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NFL details key officiating issues from Week One

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions Getty Images

NFL Network has unfortunately discontinued the “Official Review” segment that used to be one of its most enlightening segments of the week, with the league’s head of officiating (previously Mike Pereira and now Carl Johnson) going over some controversial or unusual calls from the previous week’s games. Fortunately, the league has replaced “Official Review” with a weekly video, narrated by Johnson, that will detail the key calls from the previous week.

This week, Johnson’s video points to six rules issues that arose this week:

– If the defense has 12 players in the formation and the snap is imminent, the officials are to blow it dead right then and throw a flag on the defense, rather than letting the offense run the play and then choose to either take the penalty or take the result of the game. The Ravens were correctly flagged for 12 in the formation on defense on Monday night against the Ravens.

– After the two-minute warning of either half, a team with an injured player will be charged a timeout. This was incorrectly applied and gave an extra timeout to the Seahawks in their loss to the Cardinals.

– If a backward pass is incorrectly ruled an incomplete forward pass on the field, but there is a clear recovery, a replay review can give the ball to the recovering team. In the past, such plays were not reviewable. This was incorrectly ruled on the field — but correctly reversed on replay — in the Seahawks-Cardinals game.

– When a player on the punting team is the first to touch a punt on the last play of a half, the receiving team gets the ball and can run one play. This rule was incorrectly enforced on the last play of the Chargers-Raiders game on Monday night.

– In the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, only the fumbling player on the offense can advance a fumble. This came up late in the Jets’ win over the Bills, when Shonn Greene fumbled into the end zone, where the ball was recovered by D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

– Goaltending is against the rules in football, not just basketball: A player who jumps up and touches a ball as it is about to go through the goal posts in an attempt to block a field goal is flagged for goaltending, a 15-yard penalty. This came up when 49ers kicker David Akers hit the crossbar with his record-tying 63-yard field goal, and Packers receiver Randall Cobb jumped up and just missed knocking the ball away.

Instructional videos like this are a good reminder about some of the more complex issues in the NFL rulebook. Here’s hoping the NFL keeps them coming — and doesn’t have to use them to detail a game-altering mistake by the replacement refs.

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29 Responses to “NFL details key officiating issues from Week One”
  1. bigbluebruiser says: Sep 14, 2012 6:53 PM

    The Goaltending Rule is just like the Tuck Rule, it’s in the book but it’s rarely called.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 14, 2012 6:56 PM

    These are all rules that I have known since I was a teenager. Yet they keep trotting these scabs out there and piss on our legs, saying it’s raining with not a cloud in the sky. BRING BACK THE REGULARS AND ALL THEIR WARTS. At least they know the rules.

  3. judsonjr says: Sep 14, 2012 6:59 PM

    It’s a good thing the goaltending rule is in the book, it would really ruin a game if someone blocked a FG that way.

  4. oldcracker says: Sep 14, 2012 7:00 PM

    Yah, yah, but look at all the money these billionaire owners saved on labor costs. Isn’t that the real issue with them???

  5. blackandbluedivision says: Sep 14, 2012 7:08 PM

    If you can block a field goal that is mighty impressive. You have to time the kick and know where it is going to land…not to mention jump 10 feet off the ground. No wonder it hasn’t been called before now.

  6. jimnaizeeum says: Sep 14, 2012 7:10 PM

    I don”t remember quite the scrutiny on the regular refs.
    I think if the same magnifying were applied to those games you would see there isn’t a whole lot of difference.

  7. pop562 says: Sep 14, 2012 7:14 PM

    How about the block from behind on Dixon during the punt return that the reg threw a flag for but then decided to wave the penalty…that was probably one of the craziest calls in years.

  8. blackandbluedivision says: Sep 14, 2012 7:15 PM

    Other than field goal one, those are all mistakes that I have seen regular refs make. I see no difference. Also, in the Pittsburgh game the play clock ran out without the refs throwing the flag on Roethlisberger.

  9. stercuilus65 says: Sep 14, 2012 7:18 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 14, 2012 6:56 PM

    “These are all rules that I have known since I was a teenager. Yet they keep trotting these scabs out there and piss on our legs, saying it’s raining with not a cloud in the sky. BRING BACK THE REGULARS AND ALL THEIR WARTS. At least they know the rules.”

    BS You must have amnesia because the “regulars” didn’t know the rules any better as was demonstrated on a weekly basis through they years. Take the union label and stick it.

  10. ndnut says: Sep 14, 2012 7:19 PM

    I saw one of my town’s local indoor team players block a field goal this way and proceed to return it for a touchdown. At the time I thought “this is cool, but isn’t it against the rules?” nothing was called and I assumed that it was legal across all divisions. I guess you learn something every day!

  11. bluebongzilla says: Sep 14, 2012 7:20 PM

    Another rule they should have emphasized is that it’s illegal for an offensive lineman to grab a defensive player’s jersey, arm, facemask, head, etc. Let’s call it the “David Diehl Rule”.

  12. laeaglefan says: Sep 14, 2012 7:20 PM

    Maybe teams should start having 7 foot tall defenders back in front of the goal posts to block field goal attempts.

  13. flyinlion says: Sep 14, 2012 7:27 PM

    If you theoretically had a player who COULD block a FG at the crossbar, shouldn’t you do it every time in an end of half/game situation like last week? Akers would have had to try again from 48 yards which is better for the Packers than a made FG.

  14. mrpilsner says: Sep 14, 2012 7:34 PM

    “replacement”?

    Hey, Three Names, please, don’t delete me!

    Just let me know; how long are you going to call the NFL referees that?

    Thanks, man. You’re the goods.

  15. beedubyatoo says: Sep 14, 2012 7:40 PM

    The call that was really a puzzle was in the Packers-49’ers game when an official called a Block in the Back penalty on the KICKING team.

  16. ripseau says: Sep 14, 2012 7:44 PM

    How did AMERICA become so anti-union? Is it because Fox news says its bad? Unions are for the employees and help honest people earn honest livings.

  17. stairwayto7 says: Sep 14, 2012 8:03 PM

    Some unions are backstabbers and are working with Mis-Management!

  18. jasons81 says: Sep 14, 2012 8:04 PM

    @Mr. Wright 212

    You must be one of those union tough guys that despite having only a GED makes more than double the median income in your area… and gets promoted not based on your performance or worthiness but rather because you have seniority… that can’t be disciplined for transgressions at work because your union head will have something to say about it… that gets retirement benefits that exceed what lots of people make in a year. Yeah God bless unions!

  19. weimdog says: Sep 14, 2012 8:19 PM

    Goal tending –
    Washington Redskins at Baltimore Colts, December 8, 1962:

    6’3” Colts wide receiver R.C. Owens (better known for popularizing the Alley-Oop pass, in which the receiver outjumps the defenders) blocked a 40-yard field goal at the crossbar. At the time, this was legal.

    Photo at – http://quirkyresearch.blogspot.com/2009/12/blogging-nfl-rule-book-palpably-unfair.html

    The above rule (which appears to allow catching a field goal at the crossbar) was enacted before the 1963 season.

    (Note: as best I can tell,, the AFL did not enact a similar rule. More confusingly, there are numerous reports of the Chiefs’ 6’9″ Morris Stroud leaping for and barely missing a George Blanda field goal in 1970, the year after the NFL-AFL merger. Research in progress.)

    My comment –
    Sounds like another stupid rule to me

  20. 4thqtrsaint says: Sep 14, 2012 8:21 PM

    Soooo… The Saints were incorrectly called for 12 men on the field? Giving the Skins another possession?

  21. chi01town says: Sep 14, 2012 8:39 PM

    Pay the real refs please… This is really getting out of hand. The replacement guys dont know when they see a fumble.. They cant get pass interferance right. They dont know when they see a holding call an worse they are shaping the playoff picture.

  22. huejackson says: Sep 14, 2012 8:56 PM

    Raiders only loose by 8 points, Now going 95 yards on 1 play is almost impossible but they still should of got that opportunity.. Raiders only loose by 8 points and they had no punter…Wow either Raiders are the best team in the NFL or Chargers really suck.
    Chargers should of won by 50 points

  23. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 14, 2012 8:58 PM

    jasons81 says: Sep 14, 2012 8:04 PM

    @Mr. Wright 212

    You must be one of those union tough guys that despite having only a GED makes more than double the median income in your area… and gets promoted not based on your performance or worthiness but rather because you have seniority… that can’t be disciplined for transgressions at work because your union head will have something to say about it… that gets retirement benefits that exceed what lots of people make in a year. Yeah God bless unions!
    ———–

    Three degrees bozo, will send you pics of each. I am from New York, unions dominate here. I don’t automatically side with them, but you anti-union hacks are worse than any lying, conniving, backstabbing union delegate, trust me. You are just arguing with a liberal bent and it does not resonate with me.

  24. EJ says: Sep 15, 2012 8:13 AM

    I’m glad that there is a no goal tending rule, It would suck having an opponent hop up and stop your 59 yard field goal for the game winner.

  25. forevermore5220 says: Sep 15, 2012 8:18 AM

    these refs are atrocious

  26. raqaiw says: Sep 15, 2012 9:31 AM

    Unions used to be about protecting worker’s rights,now the’re just about protecting lazy people’s “right” to stay employed. Not all unions are bad,but far more negative is known than positive. Look at the NFLRA;they want more pay,but not to be held accountable for their work.They don’t want new refs hired. They refuse to switch from a pension to a 401k system. All for a PART-TIME job.

  27. keepounding1234 says: Sep 15, 2012 9:40 AM

    bigbluebruiser says:
    Sep 14, 2012 6:53 PM
    The Goaltending Rule is just like the Tuck Rule, it’s in the book but it’s rarely called.
    ____________________________________
    It will get called if it happens. The are not talking about blocking a field goal.

  28. CKL says: Sep 15, 2012 11:02 AM

    oldcracker says:
    Sep 14, 2012 7:00 PM
    Yah, yah, but look at all the money these billionaire owners saved on labor costs. Isn’t that the real issue with them???
    ___________________________________
    Part of getting and staying rich is knowing that you shouldn’t overpay for something just because you have the money to afford it.

  29. julyeast says: Sep 15, 2012 12:30 PM

    Was hoping that the league would say “regardless of who the Refs are, offensive holding will continue to be allowed”

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