“Clear and obvious” standard ditched again in Chargers-Jaguars game

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The “clear and obvious” standard for replay review continues to be anything but.

Two weeks after the league office utilized the pipeline to the various game sites to overturn a touchdown catch by Bears tight end Zach Miller without clear and obvious evidence that the ruling on the field was correct, the league office overturned a fumble recovered and returned by Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson for a touchdown without (wait for it) clear and obvious evidence that the ruling on the field was incorrect.

Watch every available TV angle. There’s nothing that clearly and plainly shows that Gipson was touched by a member of the Chargers offense while on the ground recovering the loose ball and before getting up to take it to the end zone for what would have given Jacksonville a late lead.

The Jaguars eventually won the game in overtime, but maybe the game wouldn’t have gone to overtime if the ruling on the field was upheld, as it should have been. Besides, the point isn’t whether the failure to apply a bright-line standard in a consistent way prolonged Sunday’s game between the Chargers and Jaguars but whether (or when) it’s going to happen again in a way that decides a key regular-season game, a playoff game, or maybe even the Super Bowl.

38 responses to ““Clear and obvious” standard ditched again in Chargers-Jaguars game

  1. It’s become clear and obvious that “clear and obvious” is interpreted by Al Riveron as clear and obvious TO ME, regardless of what anyone else might see.

  2. thank you. i’m glad national media could see that reversal was bogus! i was shocked it was overturned and they never showed what caused them to overturn it. the announcers seemed to just move on and let it go. would like some league feedback as well as to their feeling the call was correctly handled

  3. They likely overturned it based on the assumption that there was no way he could have gotten out of that scrum without being touched.

    But the way I saw it, if he had been brushed by a Charger, it was before he had clear possession of the ball.

  4. The Chargers are sadly mismanaged on and off the field. Ironic that Josh Lambo played well when the Chargers were focused on Koo..who Kan’t and couldn’t. Nick is o.k. Continued bad offensive play calling by Whizenhunt. Sad about Eckeler who is a multi faceted player. This team is now falling into disarray. Star players are becoming disgruntled. There will be no fan base in Carson. Spanos is trapped.

  5. The angle that I think overturned it was the one showing when Gipson jumped on the ball it looked like he landed on the leg of the guy who fumbled it. So as soon as he got possession he would’ve been down by contact.

    But they never did show the reply after the announcement to discuss what the replay officials might have seen.

  6. Look at that catch and fumble from the Seattle Arizona game. The guy ran 3 steps with control of the ball but fell down and it came out. So was overturned to incomplete. Al Riveron is a farce. He makes that last two look brilliant.

  7. The clear and obvious standard needs to be changed. Referees routinely allow plays to continue on the basis that replay can overturn it. Commentators frequently mention some sort of league policy where they are taught to do this. The problem that occurs is that a play that is close but that they would rule dead at the time is allowed to continue and then, if the clear and obvious standard is applied properly (which, as this article points at, it often isn’t) the call cannot be overturned even though it “probably” should have been stopped. This is a real problem in the NFL right now. Refs just need to go back to ruling a play based upon what they see on the field. Alternatively, the standard needs to be changed to a “preponderance” standard.

  8. ” it’s going to happen again in a way that decides a key regular-season game, a playoff game, or maybe even the Super Bowl.”

    The moment replay review went to Riverton and Goodell’s cronies in NYC the already corrupt / incompetent boobs running the league gained that much more control of the games.

    Corruption runs deep in Roger Goodell’s National Integrity League

  9. There should be a 30 second time limit on all replays, if you can’t make the call in 30 seconds the play stands. Replay should be used to fix the clearly blown calls, it shouldn’t be causing more controversy than the call on the field

  10. The only thing “Clear and obvious” is the NFL doesn’t want a small market team like Jacksonville to make any noise or be a potential threat to a larger market team in the playoffs. A team like the Jaguars not only has to overcome their opponent, but the referees as well.

  11. robigd says:
    November 13, 2017 at 11:54 am
    The only thing “Clear and obvious” is the NFL doesn’t want a small market team like Jacksonville to make any noise or be a potential threat to a larger market team in the playoffs. A team like the Jaguars not only has to overcome their opponent, but the referees as well.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I agree with your premise if by small market you mean less popular and therefor less profitable for the league as the season unwinds. Some teams will get more calls because of their popularity or the league’s desire to improve their standing to help ratings. Packers are a small market team but are wildly popular. They seem to get helpful calls more often than most but I expect that to return to the norm because of Rodgers’ absence. I believe Jax will start getting more calls if the league starts promoting the “Cinderella” season but it looks like the LA Rams would get that designation first

  12. Many moons ago when the TV networks started showing instant replays during baseball games we knew this would ultimately happen. The sports leagues would be forced to review calls on the field because the TV networks were going to show these instant replays regardless. Officiating of sports has always been subjective. The sports leagues can review plays all they want, no two people are going to see these close plays the same and this is what we will have. There will be no definitive objective technological solution for a play that is open to interpretation by a human being.

  13. The league is too reliant on tech. They have no accountability and the networks don’t help matters when they validate hacks like Blandino with cushy jobs explaining this nonesense.

  14. It has been long decided that small market teams can only win the SB once in every 10 years.

    Chiefs got hosed against the Raiders, Jags against Chargers.

    It’s beyond strange that good teams can basically play like the best team in the NFL then the next week play like the worst. Chiefs were a no-show against Pittsburgh, Buffalo against NO.

  15. The only thing that is clear and obvious related to the NFL is that it is on a decline from which the current commissioner cannot slow down or stop.

  16. The problem with “clear and obvious” is it’s just as subjective and fuzzy as what went before – not least because it’s benchmarked to whether the initial call was good, BS or just total guesswork.

    Look at the Gronk TD catch last night. Gronk dove and ended up with control of the ball in the end zone. Looked good to me in real-time, but the ref thought no. Gronk scooped his arm under the ball as he fell on it and rolled over but in TV replays you can’t tell if a bit of the ball ever touched the ground – but also that there was no way the only ref with sight of it could have seen it touch in real time either because Gronk’s arm was in the way. Why should the ref’s total guesswork in a split second in that situation stand more value than slow-mo replays from every angle? Isn’t that why we started with replays? If you can’t, even with slow-mo, ever see the ball touch the ground and the guy has control, on balance it ought to be a TD.

  17. Ugadogs21 says:
    November 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm
    The league is too reliant on tech. They have no accountability and the networks don’t help matters when they validate hacks like Blandino with cushy jobs explaining this nonesense.
    ———

    THIS.

    And calling Blandino a hack is the proper superlative.

  18. @FinFan68:

    The fact that this is such a thing is scary in itself. It doesn’t take much to change the outcome of an entire game. An inopportune “roughing” penalty, PI call, holding, and in the Jaguar’s case, 100 missed holding calls on the opponent.

  19. streetyson says:
    November 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm
    The problem with “clear and obvious” is it’s just as subjective and fuzzy as what went before – not least because it’s benchmarked to whether the initial call was good, BS or just total guesswork.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It is only fuzzy when no integrity or objectivity is applied. The calls should stand UNLESS there is an obvious mistake. If ANY argument can be made either way during the review process then the call should stand as called. As long as they do that and ensure every review includes all angles then fans will accept the call. When they do questionable stuff like jump through hoops trying to explain a call or certain angles are never shown to fans then fans rightfully think something shady may be afoot.

  20. Refs had a bad day Sunday. They were extremely good at calling holding penalties away from the actual play and interrupting good play after good play. Watching the “Red Zone” was like watching The National Flag League (NFL) and when a touchdown was scored anywhere near the edge of the goal line they got it wrong every time. As a commenter stated “it’s getting near the end”. Roger Goodell has come very close to ruining the game of football. I totally agree with Jerry Jones not for the same reasons. Get rid of him.

  21. The problem with Jerry Jones is that he didn’t have beef with Goodell’s antics until it affected DALLAS. Only then was it an issue in his eyes.

    But fundamentally, we generally all see a rapid decline in the product. Greed does that.

  22. There wasn’t even this much consternation from him about the cap circumvention before the last CBA was signed (because he knew he was in the wrong, unlike Snyder, who refused to come clean). Even agreed to Goodell’s previous extension. But now that his star player is affected, he has a problem.

    Sure.

  23. I was at this game and there were so many missed calls against the Chargers and so many phantom ones against the Jaguars. I’m not one to believe that the refs try to give an edge to one team or another, but watching yesterday’s game makes me think I’m wrong about that

  24. Riveron: “Hey Rog, do you want a winner in LA or a winner in London?
    Roger: We have 2 teams trying to develop fan bases in LA, and no team yet in London.
    Riveron: Down by contact it is. Clear and Obvious!!!

  25. Does no one own a DVR? He was clearly sitting on the leg of the fumbling player when he took possession of the ball. It’s there plain as day when you look at it. The best view is from the left camera angle.

  26. Having watched the game, it was clear he was touched by another player. I’m not sure who can claim he was NOT touched by another player without being laughed at.

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