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Ref allowed Jaguars to challenge a non-reviewable play

gusbradley AP

If you’re an NFL fan who can’t keep track of which plays are reviewable on instant replay and which plays aren’t, don’t feel bad. Sometimes the NFL’s own referees can’t remember either.

NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino confirmed in a video distributed to the media today that during Sunday’s Cardinals-Jaguars game, the Jaguars were allowed to challenge the recovery of a muffed punt, even though recoveries in a pile in the middle of the field are not reviewable. The Jaguars lost the challenge and were charged a timeout, but the referee should have just told Jaguars coach Gus Bradley that he wasn’t allowed to challenge.

“We erroneously allowed a challenge,” Blandino said. “We don’t change the call on the field, thankfully, but we charge Jacksonville with a timeout, which we should not have. The referee should tell the coach, ‘This is not reviewable,’ allow him to pick up the flag, and don’t charge him a timeout. This is different from when he challenges during a time period when he can’t, after a scoring play or inside two minutes. That’s an automatic timeout or a 15-yard penalty if they’re out of timeouts. Here, because he’s confused about a rule, we allow him to pick up a challenge, and we don’t charge him a timeout. . . We should not have allowed that challenge.”

Blandino explained that the NFL’s rules don’t permit coaches to challenge fumble recoveries in the field of play.

“This is not reviewable — this is recovery of a loose ball in the field of play, not reviewable,” Blandino said. “In the end zone it would be, as a potential scoring play, or you could review whether it was in or out of bounds, if the sideline was involved. But because the ball changes hands sometimes in that pile this is not a reviewable play.”

One person who did know that rule was Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who tiptoed around the issue when asked by a reporter.

You trying to get me fined again?” Arians said, via the Arizona Republic. “As far as I know, it’s a non-reviewable play.”

Arians’ understanding of the rule was correct. The referee got it wrong.

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45 Responses to “Ref allowed Jaguars to challenge a non-reviewable play”
  1. thepftpoet says: Nov 22, 2013 6:11 PM

    I don’t think anyone really minds this..

    Let’s be honest the Jags need all the help they can get

  2. bennyb82 says: Nov 22, 2013 6:14 PM

    How can an entire crew not know the same rule?

  3. thesmartest1 says: Nov 22, 2013 6:17 PM

    It’s the least they could do.

  4. dcstinks says: Nov 22, 2013 6:20 PM

    Are we back to replacement refs again???

  5. macker1283 says: Nov 22, 2013 6:22 PM

    This is why it was so funny to me last year when everyone was up in arms about the replacement refs, and begging for the actual refs to come back. There was no difference. Bad calls, and incompetence has always been a trademark of NFL refs. It was no different with the replacement refs. You just had a better excuse when they were around.

  6. weareluckytohavemikeflorio says: Nov 22, 2013 6:26 PM

    who was the referee in question?
    just guessing it sounds like jerome boger

  7. returntoexcellence says: Nov 22, 2013 6:28 PM

    Anything should be reviewable. If I have two challenges, than let me challenge whatever I want

  8. mightyminer says: Nov 22, 2013 6:31 PM

    the NFL needs to start fining officiating crews for these kinds of mistakes.

    It’s their job to know the rules. Yes, there are a lot of them, but it’s their JOB to know the rules.

  9. steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 22, 2013 6:32 PM

    Meanwhile, the Steelers’ Glorious March of 2013 continues.

  10. weepingjebus says: Nov 22, 2013 6:35 PM

    It’s like the league wants every team to finish somewhere between 10-6 and 6-10, and is not above using refs to get there.

  11. RavenzGunnerz says: Nov 22, 2013 6:35 PM

    Hummm… they had problems on a punt?

    I thought these guys drafted a punter in the 3rd round… ;)

  12. thegreatgabbert says: Nov 22, 2013 6:37 PM

    If it wasn’t for that the Jags would be 9-1 this season.

  13. shatho1 says: Nov 22, 2013 6:37 PM

    looks like blandino needs to live up to his title of being head of officiating and start teaching these refs how to do their jobs and know the rules

  14. daytonaken says: Nov 22, 2013 6:41 PM

    Players’ numbers are broadcasted on a penalty, why not the zebras?

  15. isphet71 says: Nov 22, 2013 6:43 PM

    The NFL is going to have to steal away Harvard Law Grads to accurately call the rules, and I don’t think even they could do it very well.

    The rules are getting too… ruley.

  16. bobsnygiants says: Nov 22, 2013 6:50 PM

    they are only part time , hire full time .former players , 45 years old and younger. get these banana heads out of here.

  17. beavertonsteve says: Nov 22, 2013 6:51 PM

    I have never understood why you can never challenge a fumble recovery. In most cases, yeah, there’s no way to tell who got the ball. Every once in a while a guys falls on the ball, completely controls it and people jump on him. That should be reviewable. If it was clearly recovered and touched down the play is over. No pile on should be able to change that.

  18. mborz says: Nov 22, 2013 6:52 PM

    I think people are often too hard on officials these days, but there’s no excuse for not knowing the rules about what is/isn’t reviewable.

    It’s not like it’s a split-second decision made during a play, or a judgement call. It’s a rule, and they should be expected to know every single one of them.

  19. racksie says: Nov 22, 2013 6:58 PM

    Can the replay/review rules get any more convoluted?

  20. nfl4days says: Nov 22, 2013 7:02 PM

    If any of us were this incompetent at our jobs we would be canned. These guys just move on with their lives while enjoying a lawyer or doctors salary.

  21. mylionsroaring says: Nov 22, 2013 7:10 PM

    The NFL rules have gotten so complicated that even the rule makers can’t keep up with them.

  22. mylionsroaring says: Nov 22, 2013 7:13 PM

    mborz
    I think people are often too hard on officials these days, but there’s no excuse for not knowing the rules about what is/isn’t reviewable.

    It’s not like it’s a split-second decision made during a play, or a judgement call. It’s a rule, and they should be expected to know every single one of them.
    ______________________________

    It’s a good argument for full time refs. They could help out with training camp and even some practices to help the teams understand what they will call, and the players can learn what they can get away with as it pertains to different reffing styles.

  23. ravenmomma says: Nov 22, 2013 7:14 PM

    If the refs can’t even remember the rules, that tells you there are too many rules in the NFL

  24. FinFan68 says: Nov 22, 2013 7:18 PM

    Bottom line: the NFL can handle poorly officiated games as long as the game is managed smoothly for TV. The major problem with the replacements was their inexperience/confidence and their handling of the time for the broadcast. At least those guys actually tried to get the calls right though.

  25. MostlyRight says: Nov 22, 2013 7:21 PM

    The NFL is getting so regulated it’s like the Federal government…so many rules you’re bound to be doing something wrong and the enforcers have no idea when to do something about it. And in both cases it’s ruining things.

  26. MostlyRight says: Nov 22, 2013 7:25 PM

    Arians seems to know all. He knew to call a time out just before Palmer threw an INT because he knew Palmer was about to throw an INT. I think he sees the future.

  27. melikefootball says: Nov 22, 2013 7:32 PM

    Aren’t these contracted officials soooooooooooo much better than the replacements.

  28. bamsky says: Nov 22, 2013 7:34 PM

    I can’t wait until this referee lockout is over…these replacement refs suck.

  29. computojon says: Nov 22, 2013 7:36 PM

    steelersaregodsteam says:
    Nov 22, 2013 6:32 PM
    Meanwhile, the Steelers’ Glorious March of 2013 continues.

    Ha-ha-ha, yes indeed it does, doesn’t it

  30. pappert says: Nov 22, 2013 7:48 PM

    If a coach throws a flag on a non-reviewable play the team throwing the flag should Automatically lose a timeout. Just there’s a clock run-off for calling timeout with any remaining.

  31. boomgrounder says: Nov 22, 2013 8:43 PM

    I think the reason the referee allowed the review is that they knew they got the call wrong. It was so obvious that the
    Jaguars had initially recovered the fumble and then a referee signals Cards ball and the Jaguars come out of the pile with the ball. The referee needs to do 1 of 2 things 1) Call possession when you see who initially has possession on the ground and has been touched down. In this case the Jags. Or 2) Call possession when you see who comes out of the pike with the ball in this case the Jags. The Ref did neither he just kind of stood by the pile for about 2 seconds and pointed Cards possession while every Jags player was pointing Jags possession. The ref knew they blew the call and they were just trying to appease Jags HC Gus Bradley. It was blatantly obvious. I was at the stadium and saw it all thru binoculars. “Keystone Cops in Action”!

  32. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 22, 2013 8:56 PM

    15 yard penalty on the ref! (non-reviewable)

  33. jrebar88 says: Nov 22, 2013 9:09 PM

    Have the real officials ever returned?

  34. FinFan68 says: Nov 22, 2013 9:25 PM

    mylionsroaring says:
    Nov 22, 2013 7:13 PM
    mborz
    I think people are often too hard on officials these days, but there’s no excuse for not knowing the rules about what is/isn’t reviewable.

    It’s not like it’s a split-second decision made during a play, or a judgement call. It’s a rule, and they should be expected to know every single one of them.
    ______________________________

    It’s a good argument for full time refs. They could help out with training camp and even some practices to help the teams understand what they will call, and the players can learn what they can get away with as it pertains to different reffing styles.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I completely disagree. Job status will not change competence. They are already tasked with knowing the rules and making them full-time employees won’t change that. I thought that the officials already do camps/practices like you described. Your last statement is what I disagree the most with. The rules are there to ensure safety and fair play. If officials arbitrarily choose what they will and will not enforce, then the rules may as well not be there at all. Players should play within the rules rather than see what they can get away with. A foul is a foul no matter who is involved, how much time is left on the clock or what part of the season/post season the game is played. Not seeing an infraction is one thing; seeing it and ignoring it is another matter entirely.

  35. petehemlock says: Nov 22, 2013 9:33 PM

    I can’t wait until Gus Bradley writes a book.

  36. richcranium2112 says: Nov 22, 2013 9:42 PM

    Fix the rule book. Reduce complexity -too many exceptions – so fans and officials can understand the game they’re watching.

    But no, we’ll just keep admitting mistakes, changing outcomes, and alienating fans.

    Sad face.

  37. citizenstrange says: Nov 22, 2013 9:44 PM

    How greedy is the NFL? Try this … a multi-multi-multi-BILLION-dollar business relying on part time, ill-informed employees to officiate.

  38. ltpm3 says: Nov 22, 2013 10:31 PM

    Are these guys trained at all? They don’t know what can be challenged, they don’t see a bear hug as pass interference or defensive holding. Whats next? I bet they wouldn’t even know if players changed jerseys and played under another players name.

  39. brucetrimble says: Nov 22, 2013 11:09 PM

    The NFL refs remind me of my ex wife. They aren’t always right but, by god, they’re never wrong.

  40. sammievee says: Nov 22, 2013 11:30 PM

    If coach makes a bad challenge, that is his fault, no mulligans should be given, the ref stopping the game and explaining to the situation to a coach who gives up nothing more than an “oops, my bad, sorry” is complete crap.

    Not at all uncommon when coaches intentionally make bad challenges to slow down the game, allow themselves to think about a key play call or decision related to punt/fg/go for it.

    The bad challenges are often knowingly and tactical. If the coach makes a bad challenge, that is on him. The ref should assess the time out and use of challenge in all situations–mistaken challenge or not. Ref should never be in position to have to assess whether a mistaken challenge is actually mistaken challenge or tactical.

  41. theheyseed says: Nov 23, 2013 12:47 AM

    The Refs don’t know the rules, but they will flag a coach for making an error.
    Goodell needs to go

  42. johnnyballsack says: Nov 23, 2013 2:17 AM

    Even the Cardinals did not complain about this…and that is saying something.

  43. thompsonway says: Nov 23, 2013 7:37 AM

    If you look, there is a collection of bad calls, and non calls on the net. Many with the official looking straight at the on field crime. My favorite is a lions corner pulling B. Marshall’s shirt completely out of his pants, with the view of the official staring right at the holding, but making no call. B. Marshall’s shirt is a foot and a half away from his body, and the official seams to be looking at it? We need to mick up the refs, and get them some help upstairs, or fire a couple of the worst officials to make a point.

  44. jaxbill says: Nov 23, 2013 9:01 AM

    First of all, the ref in question was the infamous Jeff Triplette. This was just one of the many things he hosed this game, including a pass intercepted by the Jags deep in Cardinal territory. As the teams were heading to the bench, it turns out there was no play due to Ariz timeout.
    Secondly, this HURT the Jags not helped because they were charged timeout for a review which never should have happened.

  45. gbrim says: Nov 23, 2013 9:26 AM

    NFL should publicize ref names and punish ref errors like this one. Refs who don’t like getting called out for major errors can leave the fraternity. Triplette and his whole crew were a mess the entire game. Overall they hurt the Jags, but that was just luck–their incompetence could just as easily have gone the other way.

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