, and BTW, if the official rules the pass is a forward pass and blows his whistle, only insanity would permit review.

  43. Patriot42 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:42 PM

    One thing I got out of this game was #24 lost the game for Steelers.

  44. joerevs300 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:42 PM

    Yes and everyone will love it when Green Bay wins their 2nd straight Super Bowl because we love predictability and hate new teams having a chance to win.

    You’ll hear “Start of a Dynasty” and “This is great for the NFL”. It is easy to hate the team with the most Super Bowls in NFL history (which will remain that way unless San Francisco finds a way to get there and win, an unlikely proposition).

    As a Steelers fan I tip my hat to the Broncos. They simply wanted this game more and executed better and at the end of the day, that can make up a big talent gap.

    Our depth simply couldn’t cover up for guys who were out (Hampton, Woodley, Keisel, R.Clark, Pouncey), even though Redman might have just won the starting job at RB over Mendenhall.

    All the credit to Tebow and the Broncos. How does a Houston-Broncos AFC Championship sound? I am sure the NFL and CBS are doing cartwheels over that possibility…

  45. ilovefootball25 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:43 PM

    This game was alot closer than it needed to be. What refs…did Tomlin’s check bounce??

  46. vanmorrissey says: Jan 8, 2012 8:43 PM

    Deb says:
    Jan 8, 2012 8:20 PM
    I come on here after my team loses to congratulate the Broncos on a well-deserved win. But instead of a post-game wrap-up, I can only find headline after headline whining about the officials and James Harrison. Can’t this jukebox ever find another tune? Good grief.

    Class move, as usual, Deb. Now, about the Tide tomorrow night. If they lose, again, will you be so congenial? Yes, you would. Stay tuned, that game will rock.

  47. somesome says: Jan 8, 2012 8:47 PM

    So now Tebow is going to play agianst Josh McDaniel;s first game as the OC for the Pats ….. buahahahauaha.

  48. ytsejamer1 says: Jan 8, 2012 8:58 PM

    I read that about four times and i still don’t understand it or the logic. It’s a bad non-rule. I was yelling and screaming at the tv and my family looked at me like I was crazy…okay, so maybe i was.

    Broncos did a great job…and should be commended. Refs were horrendous…i’ll be shocked if we see this team again in the playoffs. They missed a ton of stuff. Cheatsburgh is right…more like facemaskburgh.

  49. blackqbwhiterb says: Jan 8, 2012 8:58 PM

    You people are crazy. On a questionable play Pittsburgh was denied the opportunity to quickly run another play, like many other teams do. The refs stopped play, held a damn meeting with John Fox, and saved him a challenge. He never called time out or threw a red flag, and they still stopped everything for him. It was totally against Pittsburgh who obviously would have tried to run a play. Pitt got robbed there, not Denver, even though nothing came of it.

  50. denverdude7 says: Jan 8, 2012 9:17 PM

    The officiating crew was particularly lousy in this game. They missed at least 2 and possibly 3 facemask penalties on Tebow alone as well as the non-lateral and a some non calls for pass interference by Denver.

    Regardless. Pittsburgh got outplayed. Way to go Tebow !!!!

  51. raiders757 says: Jan 8, 2012 9:17 PM

    The Refs almost cost Denver the game, and it’s inexcusable. This article is laughable, and it’s obvious the majority agree. We know Steelers fans run this site, so don’t try to disguise the fix the NFL tried to give your Steelturds. Your team deserves this loss, and there’s no excuses for the Trailer Park Nation,s they claimed they could win with their back-ups in.

    This is going to be an epic week of hilarity.

  52. Phintastic says: Jan 8, 2012 9:23 PM

    blackqbwhiterb says:Jan 8, 2012 8:58 PM

    You people are crazy. On a questionable play Pittsburgh was denied the opportunity to quickly run another play, like many other teams do. The refs stopped play, held a damn meeting with John Fox, and saved him a challenge. He never called time out or threw a red flag, and they still stopped everything for him. It was totally against Pittsburgh who obviously would have tried to run a play. Pitt got robbed there, not Denver, even though nothing came of it.

    Who is the crazy one? The challenge flag was to be thrown. The ref looked at the replay, heard when the whistle was blown, and explained Fox’s options from there. All by the book (however flawed the book may be)…

    What robbery (game) are you writing about???

  53. cobrala2 says: Jan 8, 2012 9:26 PM

    I don’t like Mike Pereira at all. He’s one of those who cannot admit a mistake or failure. The entire country sees bad officiating in multiple games per-week, but all you’ll get is excuses from Pereira.

    We’re sick of hearing WHY refs suck. We KNOW they suck. Let’s improve the rules to reduce the impact of their sucktitude a bit more.

    Horrific officiating in Denver in many, many respects.

  54. TheWizard says: Jan 8, 2012 9:41 PM

    Pitt got robbed there, not Denver, even though nothing came of it

    It should have been ruled a lateral initially.

    The whole world could see it, the one guy who couldn’t had a fast whistle.

  55. sariff420 says: Jan 8, 2012 9:51 PM

    Too much officiating in the NFL …

  56. Deb says: Jan 8, 2012 9:54 PM

    @vanmorrissey …

    I’ll admit it’s tough having two playoff games in two days. Hoping for a better outcome tomorrow night!! Roll Tide!! :D

  57. davikes says: Jan 8, 2012 10:11 PM

    Aside from the really obvious bad calls, I don’t thinks the refs called an offensive holding call all night on either team. That’s got to be first. Overall the officiating was pretty brutal. Glad the Bronco’s won, they earned it. But it should have been over in regulation.

  58. mrznyc says: Jan 8, 2012 11:04 PM

    Yeah – more rules, more cameras, more refs, more challenges, more talk, more debate, MORE COMMERCIALS, more, more, more – no reason the game can’t last a full two days. After all, who really cares about the players on the field. What we really want is more talk, more experts, more analysis and MORE COMMERCIALS. As a small side note I discovered – because there was no game going on – The blues guitar riff that runs under the Viagra commercials is an old Howlin’ Wolf tune, “Smokestack Lightning” Whether it was chosen because of the music or the name I do not know.

  59. db105 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:05 PM

    xxwhodatxx says:
    Jan 8, 2012 8:06 PM
    That was a ridiculous call,they should never blow the whistle on plays like that.

    ———————————————————————————–
    By not blowing the whistle then the official(s) are implying that the play should continue on. It might be harder to overturn a bad call that way. Leaving some plays up to replay is a great idea but there is a limited number of challenges a team gets per game.

  60. sgtcombatsanta says: Jan 8, 2012 11:05 PM

    Bottom line…The throw was BEHIND the line of scrimmage…FUMBLE…PERIOD

  61. blackcatnfl says: Jan 8, 2012 11:43 PM

    DUH! Its called a WHISTLE!! It means “The play is dead, stop killing each other”. Why the TV announcers seem to have no clue as to what a whistle means is beyond me. I figured it out on the first highlight when you heard this loud blaring whistle before the recovery. Again…DUH!

  62. blackcatnfl says: Jan 8, 2012 11:45 PM

    And while we are (*&)(& about the refs, how come we never saw the definitive picture of the dropped deep pass that was reversed by the official? I never saw any frame where the ball hit the ground. And as soon as the reversal was announced, the TV announcers just moved on like nothing strange had happened…

  63. rubicon202 says: Jan 8, 2012 11:46 PM

    NFL Ref’s = monkey balls. They should be embarrased. Man I if I screwed as they did at my job I certainly would be umemployed…

  64. letsgosharks says: Jan 9, 2012 12:06 AM

    He ripped on Gruden yet he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.NFL officiating as a whole is a joke.

  65. 1fast84 says: Jan 9, 2012 12:29 AM

    db105 says:
    By not blowing the whistle then the official(s) are implying that the play should continue on. It might be harder to overturn a bad call that way. Leaving some plays up to replay is a great idea but there is a limited number of challenges a team gets per game.

    But at least the team could be given an chance to challege a bad call instead of blowing the whistle and no challege can be made at all???

  66. mayfieldroadboy says: Jan 9, 2012 12:31 AM

    Ben was standing between the 19 and 20 yard lines when he threw the ball BACKWARD to a receiver at the 18 yard line, who dropped/mishandled the ball.

    Not a forward pass or a lateral; it was a backward pass, which, when dropped or missing the receiver entirely, is considered a fumble and is the object of a scrum for possession.

  67. stopthehate15bowdown says: Jan 9, 2012 12:44 AM

    They should change the rule… back to the way it was before the Hochuli non-controversy. It was the right call in the Hochuli game and the right call in this game. The problem is consistency. If you over-react and change a rule you have to make apply to all similar situations. There is no difference between a qb fumble and a loose-ball on a lateral. A fumble is a fumble unless the qb can demonstrate forward motion in the act of passing. If the whistle is blown the play should be dead no exception ,no replay, no matter what! It’s a good rule for player safety reasons but the league is not really interested in player safety, only P.R. regarding concussions. The league should stop messing with the rules but if they are going to change something then enforce it consistently and universally.

  68. bleed4philly says: Jan 9, 2012 12:53 AM

    They should change the rule anyway. That wasn’t fare and everyone except Steelers fans knows it.

  69. tomsd1 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:30 AM

    Agree with others. Total BS explanation. Real simple: Was it a lateral or not? And since it was – Denver ball.

  70. mogogo1 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:53 AM

    So they specifically exempted laterals from the rule? That was obviously a huge error and it’s hard to believe anybody ever thought that was a good idea. It seems every time they try to tweak the rules, they end up with things being more confusing and inconsistent than before.

    Rough night for the guys in the stripes. They missed on the lateral, on a very obvious face mask against Tebow, and two officials both thought Redmon had scored when even live it looked like he was down short of the goal line.

  71. drbob117 says: Jan 9, 2012 3:03 AM

    That’s my problem with this jerk;he likes to call people like Gruden blowhards and says that if you’re going to pontificate about the rule ,you should at least explain it first .Fine.Here’s a corollary.If you give the rule and say nobody can recover once they blow the whistle thinking it was an incomplete forward pass,that’s fine.I get the rule.But then you have to say that there’s no excuse for an official at that level to not recognize a backward pass when he sees it, so that he can do the right thing and NOT blow the whistle so the play can continue.Defending the officiating ,no matter how poor,makes Periera a blowhard in my book

  72. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 9, 2012 7:47 AM

    The refs did all they could to help PIT back into the game. They cheated for NO. They cheated for ATL (held JPP all game, not a single holding call, the awful spots they gave the Giants, and the onus was on THEM on that “3rd and 1″ that Eli went deep for and didn’t convert near the half, etc.) and PIT, NE, GB and NO get ref help that is so blatantly obvious that it sickens me.

  73. vikingdoode says: Jan 9, 2012 7:54 AM

    funny that line judge would have seem the backwardness of the pass. How about dont blow…..to late you blow…..for that alone I was rooting for the Broncos….

  74. chandler455 says: Jan 9, 2012 7:59 AM

    considering pittsburgh shouldnt have 5 or 6 without refs help…

  75. tomsd1 says: Jan 9, 2012 8:11 AM

    Here’s what I rent out to my email groups right after the blow lateral call:

    Subj: Incredible: Total BS: Lateral or what???

    What is this total BS baloney that because the Refs called it an incomplete pass it’s not actually a lateral and could be recovered by the Broncos?

    The Steelers organizational influence on the Refs continues, much like when Seattle was screwed in the Super Bowl v. the Steelers.

    If you want to expose a real “scandal” – investigate all the calls that have gone the Steelers way – starting with the Immaculate Reception.

  76. GG Eden says: Jan 9, 2012 8:38 AM

    Pereira, what a blowhard.

  77. kene510 says: Jan 10, 2012 6:15 PM

    Once they ruled it was an incomplete pass, the play was over. It had nothing to do with the whistle. I’m not sure why everyone is getting on Mike Pereira. When he was on the NFL Network, he wasn’t afraid to point out miscalls by the officials.

  78. mom2kidsdog says: Jan 11, 2012 9:53 PM

    So . . . they’re saying that since the ref made the wrong call on the field and blew the whistle for an incomplete pass, hence stopping play, that it was not subject to challenge given that an incomplete pass call is not subject to challenge? Had the ref made the correct call, i.e., not blown the whistle and called a change of possession fumble for the lateral pass, this call would have been subject to challenge by Pittsburgh as actually an incomplete pass, and then “after further review, the ruling on the field is confirmed”?

    This makes no sense.

    I thought the whole point of the challenges was to overturn bad calls on the field.

  79. mom2kidsdog says: Jan 11, 2012 10:00 PM

    Wait . . . it might make some sense to the extent that calling a play dead with a blown whistle might make some guys stop trying to recover the fumble . . . hence to create an equal playing field (so to speak), the fumble and change of possession cannot be awarded to the player that ignores the whistle?

  80. kene510 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:41 AM

    The whistle does not matter when there is a recovery on a play when the the player is ruled down and the play is challenged. Same thing for the Hoculi rule. The NFL did not include the lateral vs pass play as a possible fumble recovery. The play is dead as soon as it was ruled incomplete on the field.

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