Luck play wasn’t reversed because referee didn’t see conclusive video


Sunday’s game between the Titans and Colts, during which Tennessee owner Bud Adams apparently opted for an end-zone suite, featured a controversial call that became less problematic after the home team won.

For a while, though, it appeared that the clearly erroneous failure of the officials to overturn an interception return for a touchdown could lift the Titans to a victory over the Colts.

Obvious and indisputable footage showed that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s knee was on the ground before he released a ball that hit Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon not very far above his.  Witherspoon secured the catch and ran the ball in for a touchdown.

So why wasn’t the touchdown overturned via replay review?  NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos explained during Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk that the replay assistant didn’t feed the conclusive video to the referee.

It’s unclear whether the failure was the result of CBS not serving up the video to the replay assistant or the replay assistant not getting it to the referee.  However, CBS pumped the video through to the broadcast; it’s unlikely that the same angle wasn’t sent to the replay booth, for delivery to the portable replay apparatus at field level.

Either way, the system failed.  And it’s a system that seems to be failing almost as often as it works the right way.

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39 responses to “Luck play wasn’t reversed because referee didn’t see conclusive video

  1. If you think gambling didn’t have something to do with the replay assistant “not feeding the ref the right shot” you’re naive. The line moved two points in Tennessee’s favor before game time.

  2. I’m not gonna bitch and moan too much over this call. Luck should have held onto the ball instead of throwing it but….. the refs really blew this call. Just glad that this boneheaded mistake from Luck didn’t cost us the game.

  3. Every camera angle that I saw showed his knee down. If this were the replacement refs it would have been all over sportscenter about how terrible of a job they were doing. This one was unexcuseable

  4. Well that explains why the call was made but it doesn’t explain why the video wasn’t made available.

  5. Then this ref should be fired, because it dosent get more conclusive than that.

    So obvious it’s not even funny. Close yes but easy enough to make the correct call.

    Sort of like the Greg Jennings fumble they didn’t call against the Giants in the playoffs.

    If they are going to continue to mess up easy, no doubt about it calls then they should do away with instant replay because its not helping.

  6. Kid’s a rookie. I give him credit for keeping his eyes (and mind) looking downfield.

    The guy my team drafted would’ve been curled up on the ground as soon as he heard the heavy breathing and footsteps.

  7. The NFL should adopt the way the NHL does their reviews. With the NHL war room you have a dedicated group watching in Toronto and can initiate a review to the on ice officials. A system like this would take some of the onus off of a ref trying to view the play on the tiny screen and it can allow for multiple views to be seen all at once so you can get different angles at the exact time the important aspect happens. Whether that being a knee down, ball crossing the plane, feet inbounds or the ball being caught.

  8. Luck and the Colts have been pretty “Lucky” all season, I think. Good first year for him, but the Texans will probably stomp them twice in the next few weeks.

  9. in fairness to the official, the “conclusive” replay angle wasn’t shown on the CBS broadcast until after they already reviewed the play. not to say the official didn’t have access to that angle before the public did, but it shows that that angle wasn’t one of the primary angles and they had to do a bit of digging to come up with it.

  10. When the replacement refs were working the games the announcers could not wait to bash them for bad calls but each week I watch the same bad calls and nothing is said. I wish the NFL would provide grades for these guys after every game like the teams do for their players. I guess the refs are graded but make it public.

  11. So, theoretically, the network airing any NFL game, could manipulate replay angles and availability? I see no conflict there…..

  12. Not that it Ended up making a difference overall, but no one pointed out the ref’s error in the Bucs Eagles game. With 35 seconds left in the game, the Bucs were flagged for 12 men on the field and Schiano took a timeout. During the timeout, the replay assistant reviewed the play and there was conclusive evidence to uphold the call. The ump came out and ruled that the call stood and that the Bucs would not be charged a timeout and awarded the timeout back to them. Why? The Eagles scored with no time remaining so the call was moot but if they hadn’t, the Bucs would’ve had a chance with 3 timeouts instead of two. Again, didn’t matter but still a pretty sizeable guffaw

  13. The ref is now claiming he didn’t see conclusive evidence??? That’s a lame excuse — I haven’t seen an angle on that play that wasn’t conclusive. What more did the guy need?

    Sounds like the ref is trying to pass the buck, instead of just owning it.

    Had the Titans held on to win that game and the Steelers and Bengals taken care of their business — there would be a much larger uproar over that.

    All I know is that in my job, and most jobs held by everyone else — excuses like that to cover astonishingly inept performance doesn’t just get brushed aside, as it apparently does for NFL (“real”) referees.

  14. The video looked conclusive, but the picture in the story seems to show his knee not on the turf yet. At least it didn’t change the outcome of the game.

  15. Was he watching the right play? How is it possible that only 1 angle showed his knee on the ground? (It was clear to me in all the angles that I have seen) This was inexcusable and another one of those calls that these referees get wrong even after review. I would think that the replacements would have gotten that call right after review. There should be a huge outcry over the officiating in general. These guys are making worse calls than the replacements did. The only real difference is that the games run smoother (except for that 10 minute ball spot fiasco on 4th & 29) because these guys are confident even when they are grossly wrong.

  16. There were only 2 parts of that play: 1) Luck throwing and 2) the Return… what part of that play could they have possibly shown to the ref? The play itself was only a few seconds and there was really only 1 part of the play to even review.

    It was shown 8-10 times on the Big Screen at the Stadium during the review and even the frame was stopped for quite awhile. Somehow 99.9% of the Stadium and Home Viewers knew he was down but the 2 people involved in the replay missed it? That’s not a good sign.

    No excuse for missing game changing calls late in the season like this, but it made the comeback that much better.

    If the NFL is going to hire people who can’t do there jobs, at the very least allow the Coaches to make a specific challenge if the Refs miss something.

  17. This is one that shouldn’t have been reversed. He made a stupid play and didn’t deserve a free bailout. Indy still won the game. I like how more blame is going to the officials than him……. smh

  18. The biggest problem still remains that the onfield ref makes the call on the replay. Talk about conflict of interest! Do you think they are impartial to decide that they, or one of their buddies, made a mistake? The guy in the booth needs to make this call. He is not on the field and cannot be influenced by others.

  19. For those complaining about replacement refs getting blasted by media vs. league refs not receiving any public thrashings…one has a powerful union supported and defended by the league (who will voice their displeasure with tv bosses), the other doesn’t. You can rip the substitute teacher, but watch your tongue once the real teacher comes back from vacation.

    And Luck and RGIII and the rest of these rookie QBs are awesome…but give them a break, they’re rookies. How many rookies can keep their eyes downfield with a beast of a defender taking you down. This game is more complex than ever and these guys like Luck are helping lead their team to a winning season.

  20. Praise the Lord the “Real” refs are back. They’re soooo much better than the replacement “hacks.” Right NFL media.

    Seriously, I can’t wait to read columns from Peter King and others devoted to how bad the regulars are as well.

  21. The second part of the video was even more damning saying that the refs will always throw the flag, like they did with the Cincy hit on Bryant, because they are ONLY downgraded in their performance review if they DIDN’T throw a flag that may have been proper. If they throw a flag like this one, obviously wrong, guy way out of position making the call, there is NO negative outcome that can fall back on them.
    Now that is one screwed up system!

  22. Giving Luck credit for Colts’ comebacks is like giving credit to an arsonist for putting out his fires.

    Knee down or not, it was another dumb throw by the league’s leading turnover machine.

    Bottom of the league in completion %, rating and turnovers.

    Colts fans are in for a rude awakening over the next month when you have to play the Texans twice then go on the road to Denver or Baltimore. That .420 SOS you’ve currently got is about to get a return to normalcy.

  23. “Either way, the system failed. And it’s a system that seems to be failing almost as often as it works the right way.”

    That’s a bit of an exaggeration. Of all the calls that are reviewed each weekend, 90%+ are handled correctly. Sure, the system can be improved, but let’s not go overboard here.

  24. I know no system is perfect but the NFL needs to come off its high horse and adopt a system like they have in college. Have a set official making the calls in the booth and eliminating the 10 minutes timeframe waiting for a decision on the play.

  25. There wasn’t conclusive evidence on the Braylon Edwards TD catch against the Bears either, but that didn’t stop them from overturning it. Referees should be forced to take a class in lawyering. It’s not what happened or what you think happened that matters, it’s what you can PROVE happened using the evidence at your disposal.

  26. Gee, what a surprise. Un-logicalvoice and Skins23 have nothing better to do then comment on the colts. They seem to follow the colts a lot for people that hate them.

    Why do you guys hate Luck so much. Does he threaten you that much? Nobody is on here bashing a QB that cant slide, so why your worried about Luck.

    Have a great day, haters!!!!

  27. They could save the 80 year old referees trouble and call one of us young people watching on our 60-70″ TVs to review the plays. Probably be more effective.

  28. cvieira18 says:
    Dec 11, 2012 12:19 PM

    I don’t hate Luck. I think he’ll be a great QB someday.

    I hate the Luck/Colt trolls like peytonsneck who constantly come onto the Skins threads and tout Luck is better than RG3 just because the Colts are 2 games better in the standings.

  29. gbmickey says: Dec 11, 2012 11:24 AM

    I know no system is perfect but the NFL needs to come off its high horse and adopt a system like they have in college. Have a set official making the calls in the booth and eliminating the 10 minutes timeframe waiting for a decision on the play.

    Right, then we’ll have missed extra points called good on the field, and after review, still called good!

  30. So this validates why Schwartz threw the flag on Thanksgiving. Even though all TDs and turnovers are reviewed, the replay official may not consider the entire play, especially if the TD or turnover happens away from the endzone or at the point of turnover.

  31. MNF, another game, another ridiculous pass interference call just before the Pats went up 21-0. No rule is in greater need of review than PI, it consistently gives teams huge chunks of yardage for doing nothing. That ref couldn’t wait to dramatically throw the flag 20 feet in the air in front of the home crowd on a ball Welker wasn’t within 10 feet of, with or without contact. These refs suck just as bad as the replacements.

  32. skins23 says:
    Dec 11, 2012 10:08 AM

    Colts fans are in for a rude awakening over the next month when you have to play the Texans twice then go on the road to Denver or Baltimore. That .420 SOS you’ve currently got is about to get a return to normalcy.

    And yet they are going to the playoffs while IRG III will be on his couch.
    AL I > IRG III

    Suck it SkinNation

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