Skip to content

League admits Triplette should have stopped to clarify down

johnson_blandino-e1359910198176

The league has admitted that referee Jeff Triplette should have stopped last night’s Redskins-Giants game to clear up confusion about what down it actually was.

The league issued a statement from vice president of officiating Dean Blandino explaining the mess, which Triplette failed to do last night.

The statement pointed out that the second-down pass to Pierre Garςon was “correctly spotted” short of a first down, but that the head linesman “incorrectly motioned for the chain crew to advance the chains, which caused the down boxes to read first down.”

After Washington’s incomplete pass to Fred Davis on third down (which they thought was first down), Garςon caught a fourth-down pass, but it was stripped away from him by Giants safety Will Hill.

“In this situation where there is obvious confusion as to the status of the down, play should have been stopped prior to third down and the correct down communicated to both clubs,” Blandino said. “This should have occurred regardless of the fact that Washington had no timeouts and it was inside two minutes.

“Only the referee can rule and signal a first down. The official nearest to the down markers and chain crew, the head linesman, must wait for the first down signal from the referee before moving the chains. Instant Replay did not become involved in this situation because the replay official determined that the ball on Garcon’s catch was correctly spotted short of the line to gain for a first down.”

That’s small consolation to the Redskins, although Garςon’s fumble served to make to larger point moot.

But the league needs to make sure its internal grading process takes such mishaps into account, creating accountability for the guys who haven’t done a very good job of explaining themselves lately.

Permalink 68 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New York Giants, Rumor Mill, Top Stories, Washington Redskins
68 Responses to “League admits Triplette should have stopped to clarify down”
  1. patriottony says: Dec 2, 2013 1:37 PM

    Lets see,,,in the last 4 weeks we have had the REF’ completely “F” up the ending of 4 GAMES JETs/PATS in OT….pushing by a Def Tackle,,,,Skins/Giants..PATS/Carolina on final play,,,,,Etc etc etc….WTH is going on with these crews?

  2. floratiotime says: Dec 2, 2013 1:42 PM

    Refs mess up calls in every game. I suppose if they had the down right then the safety wouldn’t have ripped the ball out of Garcon’s hands. Yeah, that makes sense.

  3. bspurloc says: Dec 2, 2013 1:42 PM

    what about the Vikings calling 2 timeouts in a row to ice the kicker….
    That should have been a delay of game penalty, but they allowed it… um???
    why no story about that? why announcers not mention it?

  4. jbpanthers says: Dec 2, 2013 1:42 PM

    The NFL referee union must be really good, because how Jeff Triplette still has a job while screwing up EVERY game he’s officiated is embarrassing.

  5. bennyb82 says: Dec 2, 2013 1:43 PM

    The refs should feel extremely lucky that Garcon fumbled instead of having an incomplete pass on fourth down.

  6. thepftpoet says: Dec 2, 2013 1:44 PM

    Let’s be honest, no one cares about the Redskins anyways

  7. pftfan says: Dec 2, 2013 1:44 PM

    Likely explanation: FedEx Field is a haunted Indian burial ground.

  8. mogogo1 says: Dec 2, 2013 1:46 PM

    The problem wasn’t the mistake, it was the usual arrogance of the refs after the fact. Triplette’s post game comments consisted of him insisting everything was handled correctly and implying that he was bound by rule not to stop the game to avoid giving an advantage to the Redskins. Either he doesn’t know the rules, or he doesn’t mind lying to cover for his mistakes. Either should be enough to get him fired (particularly given his track record of mess-ups) but he’ll be back screwing another game up next week.

  9. dstroi says: Dec 2, 2013 1:47 PM

    It still doesn’t excuse the mishap on the field. Let’s see how many times the name Dean Blandino appears in the NFL news either trying to defend the referee’s or to come up with some kind of deflection to the facts that happen on the field every week with these “mistakes”. The rest of the year/playoffs should be interesting to say the least!

  10. eatitfanboy says: Dec 2, 2013 1:49 PM

    Apparently no one on the crew, nor the replay official in the booth, pays any attention to the down markers. If the replay official felt the ball was correctly spotted short, which it was, and then saw the chains move, couldn’t he have buzzed down to Triplette to stop play?

  11. weepingjebus says: Dec 2, 2013 1:50 PM

    Seems to me like the first stop for the oddsmakers should now be the officiating crew assignments. But on the plus side, we can now start up Fantasy Officiating leagues with a scoring system based on reversed, blown, or simply game changing calls. Yayy….

  12. 6ball says: Dec 2, 2013 1:54 PM

    .

    They save their worst work for prime time.

    .

  13. batesbruce says: Dec 2, 2013 1:59 PM

    Look, they all blow a judgment call from time to time. We don’t like it, but as fans we get it when PIs don’t go our way. This wasn’t a judgment call; it was game management! Triplette MUST BE SUSPENDED for this. Garcon’s fumble doesn’t happen because they call a different play on “3rd down.” This is worse than any judgment call snafu. This was avoidable!

  14. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:04 PM

    Wasn’t there supposed to a be a system of grading the refs this year with possible benchings for those who screwed up badly ?

    Time for Triplett to take a game off.

  15. bigmikeskinsfan says: Dec 2, 2013 2:05 PM

    Triplette was trying to put our eye out ala Orlando Brown

  16. clssylssy says: Dec 2, 2013 2:16 PM

    Instead of excuses, what is the league’s solution to the these grevous errors occurring weekly and with the integrity of the game at stake? Currently, the “final word” given by the refs is kinda like the death penalty…no do-overs, it’s just a big OOPS!

  17. mataug says: Dec 2, 2013 2:18 PM

    bspurloc says: Dec 2, 2013 1:42 PM

    what about the Vikings calling 2 timeouts in a row to ice the kicker….
    That should have been a delay of game penalty, but they allowed it… um???
    why no story about that? why announcers not mention it?

    Not sure what the hell you were watching but I saw that part of the game live & the first timeout was by Chicago and the second by Minnesota & then Gould missed the 47 yard attempt.

  18. csilojohnson says: Dec 2, 2013 2:20 PM

    First time I can recall the league not blindly backing up officiating. Interesting

  19. cmeyer49er says: Dec 2, 2013 2:23 PM

    Twenty years from now, Goodell will still wake up in the middle of the night from having nightmares about the entire 2013 season.

  20. sactogary says: Dec 2, 2013 2:24 PM

    The punishment will continue until they change the team name.

  21. giantlucksacks says: Dec 2, 2013 2:25 PM

    However, they did not offer an explanation for the Giants only being penalized one time for one yard, compared to 8-55 for the Skins. But I’m sure that was just a coincidence, right Mr. Mara?

  22. dilligas61 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:25 PM

    You know, it seems like the reg officiating crew this year are on a par with the replacements..Larry, Curly n Moe from last year.

  23. wannabear says: Dec 2, 2013 2:26 PM

    I want my Replacements Refs back!!

  24. gallopinggilmore says: Dec 2, 2013 2:28 PM

    Where are the replacement refs when you need them

  25. sparty0n says: Dec 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    Why didn’t Shanahan throw the red flag forcing the refs to come over and talk with him?

  26. shaundolphinsfan23 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:30 PM

    I’d love to see the NFL clean house, firing all of the refs. They consistently make more bad calls than correct ones and show blatant favoritism towards certain teams throughout the course of games. That being said, even if all refs are not fired, this one should be.

  27. ps3988 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:38 PM

    sparty0n says: Dec 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    Why didn’t Shanahan throw the red flag forcing the refs to come over and talk with him?

    ————————————————————–
    It says right in the article Washington was out of time outs, no time outs, no challenges.

  28. mizzousooner says: Dec 2, 2013 2:40 PM

    While this fiasco didn’t decide the outcome of the game, it is troubling that they didn’t notice this screwup.

    I mean, c’mon, I volunteered and worked on the chain gang at high school games for years, and never once witnessed something this stupid.

  29. gorilladunk says: Dec 2, 2013 2:42 PM

    @spartyon….If Shanny had thrown the red flag inside the two minute warning, he would have been penalized. Can’t challenge calls inside the two minute window of each half.

  30. gergie1957 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:46 PM

    2013 WORST OFFICIATING EVER!!!!

  31. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 2, 2013 2:46 PM

    This game was not pro football from the officials to the punt rolled back to the redskin punter. Give the fans a refund!

  32. profootballfansassociation says: Dec 2, 2013 2:52 PM

    We expect better, NFL. No excuses.

  33. socalskinsfan21 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:55 PM

    @weepingjebus I think you are about 10 or 15 seasons late on that one. Oddsmakers influencing the officials is nothing new, it’s been going on for a while now.

  34. rodeoclownclint24 says: Dec 2, 2013 3:13 PM

    yep we’ll the Giants challengd a play last week or tried and coughlin didnt get a penalty for that. but I’m sure Shanahan would have

  35. draftazoid says: Dec 2, 2013 3:14 PM

    How come 200 college games a week are officiated better than PROFESSIONAL football?

  36. justintuckrule says: Dec 2, 2013 3:16 PM

    giantlucksacks says:
    Dec 2, 2013 2:25 PM
    However, they did not offer an explanation for the Giants only being penalized one time for one yard, compared to 8-55 for the Skins. But I’m sure that was just a coincidence, right Mr. Mara?
    ——————–
    Nor did they give us an explanation why they only flagged Garcon 5 yards for delay instead of the 15 for unsportsmanlike he should have gotten when he made like Janikowski and poutily kicked a fallen incomplete pass into the mezzanine. That call had more bearing on the game than did the one you’re whining about. Instead of a 38 yd chip shot, weak legged Forbath (long of 50 for the season) would have been forced to kick a 48 yarder. That kick gave Washington the lead.

    So excuse me that you’re little diatribe has fallen on my deaf ears.

  37. tillihawk says: Dec 2, 2013 3:25 PM

    people can keep saying “well Garcon was striped turning the ball over” but the point is they may not and probably would not have ran that play at all. They ran a 4th down play when really , according to the refs, it should have beenn second down. This year has been a joke with refs , rules , and Goddell. I don’t know how defensive players even want to play the game because of the rules. I understand its to protect players but it’s getting so out of control. The refs don’t even call the late hits the same way… Qbs like Kaepernick, and RG continuously get creamed even in teh pocket and no flags but if anyone touches Romo, either Manning, Brees, or Brady, a flag is coming big time !!!!

  38. nebster21 says: Dec 2, 2013 3:26 PM

    How is it mute? You go for the first down on 3rd down you do not throw the ball 20 yards down the field. Then you call a seperate play on 4th down based on the blown call. It changed the outcome of the game.

    Kicking the ball is a delay of game just like throwing it away from the refs on purpose is delay of game. Learn the rules Justintuckrule. You have made yourself look like a fool again.

  39. swaggyy says: Dec 2, 2013 3:32 PM

    Everyone and their mother knows the Redskins were not going to score anyways. This possibly could have saved RGknee from getting hurt again

  40. swaggyy says: Dec 2, 2013 3:37 PM

    Am I the only one who has noticed that when intentional grounding is called they forget about the loss of down? It happened last week and the ref mentioned it and they never had a loss of down.

  41. ryanrockzzz says: Dec 2, 2013 3:47 PM

    Perhaps the biggest issue to me surrounding this is the hypocracy of the league.

    There’s talk of milion dollar fines and draft pick (abeilt however insane) forfiture from the Steelers for Mike Tomlin interfering with the game.

    Yet, here is a sitaution, one of many, in which an NFL employee directly impacts the game in a more specific way, and what happens?

    Nothing…..and that sums up the entire way the NFL works sometimes.

  42. cocoachip says: Dec 2, 2013 3:49 PM

    sparty0n says: Dec 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    Why didn’t Shanahan throw the red flag forcing the refs to come over and talk with him?

    From what I gathered, Shanahan did ask a member of the officiating crew for a measurement and was told that he did not need it, because it was a 1st down!

  43. vikinganswer says: Dec 2, 2013 3:59 PM

    Come Skins. You dropped 2 passes that made the mix up inconsequential. Get over it. Losers make excuses, blame refs, or both.

  44. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 2, 2013 4:00 PM

    The Three Blind Mice of nursery rhyme fame were actually Triplettes.

  45. baddegg says: Dec 2, 2013 4:04 PM

    The NFL then followed up by taking away more cap money from the Redskins, after John Mara successfully argues that the ref gave the Redskins an unfair advantage on the play.

    Meanwhile, posters online brilliantly argue that the bad call was made because RGIII “sucks” and because with a hurt knee he will never play QB again, ever, and the Redskins will never have another 1st round pick ever, until the end of time.

  46. 3yardsndust says: Dec 2, 2013 4:08 PM

    Triplette needs to be suspended if the league is going to have any credibility. Losing control of a close game in the final minutes is inexcusable.

  47. rhamrhoddy says: Dec 2, 2013 4:08 PM

    The league seems to admit a lot these days.

    “‘The league admits this’, ‘the league admits that’… It’s an amazing way to begin a sentence!”

    “The league admits it has an inner ear infection”

    “See?”

  48. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 2, 2013 4:13 PM

    cmeyer49er says:

    Twenty years from now, Goodell will still wake up in the middle of the night from having nightmares about the entire 2013 season.
    __________________________

    I doubt that very much. Goodell and the owners are laughing all the way to the bank over the every larger tractor trailers full of cash rolling in while they are delivering an ever more diluted product to the field that has resulted in an awful lot of poor games this year, and that the fans keep coming back even with the lousy games and amateur hour officiating.

    giantlucksacks says:

    However, they did not offer an explanation for the Giants only being penalized one time for one yard, compared to 8-55 for the Skins. But I’m sure that was just a coincidence, right Mr. Mara?
    _______________________________

    As a Pats fan I certainly don’t like the Giants, but they are much better coached on fundamentals than many of the other teams, and certainly moreso than the horridly coached Washington team.

    Its called discipline. The better coached teams have it and don’t make anywhere near as many penalties. The poorly coached teams make a lot more.

  49. commonsensedude says: Dec 2, 2013 4:18 PM

    No surprise to me that some Giants fans are defending Triplette on this one. Many of them also saw nothing funny about John Mara dishing out $45 million in cap penalties against two of his three division rivals (and only those teams) on the eve of the draft. All’s fair as long as it benefits New York.

  50. wrm1230 says: Dec 2, 2013 4:30 PM

    How is it mute?
    **********************************************
    “Mute” is when the sound is turned off….the word you’re looking for is “moot”.

    To use it in a sentence, “There is nothing moot about Jeff Triplette’s continued incompetence. He is very clearly a horrendous official.”

  51. rufustfireflyjr says: Dec 2, 2013 4:32 PM

    ryanrockzzz says: Dec 2, 2013 3:47 PM
    “Yet, here is a sitaution, one of many, in which an NFL employee directly impacts the game in a more specific way, and what happens?

    Nothing…..and that sums up the entire way the NFL works sometimes.”

    Officials do get downgraded, fined or even suspended for their actions on the field; it’s just that we usually don’t hear about it. So “something” probably will happen to the zebra(s) who blew it.

  52. justintuckrule says: Dec 2, 2013 4:37 PM

    If Brandon Jacobs kicked an incomplete pass into the 20th row, he would have been ejected. Garcon does it and gets a 5 yd slap on the wrist. The proper call was a 15 yd unsportsmanlike which would have forced Forbath to kick from his limits. That call had much more impact on the game than blaming the refs for two dropped passes.

  53. harbourimages says: Dec 2, 2013 4:55 PM

    Is Jeff Triplette a leftover “replacement ref,” or does he just referee like one? He SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! Of course the League won’t do anything to him since they only fine players. How many more times does he have to screw-up before he’s fired? How many more game outcomes does his incompetence have to effect? So lame….

  54. IamtheBucsFan says: Dec 2, 2013 5:00 PM

    This comes down to management. The managers of the officials is the NFL. I don’t know if the officials are afraid to make a decision or they’re just terrible. Either way the NFL is responsible and are making the games more unwatchable and the results more questionable than ever in their history. Sort it out Goodell, you really are screwing up the league with all your new and unrealalistic rules.

  55. packmanfan says: Dec 2, 2013 5:18 PM

    So if a player screws up, he can get a penalty for the maximum 15 yards (More if it’s pass interference even if he tripped and bumped into the receiver.) fines, kicked out of the game and suspensions and nothing ever happens to the refs if they make a mistake.
    That’s unfair.

  56. packmanfan says: Dec 2, 2013 5:19 PM

    Send this crew to Green Bay.
    We need all the help we can get.

  57. rscalzo says: Dec 2, 2013 5:29 PM

    The mistake didn’t change the fact that both teams su*k.

  58. nagaswan says: Dec 2, 2013 5:30 PM

    All this really does is distract from the fact that Hill stole the ball in what is the ultimate defensive move. There is nothing better than going to the player and just taking the ball from him.

  59. elifan4life says: Dec 2, 2013 5:41 PM

    Bring the replacement Referees back!

  60. stevent92 says: Dec 2, 2013 5:59 PM

    Not a fan of either team (Vikings fan) but the Redskins got hosed. Not only did the downs-mishap cause them to call a longer pass play than they might have called on 3rd & 1, but Garcon’s fumble happened after a blatant facemask. That HAS to be reviewable going forward. Teams should be able to keep possession, and the offending team not penalized, just a dead ball.

    I am not saying the Redskins would’ve tied it up. Maybe not. But fair is fair, and those calls were awful.

  61. fatsolio says: Dec 2, 2013 6:02 PM

    So not only is the quality of play pretty lousy we now have officials continually screwing up simple stuff every week. Great league! Sadly it fits in with the idiocracy we live in as almost everything is regressing and most people don’t give a rip.

  62. c297201d says: Dec 2, 2013 6:20 PM

    how is tat not like the current federal administration – which obviously commish is down with…oops – oh well…

  63. eagleswin says: Dec 2, 2013 7:42 PM

    shaundolphinsfan23 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 2:30 PM
    I’d love to see the NFL clean house, firing all of the refs. They consistently make more bad calls than correct ones and show blatant favoritism towards certain teams throughout the course of games. That being said, even if all refs are not fired, this one should be.

    ———————————-

    One problem, and one that the league maybe should’ve gone to court over is that the NCAA head of officiating is an NFL ref. He put the screws to the NCAA refs that were thinking of reffing NFL games.

    Clear conflict of interest. I don’t disagree that refs should be held accountable but the current refs can and have shown no hesitation or remorse in keeping other qualified applicants from taking their job through illegal means.

  64. c297201d says: Dec 2, 2013 7:48 PM

    so the screeners are socialists as well…not surprising

  65. vikescry1 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:44 PM

    Just bring back the replacement refs already, at least with them we expected poor officiating. Or maybe the league need to fine the officials when they make these mistakes.

  66. ballwasher says: Dec 3, 2013 12:13 AM

    No real football fan of any team should want to see the integrity of the game compromised by poor officiating and it should feel just as bad to be on the win side of a tainted game as it does the losing side.

  67. bobsnygiants says: Dec 3, 2013 8:22 AM

    grading process , they STINK

  68. rafterman11 says: Dec 3, 2013 9:13 AM

    People keep asking what is wrong with NFL officiating. There’s nothing wrong with the officials. Its the game. You are asking a bunch of middle aged men to run up and down a 100 yard field for two to three hours, managing an extremely fast paced and complex game, having to execute a 250+ page rulebook.

    I’m surprised NFL officials do as well as they do.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!