Needless to say, it was not a good weekend for the league’s officiating crews with three high-profile blown calls.
Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post reported Tuesday that the NFL has determined officials cost the Dolphins a safety when Jordan Phillips tackled Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone Sunday. Tony Corrente’s crew ruled Fitzpatrick’s forward progress carried him out of the end zone before Phillips tackled him in the end zone.
But Fitzpatrick ran into the back of his teammate and guard Demar Dotson pushed Fitzpatrick back into the end zone. Since Fitzpatrick was not “pushed or carried backward by an opponent,” as stated in Rule 3, Section 13, Article 1, his forward progress was not stopped.
“If you looked at the film, you tell me what you thought,” Phillips said.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase challenged the ruling, and it was upheld on replay. Replay cannot be used to determine whether the forward progress ruling was correct, according to a source, with replay focused solely on the ball in relation to the goal line at the time forward progress was ruled.