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Julio Jones got away with a penalty on key play, too

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Wide receiver Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons can't make the catch on fourth down as cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks defends at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Much has been said, by PFT and others, about the missed pass interference penalty on Atlanta’s final play from scrimmage at Seattle on Sunday. Not as much said about the missed penalty at the beginning of that same play.

Falcons receiver Julio Jones gave Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman a hard slap to the head at the line of scrimmage.

As one source with knowledge of the league’s application of the rules told PFT, the contact likely wasn’t sufficiently violent to constitute unnecessary roughness, but at a minimum Jones should have been called for illegal use of hands/hands to the face.

Look at Sherman’s reaction to the maneuver, which Jones used to get a clear advantage at the line of scrimmage. Sherman stumbles to the left and then immediately scrambles to recover. By the time the ball was in the air and descending, Sherman was trying to catch up. (It’s fairly amazing that Sherman made up the ground, given the head start Jones acquired via the head slap.)

And that’s the primary caveat to making Sherman’s ultimate maneuver once he caught up with Jones subject to replay review. How can that portion of the play be reviewed if the maneuver by Jones at the beginning of the play isn’t?

Pass defense doesn’t happen in a flash at the tail end of a play. It occurs from the snap of the ball until its arrival at the intended receiver. If one player’s actions are going to be scrutinized at the conclusion of the play, the other player’s actions should at least be considered at every point before that.

Which of course complicates any effort to subject pass interference to replay review.

That doesn’t mean the NFL should shrug and stick with the status quo. At a time when the league hopes to figure out why fewer people are watching games on TV, results that seem to be tainted or unfair won’t bring them back.

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41 Responses to “Julio Jones got away with a penalty on key play, too”
  1. jasons81 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:06 AM

    Fundamental difference is offsetting penalties would have resulted in replaying the down. The no call resulted in turnover on downs.

  2. edon8334 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:19 AM

    an eye for an eye

  3. nhpats says: Oct 18, 2016 7:50 AM

    And this will be the rationale for why the refs blew a blatant PI call….

    If it were not for the refs throwing calls the Seahawks’ way the Seahawks would never sniff the playoffs.

  4. mrpbnh says: Oct 18, 2016 7:52 AM

    Amen. There are penalties committed throughout the entire game that are not called. From the beginning of the game the refs were consistent in allowing the players to play.

  5. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says: Oct 18, 2016 7:56 AM

    That was the best officiated Seahawks game since Super Bowl 48. 2 good non-calls on that play. Sherman’s recovery speed was amazing.

  6. footballfanatic says: Oct 18, 2016 7:57 AM

    WOW, if you think that touch to the head made sherman stumble like that then you are insane. Sherman was juked BADLY. Im not a Falcons or Seahawks fan and couldnt care less about either. But come on, stop treating sherman like the best corner of all time. He got juked, that head slap wouldnt have affected a 160lbs dude let alone an NFL cornerback. Defensive pass interference was the only penalty on the play.

  7. randy8123 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:00 AM

    You have to be joking.

  8. richc111 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:08 AM

    The next article will tell everyone how reply is slowing the game up and the reason people are not watching.

  9. sb44champs says: Oct 18, 2016 8:17 AM

    At a time when the league hopes to figure out why fewer people are watching games on TV, results that seem to be tainted or unfair won’t bring them back.
    ===============================
    BINGO….We have a winner!

  10. maust1013 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:23 AM

    “At a time when the league hopes to figure out why fewer people are watching games on TV, results that seem to be tainted or unfair won’t bring them back.”
    ==============

    For all the factors being pointed at for the ratings decline none is more damning than this one. The league has finally reached the tipping point to where we feel it can be trusted. I’ve been an NFL fan for over 40 years and I am now questioning the integrity of game results. Bad calls or non calls have always been there. It’s not just that we can see them now more that ever, it’s that many of us now doubt all the mistakes we once accepted as inherent in how tough it is to call agame are honest ones. Between the replay rulings that defy the evidence of our eyes, Blandino’s often ridiculous explanations, the league’s behavior with the concussion issue, getting caught trying to steal $110M from the players, Roger getting caught in open lies in the Brady, Rice and Peterson cases, and the cynical kickoff rule change that was really designed to increase returns it is impossible to give the league office the benefit of the doubt when it comes to credibility.

  11. rukkus1 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:27 AM

    Glad this part of the play is being addressed by the media. Because if Julio Jones doesn’t commit his foul, Richard Sherman has blanket coverage all the way more than likely.

    If you don’t call one, the other shouldn’t be either and there should at the very least be consistency in calling a game.

  12. gammynomnom says: Oct 18, 2016 8:28 AM

    Crickets from the Falcons fans. The slide has began!

  13. dukeearl says: Oct 18, 2016 8:28 AM

    Falcon fans are in denial. They claim it never happened.

  14. intrafinesse says: Oct 18, 2016 8:38 AM

    >>Pass defense doesn’t happen in a flash at the tail end of a play. It occurs from the snap of the ball until its arrival at the intended receiver. If one player’s actions are going to be scrutinized at the conclusion of the play, the other player’s actions should at least be considered at every point before that.

    I don’t agree. Because every player on both teams has some impact on the resulting play. By using your logic, you would have to review all 22 players actions, and that would slow the game down too much.
    The way they do it is ok, looking at the event, not what happened a few seconds before.

  15. PhD says: Oct 18, 2016 8:45 AM

    So, off-setting penalties then and we replay the down. Doesn’t change the fact that Sherman cheats on practically every play, gets called a small percentage of the time and thus probably deserved to get slapped around just on general principle, since the refs have shown no ability to put a stop to his career built on blatant PI.

  16. Stiller43 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:47 AM

    Okay – so they should have replayed the down instead of turning the ball over on downs. The Falcons were still screwed out of having another chance.

  17. youradarnfoo says: Oct 18, 2016 8:48 AM

    people stopped watching football because of the disgusting kids that play. kneeling and disrespecting our country while you are paid major cash and living a great life because of a game. greedy, selfish look at me generation is ruining football. the average cat is patriotic…. people are just sick of these players beating women,children,disrespecting the country etc. Players have a platform and some chose to use it poorly, making the average cat hate these kids playing football

  18. swen1234 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:50 AM

    The ratings decline is because we are basically watching practice scrimmages out there. If the rules go any further towards the offense, we’ll just be watching QBs play catch with receivers. Not interesting at all.

    On the replay review, might as well check if there was holding on the play too. Doesn’t make any sense to allow a review of PI but not holding or hands to the face, or anything else for that matter. Just let them play freakin football. That’s what I want to see.

    While we’re at it, change PI from a spot foul. Doesn’t make any sense. The offense still needs to make the play. College game is much better in this regard.

  19. theright0pinion says: Oct 18, 2016 9:00 AM

    Julio Jones got raped like a Bill Clinton intern

  20. nhpats says: Oct 18, 2016 9:05 AM

    osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Oct 18, 2016 7:56 AM
    That was the best officiated Seahawks game since Super Bowl 48. 2 good non-calls on that play. Sherman’s recovery speed was amazing.

    ————-

    Brady is going to light up Seattle’s over-rated secondary. He did so for 350 yards in a SB….. Seattle will be lucky to hold him under 400 this time.

  21. jerrysbrother says: Oct 18, 2016 9:21 AM

    I have no horse in this race just to clarify. But if you call that a slap to the head then you must not have ever played the game.

  22. nepatriot1 says: Oct 18, 2016 9:25 AM

    theright0pinion says:
    Oct 18, 2016 9:00 AM
    Julio Jones got raped like a Bill Clinton intern
    ——————-
    Or a Donald Trump teenage beauty contestant, wife of a friend, passenger on a plane, magazine journalist, etc…..etc……
    You probably should leave political opinions off this site.

  23. JaminJake says: Oct 18, 2016 9:47 AM

    So that hard slap was far more intrusive than the full turning of Julio.

    Nope

  24. elvoid says: Oct 18, 2016 9:59 AM

    The search for perfect officiating is turning into a witch hunt. Officiating, by it’s very nature, is imperfect and always will be. Calls are missed – both small and big – and that will never change. Replay can’t fix everything. Two people can watch even a slo-mo replay and come to different conclusions when applying a rule.

    There is holding – either defensive or offensive – on every play. That’s just a simple fact. Ref’s let most of it go, or don’t see most of it (sometimes hard to see the left tackle hold if you happen to be looking toward the right tackle).

    Replay has made it better when used in specific situations – and there are many situations where it should continue to be used – but making it a cure-all is a bad idea because it just can’t do that on many plays.

    Can’t we just use replay judiciously, and otherwise enjoy the game, imperfections and all?

    I’m pretty sure I enjoyed the hell out of the game way back before replay – didn’t you?

  25. fanaticks says: Oct 18, 2016 10:23 AM

    Seahawk homer writing another “objective” piece. lol

  26. marvsleezy says: Oct 18, 2016 10:44 AM

    sherman got deeked and chose to go that way- the head BRUSH could not have caused that

  27. RegisHawk says: Oct 18, 2016 11:21 AM

    Only took you 2 days to figure that out…stellar production here…

  28. thewanderer says: Oct 18, 2016 11:24 AM

    No, that’s how good receivers beat press coverage. Be physical and slap them in the head. Much like fumbling the ball out of the endzone, this is another terrible take.

  29. mmack66 says: Oct 18, 2016 11:33 AM

    Looked good to me.

  30. badguy711 says: Oct 18, 2016 11:50 AM

    Of course the comments are littered with comments about how it wasn’t a penalty, or the Seahawks cheated.

    The National Media and the Falcons fans have a crusade, and facts are not going to ruin the narrative that they were robbed.

    Why mention the obvious DPI that Atlanta got away with on the 3 yard line earlier. Or the fact the Falcons did NOTHING in the 1st, 2nd, or 4th quarters. Why mention they effectively gave up not 1, but 2 game winning drives to a QB with a high ankle sprain and a torn PCL (missed kick on one). And absolutely do NOT imply that St. Julio also had a penalty on the same play.

    Nope. Keep facts out of it. They were robbed. Its the NFL and the Seahawks conspiring!

  31. dedicatedhawkfan says: Oct 18, 2016 12:07 PM

    Ya’ll are overlooking the blatant noncall for PI on Kearse earlier. THAT too was s game changer.
    Even when my team loses amid controversy of a bad call, I always say one play shouldn’t win or lose a game.
    Falcons lost in large part to their sputtering first half and a pretty much stalled 4th quarter.
    Sissy la la’s act as if the whole game consisted of just that one play.

  32. blackula72 says: Oct 18, 2016 12:26 PM

    theright0pinion says:

    Julio Jones got raped like a Bill Clinton intern
    ———————————————————————————
    And Sherman was assaulted like a Ms. America contestant by Donald Trump.

  33. danceformemarionetteboy says: Oct 18, 2016 6:02 PM

    nhpats says:
    Oct 18, 2016 7:50 AM

    And this will be the rationale for why the refs blew a blatant PI call….

    If it were not for the refs throwing calls the Seahawks’ way the Seahawks would never sniff the playoffs.

    For being self proclaimed kings, pats fans sure have little brother complex with the Hawks.

  34. dans761 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:20 PM

    Many calls, no-calls went against the Seahawks during the whole game but people are talking about 1 play with 90 seconds left?! Unbelievable! The Seahawks shoulda throttled the Falcons, Falcons are lucky they lost by only 2.

  35. dans761 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:24 PM

    fanaticks says:
    Oct 18, 2016 10:23 AM
    Seahawk homer writing another “objective” piece. lol
    ——————————

    HILARIOUS! That’s like saying Pete Prisco is a Seahawks homer. Florio has always bashed the Seahawks. Now he says something neutral and he’s a Seahawks homer? Wow. Please don’t procreate!!

  36. bricketh says: Oct 18, 2016 9:52 PM

    Every play reviewable. If they don’t want to overturn a judgement call, so be it. If they want to review every aspect of a play, including something that happened away from said play, so be it. Just let the coaches continue with 2 challenges (3 if proven right on initial 2), and let them use them how and when they choose. If they waste them on holding calls, then it is what it is. If the play isn’t clear, or the ref chooses to side with the judgement of the one who called the penalty, that’s their choice. Just let the plays all be reviewable, and we end the debate and illogical reasoning of “why is this one, but not that one”. Get it right!

  37. dreemeagle says: Oct 18, 2016 10:15 PM

    with the advent of the new rules that have turned the NFL into basically a touch football league, you’d more easily find an honest man in congress than a defensive back who doesn’t cheat;

    frankly, i don’t care who he is, with what we now know about the correlation between multiple head impacts and CTE, any WR deploying a Deacon Jones head slap should be broken in two on the ensuing tackle;

    you never saw Jerry Rice or Larry Fitzgerald or Megatron deploy such a dangerous tactic;

    there’s simply no need or excuse for it today, any more than crackback or cut blocks or flying wedges;

  38. dreemeagle says: Oct 18, 2016 10:37 PM

    Elvoid, there is simply no excuse, NONE, for three officials missing a ball obviously slapped out of the end zone last year, or another official completely screened out of position on a play still calling a completely phantom face mask penalty, or yet another referee completely missing the blatantly textbook shielding pass interference play committed by that completely beaten Dallas player two years ago;

    that, at best, is rank incompetence the NFL still refuse to eradicate–and please note that the referee who invented that fictitious face mask penalty last season WAS BROUGHT TO REFEREE A GAME BETWEEN THE SAME TWO TEAMS THIS SEASON, whereupon he promptly missed a key penalty right in front of his ignorant face a dive at the visiting QB’s knees that would’ve extended a drive and possibly changed the outcome of a one score difference game;

    and what possible excuse can the NFL offer for a blatant repetition of the same brutal dirty hits on a QB superstar in the super bowl again in the first game of the season, hits so obviously illegal they left the QB with a concussion and scuttling the entire season for his team?

    it makes one wonder if repeated incompetence of the officials on that scale is unintentional;

    yes, there are penalties on almost every play the referees can’t possibly catch all of, but the rank jackleg incompetence of the few who remain employed despite repeatedly bungling obvious and egregious calls game after game leave a stench of insincerity–at best–on the entire league;

  39. joepatrickmartin says: Oct 19, 2016 8:02 AM

    Richard Sherman has built a career on holding. Even in this small clip you can see him trying to grab and pull at Julio’s right arm as he starts to run away from Sherman. You’ve got to give it up to Sherman though, he doesn’t get called for it because he consistently plays the same way on every down, thus his holding never quite looks like holding.

  40. grendelg says: Oct 19, 2016 4:02 PM

    There’s a lot of insecurity from Seahawks fans needing to feel like they didn’t get away with a win they didn’t deserve. They’re still talking about this 3 days later when the Falcons fans have moved on.

  41. whitelotus88 says: Oct 20, 2016 3:43 AM

    I think most people are missing the point here. That being, Julio Jones is extremely physical receiver and both teams were playing extremely physical football the entire game. The refs were letting the players decide it and that’s why Julio Jones was no called for illegal hands to Richard Sherman’s face and that’s why Richard Sherman was not called for illegal pass interference.

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