NFL head of officiating Al Riveron is standing by his decision to overturn a Jets touchdown and award the ball to the Patriots on Sunday, even as two of his predecessors in the job are saying he got it wrong.
Riveron told reporters today that Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line, and then failed to control it again until after the ball had traveled across the goal line and out of bounds.
“By rule, he has to re-establish possession. He must regain control of the football again before he hits out of bounds,” Riveron said. “He has not regained control of the football before he hits out of bounds.”
Riveron added that he was relying on the same replays that the TV audience saw.
“Anything that we get in the command center we get directly from the TV feed,” Riveron said. “That’s what we base our decision on.”
Riveron acknowledged that former heads of officiating Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira have said publicly that he got the replay wrong, but he thinks he was correct and they were incorrect.
“I really have no comment on that, that’s really just their judgment,” Riveron said.
That won’t satisfy Jets fans, but Riveron’s mind is made up, and he says he got it right.