Miller could have been called for illegal bat on Newton fumble

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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been heavily criticized for failing to fall on his fumble in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50. But maybe the officials deserve some criticism, too.

As noted by Peter King in TheMMQB.com, after Newton fumbled, Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller knocked the ball backward toward the Carolina goal line. It’s illegal for a defensive player to intentionally bat a loose ball toward the other team’s goal line, but Miller admits that’s exactly what he did.

“I thought Cam was going to jump on it, but I guess, I mean, he didn’t want to dive down there on it. I couldn’t fall on it, so I was just trying to, I don’t know, get it to one of our guys,” Miller told King.

If the officials had seen Miller bat the ball, it would have been a penalty on Denver and Carolina would have kept the ball. At that point, they would have been trailing by six with four minutes left, and they still would have had a chance to come behind and win. Instead, Broncos safety T.J. Ward recovered the ball after Miller batted it inside the 10-yard line.

The illegal bat rule was already the subject of one officiating controversy during the 2015 season, when the Seahawks committed what should have been an illegal bat penalty in the final minute of their win over the Lions. But it’s an infraction that often goes overlooked, and one that NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino has said may be added to the list of plays that can be reviewed in instant replay. Perhaps if replay had been available on that play, the Panthers would have kept the ball, and no one would be criticizing Newton’s lack of effort on the fumble recovery.

150 responses to “Miller could have been called for illegal bat on Newton fumble

  1. I think Miller may be just adding fuel to the fire about Cam’s failure to get into the mix and try to recover the ball…….to much action, too fast and the person’s real instinct comes out during a play like that…….

    Unless they also interrogate players it wouldn’t have made a difference to review that play……..watched the play a bunch of times and until this report, not even an inclining that there was an illegal “intentional batting” of the ball……

    The Seahawk play was a bit more obvious and even that was reportedly not deemed “intentional” by the ref crew, so the flag wasn’t thrown.

  2. I thought the same thing when it happened but the announcers weren’t saying anything. The NFL just can’t get anything right.

    I also thought Miller pushed the ball towards the end zone on the first fumble too.

  3. since it wasn’t inside two minutes, there would have been no challenge (absent significant change to the replay system that could come this offseason). Rivera used his two challenges in the first half, and arguably should have won both to allow for a third. One simple change I do hope comes is that if any challenge is successful it is automatically “reimbursed” and doesn’t count against the total number of challenges.

  4. It is like the tuck rule. It only gets called when the league wants to help certain teams. Sure it’s on the books but it never gets called. You have to wonder if Manning fumbled and someone batted it if it would’ve gotten called.

  5. The Panthers were out of challenges and there were 4 minutes to go so replay would not have helped. Gotta rely on the refs to get the call right on the field.

  6. God get over it Bronco haters, we are champs. I’ve never seen a Superbowl nitpicked like this.

    Broncos are champs, that’s the end of it. What about the 10 holding calls that refs left on the field. They basically held on every play.

    Not to mention a couple of intentional groundings.

  7. So what. 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, if you lose a fumble you lose the game. And he admits he cowered from attempting to recover it because he didn’t want to get hurt. Just stunning.

  8. or illegal hit to the head … but no worries uncle clete “the cheat” blakeman had everything under control

    if this forum wants to whine about a rule how about the ignorant rugby style pile up …. that is ignorant and should be abolished immediately

  9. Wouldn’t have made a difference. Can was already playing like a defeated diva and would have either fumbled or thrown a pick six on the next play anyway.

  10. By the time Miller tells the story to a grandchild on his knee he’ll claim that not only did he strip it but scooped it up with one arm while holding off three Broncos with the other as he fought his way into the end zone with the game winner.

    #fishingtales

  11. Does it matter? You could’ve given the Panthers 100 more possessions, and they weren’t going to score.

    Fact of the matter is the Denver defense dominated the Panthers (sans one possession). You don’t have to play shoulda, woulda, coulda.

  12. Don’t you know it’s all about who the NFL wants to win at the moment? You are so behind the curve! That is why the newer file changes are so perplexing, so the league can do what it wants through the poor refs who get all the blame.

  13. When does it go from trying to advance a fumble to simply trying to make sure the other team doesn’t get it (which is what Miller actually says)?

  14. It’s obvious that he batted the ball. There’s a replay of it…and for the record that replay shows Cam in the scrum and he actually almost has the ball when Miller bats it…so part of his statement is just a dig at Cam…cause well…it’s Cam…and if the replay is still up you’ll see that Miller is batting the ball away from Cam ’cause he almost has his hands on it – all of this happens AFTER the initial hesitation on Newton’s part.

    It’s also obvious ol’boy was offsides during the field goal.

    Look Broncos were 6-0 with this crew. There’s a reason for that. Panthers did more than enough to shoot themselves in the foot with sloppy play, but it was obvious, very early on, they weren’t getting any “favorable” calls.

    NFL’s been protecting Manning since he entered the league. No need to stop now.

    *shrug*

  15. They showed the play on turning point in slow mo and it reveled more than you can see live. It shows Ward celebrating and signaling it was Denver’s ball on his way to the pile as he passes the panther linemen, the ball surprisingly gets batted out in front o of ward

  16. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between whether a defensive player is intentionally batting a ball or just reaching for it in an attempt to recover it. The only time you could tell is when a player could have easily recovered the ball yet clearly batted it. But why would he ever do that? It’s not like an offensive player who would have a reason to do that in a 4th down or end-of-game situation.

  17. Earlier in the game, Von Miller stripped the ball and the Broncos scored a defensive touchdown. On that play, Von Miller struck Cam Newton in the head as he was stripping the ball. The officials could have called a penalty on that play as well.

    Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda… Denver won the game.

  18. And the panthers coulda woulda shoulda but they didn’t… Can wore gold MVP cleats and choked. He will never go back again.

  19. After the fact its easy to nitpick. During the game, Miller was on the bottom of a pile and reached out to get the ball. The awkward position he was in made it difficult to tell if he was reaching and accidentally hit the ball or if he blatantly batted the ball. No official will make that call on that play during the Super Bowl. No commentator, fan or media member even brought that possibility to light during or after the game until the dust had settled and they needed stories to write and controversies to create.

  20. Its illegal to intentionally bat the ball towards or out of the endzone, However, Miller was trying to bat it towards a teammate while being piled on.. I doubt that call would have been made even after review, especially considering Denver is 6-0 in Clete Blakeman officiated games.

  21. Get rid of the rule. A fumble should be a “free for all”.

    I thought the Seahawk player did the right thing to get the safety. The only time “batting” should be called is when the offence benefits from intentional batting in the last two minutes of the half. Move the ball back to the spot of the fumble with possession + no pentalty.

  22. B.S. rule. In a league where defensive players are becoming more and more defenseless because of rules, they take away a reward of a defense getting to the QB. I mean, you are in the heat of battle, trying to get the ball out in a fraction of s second and you now must be mindful that the ball does move toward the other teams goal line. Horse s…..so glad the defense won this game and continue to hope defenses win many SBs just to stick it in the NFL’s face.

  23. It’s impossible to discern intent, to the naked eye, it looks like Miller is flailing away at the ball. But the best part of this story is it give the Panther fans an opportunity to complain about the ref’s when everybody else in the world knows it was the Denver defense that made the real difference in the game.

  24. How about we just let players bat the ball? Or, just mitigate the consequences by ruling that you can’t advance on a batted ball (meaning Denver would get ball where he batted it for this example) Adding unnecessary rules just invites controversy.

  25. There are some really good things about having such high quality video of every nano-second of every play which we can slow down to see the wings of a hummingbird flap. However, the bad thing is it allows the unqualified media to micro-analyze every play down to the millisecond and then re-officiate the game and find every reason they can to promote whatever opinion they wish to justify. It appears in this case they are digging deep to justify Cams failure to jump on a fumble that clearly Miller saw he was going to get, except he didn’t jump on it, he chickened out like the half hearted player he is.

  26. Miller could have been called for roughing the QB on the first strip sack and TD when he hit Newton in the face. A lot of could haves in this game.

  27. god get over it. the Broncos D dominated the game is what happened !!!!! quit trying to find excuses as to why the kittens didnt win

  28. snowdood163 says:
    Feb 15, 2016 7:19 AM
    In surprised he said that. I’ve looked at that play several times and thought every time that he was trying to grab the ball.
    ————–
    He said it because he has a pathological need not only to be an dbg, but to also show the world he is a dbg. Maybe it is the PEDs.

  29. That was not an illegal bat of the fumble. Everything was happening so fast and Miller was surprised and caught off guard because the ball was still alive by the time he got to the scrum. He wasn’t in position to dive because his body was headed the other way, and there wasn’t enough time for him to re-position himself, and there wasn’t enough room for him to squeeze into the pile, so all he could do was reach in and try to grab the ball with one hand and keep it alive. So he was trying to grab the ball, not bat the ball. He’s only saying that because he’s up for a big contract and he doesn’t want it to look like he was unable to control that game changing fumble. He’s trying to look like he was in control. That was a legal play even if they reviewed it on replay. He unsuccessfully tried to grab the ball.

  30. The batting happed really fast and with so many people (minus Cam Newton) scrambling for the ball the refs had difficulties watching the play. After that they cannot revert the play as that is not a reviewable play. Maybe the NFL should take some of BB’s suggestions and make all plays reviewable?

  31. digging deep to justify Cams failure to jump on a fumble that clearly Miller saw he was going to get,

    ————

    Sigh.

    All of this happens AFTER Newton’s initial hesitation on the ball. Newton is actually in the middle of the scrum at this point and almost has his hands on the ball..Miller is batting it away from NEWTON.

    lol

    Look at the replay…you see the “1” Carolina jersey right there..hands outstretched over the ball. In his statement Miller is just taking a shot at Cam b/c it fits the current narrative that Cam didn’t fight for the ball.

  32. I know…let’s implement the “fumble rule”…on a fumble, the ball automatically goes to the team not in possession at the point of the fumble. No more controversy, no more fear of injury! Bam
    sarcasm by the way

  33. Maybe the NFL should allow review of all of the scratching, pulling, twisting, punching and gouging that goes on at the bottom of a loose-ball-pile. Once the ball is free it’s a free for all, abolish the asinine batted ball penalty altogether. When a team gets possession it’s returned to spot of fumble – no ambiguity, judgement or reviews necessary.

  34. Pardon me if I’m wrong, but isn’t every turnover reviewed?

    Also, it’s really hard to tell intent. The defensive player could be trying to scoop it up, but knock it backwards.

    This happens on offense and nobody bats an eye. I’ve seen guys fumble the ball and the ball goes into the endzone and it’s a touchdown when the offense recovers. Shouldn’t that be illegal advancement?

    Broncos lost. The rising star Cam lost. Boo hoo.

  35. I believe that penalties could be called on every play. This type of post game discussion should be reserved for the most egregious and obvious officiating mistakes. Even the most obvious and egregious mistakes rarely are the most important factor in determining the outcome of a game. The simple fact in this game is that Denver’s defense outplayed Carolina and won that game for them. Each team’s offense were equally horrible and contributed to a SB that had little entertainment value. Make no mistake, Denver deserved to win and there should be no hand wringing by folks who didn’t want them to.

    I say congratulations Denver-great season.

    I’m on to 2016 where I hope my squad will take the title back and once again weather a torrent of excuses as to why they didn’t deserve it.

  36. The batting happed really fast and with so many people (minus Cam Newton) scrambling for the ball

    ———

    Yeah.

    You clearly didn’t watch the replay.

  37. Von Miller is one of the dirtiest players in the league – don’t let the glasses fool you.

    The ultimate irony will be while he is trying to recover a fumble and gets hurt when the quarterback’s n*ts land on his face.

    Karma can be a bummer sometimes.

  38. And the Panthers “could” have been called for at least a dozen holding calls on Miller through the game, but that’s neither here nor there.

  39. What about the the could of been intentional grounding call at the start of the patriots drive in the 4th when they should had kicked the fg. Brady was inside tackle box, no wrs n the area, ball 2 yards short from crossing los.

  40. When the ball is loose, players will try to recover it. If the ball is knocked forward then it is difficult for an official to decide whether the ball was in fact batted forward or accidentally knocked forward.

    They should change the rule so that the ball will just come back to the point where it was first touched if it was knocked forward, instead of giving it back to the team that fumbled it.

  41. There was another missed call. A Denver pass rusher hit Newton on the face mask with his hand, which should have been a roughing the passer penalty. I don’t remember if it was a sack or a turnover, but the penalty would have given Carolina a first down. Instead Denver got the ball after that play.

  42. Denver is now 15-0 in games ref’d by Cleteman

    ———-

    Well, they were partying together afterwards so…

  43. Cam Newton doesn’t need anymore excuses he already has plenty…Denver whopped them Carolina boys…and this is coming from someone that despises the Broncos…just let it go!!

  44. Bat this!

    “Cam Newton released his first public pic of his newborn son (not so incidentally named “Chosen”) on Instagram this week bracketed with his MVP Trophy and Offensive Player of the Year Trophy! The baby was merely a prop!!! What kind of man does this?”

    (Jarrett Bell, USA Today Sports, 2/14/16)

  45. What am I missing here?

    The rule –

    “any player who bats or punches a loose ball in the field of play toward his opponent’s goal line.” Von Miller, if he did bat it, it would have been toward his goal line not his opponents (Carolina)

    The rule is different if in the end zone but this wasn’t.

  46. Like for example Cam showing he was a real MVP.

    ——-

    You mean like Manning showing he was the “real” MVP in SB48?

    I mean let’s not act like Cam’s the first league MVP to get his rear handed to him in a Super Bowl.

  47. “Broncos are champs, that’s the end of it. What about the 10 holding calls that refs left on the field. They basically held on every play.”

    Waaaaa. If Talib gets called for either PI in the end zone against the Steelers, Peyton would have been one and done again.

    Broncos got away with Seattle level PI and illegal contact in the playoffs.

  48. Neither Panthers nor Broncos fan here.

    Very true…may have been Panthers ball with a six point deficit and four minutes of clock.

    And Nicole Brown Simpson (OJ’s ex) and Ron Goldman never would have been murdered had Nicole not left her glasses at the restaurant.

    Inconsequential. The Panthers were not going to win. The Broncos D was too dialed in.

    Period.

  49. Good grief…all the Panther apologists just look more and more pathetic with each new attempt to make it appear they were cheated. Panthers were NOT going to win that game. Period.

  50. My God…how many stories can we get out of one fumble…has anyone verified whether or not the football was properly inflated? Could be another story….

  51. The evidence is irrefutable. SB 50 Lombardi must be returned to its rightful owner, The Carolina Panthers. The Denver Broncos will be dissolved as an NFL Franchise and all current gms, coaches, and players of the Broncos will receive a lifetime ban from being employed by the NFL. Peyton Manning will be sent to prison for a lawsuit (he won) 2o years ago at the University of Tennessee and his unproven involvement with HGH. The State of Colorado will be excised from the Union and sold to Mexico. Anything else?

  52. Stupid rule that serves no purpose, other than to reward the offense for putting the ball on the ground. It must go.

    baddegg says:

    Has there ever been a game where the losing team wasn’t “screwed by the refs?” It’s gotten tiresome.
    ———————————————————-
    Yes. Seattle got screwed by a 10AM start and having to play on a watered down high school field.

    It would help if the refs were right, you know, maybe 40% of the time?

  53. Boo hoo Panther fans crying on here, you sound like your cry baby quarterback. you know the one who fumbled 2 times, once for a touchdown and the 2nd fumble leading to the other touchdown, but let’s blame the refs and the NFL for fixing the game. You fans are pathetic

  54. Still trying to defend your QB and blame the refs for a loss long after the game is over. This is what Viking fans do. You don’t want to sink to that level, do you?

  55. Denver cheated. Plain and simple.

    Once I saw Hochuli and Blakeman as their refs in the title game and SB, I knew Goodell had the game greased.

    Knew it.

    1. Cotchery catch.
    2. Talib Offsides
    3. Talib Facemask/No Ejection
    4. Illegal Bat By Miller

  56. TS Johnson says:
    Feb 15, 2016 10:06 AM
    Denver is now 15-0 in games ref’d by Cleteman

    ———-

    Well, they were partying together afterwards so…

    —————————————————-

    Yes Clete Blakeman made Cam fumble the ball twice that led to both Bronco touchdowns. I also think Blakeman made Cam quit on his team and not try to recover his fumble that was right below him.

  57. The word “intentionally” is up to the interpretation of the ref which gives them an out every time. They simply can say that they didn’t think it was intentional.

  58. Amazing how many fans have difficulty seeing the game objectively. Rooting for your team is one thing but fans should at least see their own bias. Broncos dominated the football game. Panthers had no answer to the ferocious defense. The fact that they won despite their feeble quarterback was a hell of a statement.

  59. Yes Clete Blakeman made Cam fumble the ball twice that led to both Bronco touchdowns.

    ——–

    Clete Blakeman

    1. Didn’t call offsides twice
    2. Negated a holding call
    3. Didn’t call an illegal bat
    4. Didn’t reverse an obvious catch
    5. Didn’t call a blatant roughing the passer

    As I’ve said. Panthers played a sloppy game and when the refs aren’t gonna call a “fair” game then you need to play clean. They didn’t. So they lost.

    But keep acting like having officials party with the winning team is a good look for the NFL.

  60. Here’s another factor from that game that’s probably more important than all of the “what if” bs articles on here:
    Denver – 24
    Carolina – 10

    The Broncos won and no amount of whining about it is going to change it. There’s no conspiracy. There’s no asterisk. There’s no debating the final result. The team with the #1 Defense in football won the Super Bowl for the 10th time.

  61. These comments are hilarious. Broncos fans are wildly sensitive. No, this blown call did not change the game. That doesn’t make it any less worthy of review or criticism. It’s possible that the refs blew one more calls that favoured the Broncos and the Broncos still earned the win, which they did. But, I guess haters are, by definition, not capable of thinking critically or considering complex concepts.

  62. Smarter course would be to eliminate the bat rule, not expand it to replay. First of all, what’s the point of this being illegal? Second, it’s waaay to subjective for the official to determine the intent of a player diving at a free ball.

    Oh, NFL.

  63. johnodocks says:
    Feb 15, 2016 8:23 AM
    It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between whether a defensive player is intentionally batting a ball or just reaching for it in an attempt to recover it.

    So if a player doesn’t intentionally go out of bounds or intentionally jump offside or intentionally grab a facemask it shouldn’t matter?

    If you allow that type of latitude then you know that everyone will claim it’s an attempt to recover because no one would ever bend the rules to gain an advantage, right?

  64. The 50th Super Bowl could be the turning point in the NFL’s demise. If it wasn’t for Goodell, Blandino Hocholi and Blakeman Denver wouldn’t have won. “Integrity of the game” is the loser this season.

  65. Denver 14-0 when Hochuli and Blakeman Ref. How can anyone think the integrity of the game matters when Goodell allows that to happen. Poor optics at a minimum.

  66. How many times could the Panthers be called for holding? Saw several instances in slow-motion that “should’ve” been called but weren’t. Carolina lost – move on…

  67. The whole point about batting is consistency.
    In the Seahawks Lions game, everyone saw it but no one knew the rule and it wasn’t called.
    In the Patriots Dolphins game, a Dolphins lineman reached for the ball and came up short, and the Patriots were the beneficiaries of a 38 yard batting penalty.
    I have been a fan since 72, and didn’t realize it was illegal till Polamalu batted ( punched ) a ball in the scrum 35 yards into the end zone. At the time I thought he was smart.
    So the rule exists so that after a fumble, the defense is in a no lose situation if they bat the ball 80 yards. The NFL wants the recovery to be made fairly and cleanly at the spot, and with such a harsh penalty for batting, only a stupid defender and a blind ref could make batting worth the risk.
    I could care less who won the SB, but I was robbed of seeing the Panthers try after Miller’s stupid penalty because the NFL is shady as it is.
    Why do I know Blakeman and Hochuli favor the Broncos, Morelli and Leavy do work for the Steelers, and all refs, especially Coleman, are in the bag for the Patriots.
    The NFL is heading for Enron/Lehman territory because they are soulless and empty cheats.

  68. “It’s illegal for a defensive player to intentionally bat a loose ball toward the other team’s goal line, but Miller admits that’s exactly what he did.”

    No, that’s not what Miller admitted. He admitted he batted it to “get it to one of our guys,”. I don’t see where he said anything about batting it toward the other team’s goal line.

    “If the officials had seen Miller bat the ball, it would have been a penalty on Denver and Carolina would have kept the ball.” If that’s true, then that rule needs to be changed. The NFL has a rule where a team would be able to retain their own fumble, simply because a judgement call in a situation like that? We’ve already seen how they screw those up, so get rid of a dumb rule and the possibility for the officials to determine the outcome.

  69. Another ridiculous NFL rule. The defense should definitely be able to bat the ball wherever it likes. Otherwise, hold onto the ball if youre the offense.

  70. Sorry gang…but I fail to recognize the Denver Broncos as being NFL World Champions! Too many flukey things happened along the way for them to be true Champions! So here’s to the still-reigning 2016 NFL World Champion New England Patriots!

  71. Panthers put up 500 points during the season and only 10 points vs Broncos in SB.
    So let’s blame Clete. Got it.

  72. “Perhaps if replay had been available on that play, the Panthers would have kept the ball, and no one would be criticizing Newton’s lack of effort on the fumble recovery.”

    Replay WAS available. All turnovers are subject to automatic review. Carolina’s lack of a challenge wasn’t relevant.

  73. apparently there’s a bunch of people posting here that don’t realize all turnovers are automatically reviewed. I think what the writer of this article is saying is that the batted ball is a part of a play that is not allowed to be reviewed. certainly if it was a play allowed to be reviewed, then it would have been part of the automatic review of the turnover.

  74. Let’s look at several things.

    1. Rivera was out of challenges. He lost one and won one. The challenge he won was obvious and really he didn’t need to challenge it. He challenged I believe a 2nd and 10 incompletion into a 2nd and 17 sack. He was right but it was the 2nd quarter and he was out of challenges for the rest of the game which was probably not the best use of his one remaining challenge.
    2. The replay was inconclusive for an “illegal bat” penalty. When Miller goes down to grab the ball, he does so with his left hand with his momentum carrying him away from where the ball squirted out. Without Miller saying that he intentionally batted the ball, there is no evidence to support this claim via replay. Because an “illegal bat” wasn’t called, had Rivera had a challenge in his pocket and used it to overturn this play, there is no guarantee that he would have won this challenge.
    3. The claim the ref missed the call purposely is ridiculous. Blakeman was in good position but when the ball came out, it came out right at him and he dove out of the way to avoid the ball. From his vantage point it would have been tough for him to throw a flag there because the ball was obscured by Miller’s leg and the last thing he would have seen is 2 arms moving (one Miller’s, the other Newton’s) with the ball going right back at him.
    4. Lastly, from watching this play, Miller’s claim he pulled the ball back is dubious at best because why would he not be trying to grab the ball himself knowing the situation.

    We have seen the ball take odd courses in a pileup over the years which is what happened here. Illegal batting probably happens on most of these types of plays but it’s hard to call unless it’s obvious and it wasn’t obvious here. The challenge system is something that I have disliked since the inception of it’s current form. The limited number of challenges penalizes a team if the refs make bad calls. Rivera’s 1st challenge looked good. The 2nd was obvious but probably not the best one since he didn’t win the first and because of that, he was done with challenges. I have always thought that while people whine about the length of games, they will whine more about the calls being incorrect. For the most part the refs get it right but a bad call shouldn’t stand in a game because the team is out of challenges.

  75. cbj7913 says:
    Feb 15, 2016 8:14 AM
    Being able to review it wouldn’t have mattered, the Panthers had no challenges left.
    ——————————-
    All turnovers are reviewed. The replay guy and his wife are avid Broncos fans. That first challenge should have been overturned as the receivers hand was completely under the ball. Hmmmmm

  76. nfl1818 says:
    Feb 15, 2016 9:55 AM

    Denver is now 15-0 in games ref’d by Cleteman and the guy that did the AFCCG.

    What are the odds?
    ———————-

    Sounds like they are pretty good.

    For Denver.

  77. davew128 says:
    Feb 15, 2016 12:20 PM

    “Perhaps if replay had been available on that play, the Panthers would have kept the ball, and no one would be criticizing Newton’s lack of effort on the fumble recovery.”

    Replay WAS available. All turnovers are subject to automatic review. Carolina’s lack of a challenge wasn’t relevant.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Replay is not available to reverse or apply penalty calls

  78. For crying out loud, the games over. Not one NFL game of 2015 was officiated perfectly. Not one. It can’t be done with 22 really big and fast men all moving at the same time mostly in different directions. I don’t care who officiates it, it can’t be done!

  79. I can’t tell if Panthers fans or Manning haters (ie Pats fans) are whining about the Cotchery drop (don’t forget — the pass hit him perfectly in the numbers but he BOBBLED it before having to try to re-catch it as he went to the ground) & the 2 strip-sacks by Miller.

    As for the batted ball BS, there’s no way any ref, any coach, any player or any fan could determine with absolute certainty that, during that wild scramble for the football, Miller intentionally & illegally batted the ball toward the Carolina goal line when that play happened in full-speed.

    I doubt that anyone leapt from their couch in the instant that Ward jumped on the ball screaming “That was an illegally batted ball by Miller!!! Penalty on Denver!!!”

  80. That was one the lamest Superbowl’s I’ve ever seen…Right up there when the Ravens won it with Trent Dilfer thanks to their defense. Total snooze fest offensively on either side.

    What I gathered from SB 50 – Manning should retire before he becomes permanently disabled spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair and Newton needs to grow up before he embarrasses himself any further. Sure am glad I didn’t pay thousands for a ticket.

  81. Yay go Goodell go! Spend more millions pursing a Tom Brady suspension for something he didn’t do instead of spending it on better officiating who are competent enough to enforce the rules.

    #Priorities

  82. autumnwind999 says:
    Feb 15, 2016 11:47 AM
    Smarter course would be to eliminate the bat rule, not expand it to replay. First of all, what’s the point of this being illegal?

    Because you’d have teams slapping the ball down the field in some sort of hand version of soccer.

    In fact, after 50+ years of watching football, with all it’s nonsensical rules and calls and replays, I’m beginning to understand why soccer is so popular. It’s not perfect, just like NFL, but it has far less rules and the play is more continuous. All you have to debate is offsides, handballs, fouls and out of touch.

  83. First, I doubt that Miller intentionally batted it //toward the goal line./// He may have intentionally batted the ball to keep Newton from getting it, but that’s not the same thing.

    Second, it is a dumb rule. Batting the ball doesn’t usually help the player’s team since he is usually on the ground or falling or somesuch and doesn’t know who is close to the ball or who might recover it. Footballs take crazy bounces and you can’t be sure which way it will go. The league would do well to drop this rule altogether.

  84. I can’t tell if Broncos fans or Manning lovers (ie Colts fans) are defending the Cotchery drop (don’t forget — the pass hit him perfectly in the numbers but he BOBBLED it before having to try to re-catch it as he went to the ground) & the 2 strip-sacks by Miller.

    As for the batted ball BS, there’s no way any ref, any coach, any player or any fan could determine with absolute certainty that, during that wild scramble for the football, Miller intentionally & illegally batted the ball toward the Carolina goal line when that play happened in full-speed.

    I doubt that anyone leapt from their couch in the instant that Ward jumped on the ball screaming “That was an illegally batted ball by Miller!!! Penalty on Denver!!!”

  85. “Second, it is a dumb rule. Batting the ball doesn’t usually help the player’s team since he is usually on the ground or falling or somesuch and doesn’t know who is close to the ball or who might recover it. Footballs take crazy bounces and you can’t be sure which way it will go. The league would do well to drop this rule altogether.”

    I am all for getting rid of subjective calls as much as possible. This rule has merit though. Batting the ball fwd or backward will become common if that is no longer a rule. Sometimes those will result in huge gains or losses. You will have plays like the holy roller where a player (or players) going down just makes it look like a fumble and kicks or bats the ball forward.
    The most basic part of the rule is that the offense cannot bat the ball out of bounds tom keep it from being a turnover, and the defense cannot bat it to keep it in bounds when the defender cannot get the ball and stay in bounds at the same time. I like that part of the rule.

  86. STOPPPPPP!!! Get over it, the Panthers lost, Cam didnt fall on the fumble…even if he did theres no assurance they would have scored and won. If youre a Panthers fan, quit being butthurt, you had a great season. You had no problem rubbing it in peoples faces when you were unstoppable, now that you got shutdown, its a problem. They got punched in the mouth and told to sit down…it happens. Buck up and move on.

  87. Illegal Bat is an example of a penalty that should not result in a “no play” outcome.
    Miller was foolish to admit that though.

  88. patriotsticketssince1978 says:
    Feb 15, 2016 1:05 PM

    davew128 says:
    Feb 15, 2016 12:20 PM

    “Perhaps if replay had been available on that play, the Panthers would have kept the ball, and no one would be criticizing Newton’s lack of effort on the fumble recovery.”

    Replay WAS available. All turnovers are subject to automatic review. Carolina’s lack of a challenge wasn’t relevant.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Replay is not available to reverse or apply penalty calls
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Then you can explain why Bill Belichick has successfully challenged in the past that the opposing defense had 12 men on the field and a penalty not called during the play but was after the replay.

  89. There is another shot that shows the scrum from the east side of the field. It looks like if Cam’t actually had his hand on the ball then Von pulled the ball out once again.
    To me it looks like a strip, sack, strip by Von. That play happened,so fast it took a week and millions of eyes to notice it. To expect a ref to see it is unrealistic.

  90. Let’s just assume it was an illegal bat, and we keep the ball with a fresh set of downs. What happened in the first 55 minutes of the game that gives you any indication we could have drove the length of the field and scored a TD? I certainly didn’t see any such evidence.

    Also, I knew when Gano missed that FG at the start of the third quarter we were going to lose. It just wasn’t our day.

    Denver executed their game plan better than we did ours, and deserved to win.

  91. The game should never come down to one play, but now we are supposed to shrug off a second HUGE play that drastically impacted the game? The other being the Cotchery (non) catch that would have prevented Cam from being backed up on that first fumble.

    Based on how both teams were playing, I’m not convinced that the Panthers could have won a fairly called game that day, but they should at least have been given the chance.

  92. It’s about time somebody acknowledges this!!!!

    This was a big call in this game. It led to 7 points. I still can’t believe they didn’t call it because it was so obvious, and so often called in any other game.

    This was also immediately after the so called no-catch by Cochery. Another blown call.

    I know Denver’s defense was dominating that game but 7 points in that game is HUGE. Carolina’s defense shut down Denver’s offense…people seem to forget that. The only touchdown denver scored was off of easy field position late in the game.

    Sorry, but those were 2 game changing calls that DID affect the outcome of the game.

  93. So this article was about Miller batting the ball????

    What about Miller hitting Cam’s facemask!?!?!?!?!

    That is what I was referrring to in the other post. Who cares if he batted the ball forwards. It shouldn’t have been a fumble because Miller made contact with Cams helmet. 15 yard penalty. 1st down panthers.

  94. We shouldn’t even have officials on the field !! We should have them up in a booth to make all the calls, and if they find something within a couple of days we should assume what may have happened and reset history accordingly!

  95. I broke the play down frame by frame after the SB. Cam was way ahead of everyone else in getting to the ball. If he had gone directly to the ball and fell on it, there would have been no chance to hit or bat at the ball.

    However imo, this is poor communication by this guy quoted in the story. I’ve seen these guys a million times reach and knock at balls during a scrum. A penalty on that play would have been pretty far fetched.

  96. By the way, you panther fans complaining about calls, conveniently don’t mention yet another of Cam’s fumbles that wasn’t called. On one play, he ran up the middle on a QB draw and got hit hard, as he was near the ground, he was hit a 2nd time and fumbled the ball, and the Bronco defender started running with the ball. Laughably, they called Cam down and a 15 yard foul on the Broncoes. So please, let’s not go down the road of bad calls. That was a doozy. I’m pretty sure there was a fix at the beginning of the game to hook up Cam, but he was too lousy to take advantage of it.

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