After Titans were handed a touchdown, NFL vows to fix replay errors


The Titans were awarded a touchdown on an Andrew Luck interception on Sunday, on a play that should have been blown dead before Luck threw the ball. And even though a replay conclusively showed that Luck’s knee was down before he let go of the ball, the Titans’ touchdown wasn’t overturned.

NFL director of instant replay Dean Blandino says that can’t happen again.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get this angle down to the referee,” Blandino said on NFL Network. “The replay official did not send it down to the referee. And that is a mistake, and that’s something that we have to make sure doesn’t happen again. You can see that the knee is down, you can see that Luck clearly has control of the football, but the referee never got a look at this angle because the replay official didn’t send it down to the field, and that’s something that we’re going to work on and we have been working on to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The Colts overcame the replay assistant’s mistake and won the game anyway, but mistakes like that are inexcusable, and the NFL needs to make sure that something like that doesn’t happen again. At the start of this season, botched calls by the replacement officials were the biggest story in the NFL. No one wants botched calls to be the NFL’s biggest story at the end of the season.

38 responses to “After Titans were handed a touchdown, NFL vows to fix replay errors

  1. All I read was a statement saying, “We made a mistake. We can’t make anymore mistakes. Mistakes are bad.”

    No offense, but unless they make specific changes, the errors aren’t going to stop.

    Let me be clear – Errors by referees in real-time are unavoidable. These are 6+ feet tall, 220+ lbs men running and jumping at high speed, and it’s tough to see everything at once as it happens. Most fans understand that and can live with that.

    However, it’s hard to explain mistakes that occur EVEN AFTER instant replay are used, like this one, or that Denver Broncos returner who tossed away the football as part of a celebration before reaching the endzone who was still awarded a touchdown.

  2. The only way to get this right 99% of the time is to do the following:

    All replays are decided by the replay official in the booth.

    The replay official should not be an ex nfl official and he should never interact with the crew other than via the headset when rendering decisions. No beers after the game etc. Better yet, the replay official should override the public address system to advise everyone of the review results.

    All replays generated in the last two minutes and in overtime are initiated from the booth but what keeps the on field officials from ignoring the signal. The replay official should have a button that he hits that lights up behind each goal post so everyone in the stadium knows he wants to review the play.

    The Titans were screwed on a horrible mark that the officials moved the ball to the 31 yard line and gave them a first down when the player was a yard short of the 30. No one realized the officials did this and the Titans QB snuck the ball on first down thinking it was third and one.

    Something has got to be done about spotting the ball. Some of these guys aren’t even close.

  3. Ok fans had to have the replay and now we have everything and still they can’t get it right. Maybe NFL football is just going to have some errors. Games use to be played without replay and everyone survived.

    I hate the replay which delays games and interrupts the flow of things. If it is going to not get it right every time, is it really worth having?

  4. Get rid of “indisputable”.

    Lots of calls are reviewed and called wrong because it’s not “indisputable”.

    You could argue Luck was down, you could argue he wasn’t. But he was most likely down. Given the fraction of a second it took for his knee to hit and the ball to have been released. So because the call was made on field as a TD they had to see “indisputable” evidence.

    This isn’t a murder trial, beyond a reasonable doubt is far too strict for a football game.

    If it looks like the guy was down, then call him down. Stop with this life or death attitude and just say, “if it looks like the player is down and the booth ref and field ref agree, call it”

    Simple fix.

  5. I would feel for the Colts aside from the fact that he threw the ball right into the dude’s stomach. It’s not like it was a fumble. He made a stupid throw and the refs neglected to bail him out.

  6. Most of u are dim! What happens whe n the play is reviewed?? COMMERCIALS and then more COMMERCIALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. robmar924…were you this apoplectic when Vinny Testaverde’s GREEN AND WHITE HELMET scored a TD, knocking the Hawks out of the playoffs and getting Dennis Ericson canned? Were you this upset when Hawks had an obvious INT taken away IN A PLAYOFF game against Houston which gave the game to Houston? Where were you when SF had blatant DPI on the Giants muffed FG IN THE PLAYOFFS? Didn’t see you on here the refs gave the last two SB’s to the Steelers(XL..’nuff said and BLATANT two handed shove in the back on AZ player who lined up to take Harrison out of bounds on the TD return)?

  8. Refs have had far more influence on games this year, all for worse. Not good for fans. Not good for teams. Not good for the sport. Let’s get the calls right. Do away with “non-reviewable” plays. Review anything that may alter the winner. Damn the run time.

  9. Anyone see the Falcons game. Hochuli overrules a ref with a much better angle and then blows the challenge on an obvious catch by Roddy White on a 2pt convert.

    Nothing worse then a ref blowing a replay.

  10. Play #1 of the weekend. #2 was the TD given to Chargers on the so-called “backwards” pass that was recovered in the end-zone by the Chargers. Yes. It ended up being meaningless, but still easily a forward pass. GOOD LORD please get these calls RIGHT before some incompetent ref blows yet another game!!!

  11. What about the game that was handed to the Colts when the TE fumbled at the end of the 4th quarter but the refs blew the whistle early. The NFL is so bias towards teams it wants to win.

  12. I like the NHL replay model. All replays occur at a central location (Toronto in the NHL, probably New York in the NFL) where all games will be monitored and you would have a single group of arbiters who can judge all replays from all games equally. There would be no variance between officiating crews at the different games. All replays would originate from this location, and decided from this location.
    The networks would provide all feeds to this location and every replay angle would be provided too. There is no reason the home TV audience should have better angles than the replay officials. And if after two viewings of an angle the replay official cannot decide to overturn the call, either move on to the next angle or call it back to the game – “the ruling on the field is confirmed”. You can centralize this process AND speed it up.

  13. It doesn’t matter what kind of changes the league makes, or how much it attempts to fix or improve the system…..

    Pete Morelli will still find a way to make one or more appallingly bad calls that completely change the complexion of the game.

    However, to his benefit, Morelli and his crew show absolutely no favoritism; they’re consistently incompentent week in and week out, so every team gets screwed equally.

  14. It has been over 20 yrs since replay has been used and the NFL still can’t get it right. As a Bills fan I have viewed horrible calls, but then when they go to replay and still get it is infuriating. I would rather have replay used to fix things like Miami given a timeout this past weekend when the play clock was well past 0, all things are viewable in this particular clock refs and Philbin. Or on the Dez Bryant hit, clearly not helmet, yet called helmet to helmet.

  15. Why have reviews? There should only be reviews on plays that are challenged not tds or turnovers. Let the refs do their jobs! It just slows the game down. If the make a mistake oh well its human nature its part of the game it makes it more exiting! Why do you think soccer doesn’t use replays? Or basketball (barely) next thing we know robots are going to be referring instead of people and all the calls will be 100 percent correct. Jesus Christ goddell is ruining the game!

  16. “wwwmattcom says:Dec 12, 2012 8:32 PM

    Judgement calls should be reviewable or the definition of a judgement call should be changed as well.”


    Agreed. Also, as I mentioned previously in another post, I think the “inadvertent whistle” rule needs to be looked at as well. That one basically amounts to a ref being able to stop play anytime he wants by simply blowing his whistle. Nothing after that matters nor can it be reviewed. It’s treated as though it’s just a refs mistake and that’s how it goes.

  17. @steelerfan…..he didn’t make a dumb throw, he was down and therefore no throw was made. The term bailout implies if the officials would have ruled on the play correctly, the Colts would have been given a break.

    @sarcasm ….Luck was down and therefore no throw was ever made. Is it that hard to understand?

  18. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get this angle down to the referee…”

    Are you freaking kidding me?!? Send down EVERY AND ALL angles you have to the ref. Give the ref every single piece of video on the call so that said ref can make the a full comprehensive decision.

    Or, as others have suggested, have a central replay official who oversees all the games at once, a la the NHL.

  19. He was going to throw a pass and was blind sided. How is that his mistake? He has made plenty of bad throws but that one was not on him.

    That being said, these were the worst refs (including the replacements) I have seen all season. Just watched the replay and it was pathetic. Both ways. The refs should be fined and suspended.

  20. I want the replacement refs back. At least they called it good/bad for both teams and it truly evened out. Everyone made such a big deal about the replacements, but since the regs have been back, it’s been THE EXACT SAME STORY. Long delays in games, not knowing who did what or what was called, horrible spots, awarding TDs in error, getting the downs wrong, getting the clock wrong, awarding harbaugh more TO’s and challenges than he should have had. THERE HAS BEEN ALMOST NO DIFFERENCE, except that it seems the bad calls go one way… that it.

  21. I’m one of the biggest Titan fans around (unfortunately for me). And even I will admit that was one of the most bogus reviews I’ve ever witnessed. The whole game was a disaster from an officiating standpoint though. Possibly the overall worst called game I’ve seen this season (including replacement refs).

  22. Make every replay decision in the booth with full use of technology and perfect viewing conditions. There’s a lot more time to look at a play’s angles if an on-field ref doesn’t have to run back and forth to a monitor to see the replay under what must be lousy viewing conditions. If that’s a labor issue of some kind, simply put a ref in the booth to make the decision.

    Also, why are some plays automatically NOT reviewable? The point is to get calls right. Why are some plays exempt from this safeguard to “get it right”?

    Actually, if you want to do replay right, have a couple of people in the booth closely watching the plays, and, if something on any play looks amiss, they could take a quick look before the next play and, if necessary, stop the game for a quick decision, and it WOULD be quick if the decision was made only in the booth. It’s absurd that the home viewer can see multiple angles and often can tell a bad call has been made well BEFORE the announcement that the game is being paused for replay. The replay system is too slow because it’s not done in the booth.

  23. ..but why no statement about the refs after the first time these two teams met? The Colts were driving at the end of regulation in a tie game, but Dwayne Allen fumbled and the Titans recovered at the Colts’ 30 yard line. Except the Titans didn’t get the ball because the ref blew an inadvertent whistle before Allen was even close to being down.

  24. The centralized NHL model would be good, too. It’s similar to wanting replay decisions made in the booth. If it could work in a centralized location, that would be great. Probably a lot cheaper for the league, too.

  25. Was the replay official fined? Has he been replaced off the bench? Where is the accountability the NFL claimed they were fighting for in the lockout? The officiating was bad the first three weeks and hasn’t gotten much better.

  26. The replay officials missed the Trindon Holliday fumble into the endzone play earlier this year between the Panthers and Broncos. He clearly flipped the ball before crossing the goal line on a punt return, and they reviewed it and confirmed it as a TD. It was clear as day. Even the announcers when they came back from commercial said that the Broncos were gifted a TD.

  27. When are we going to get the real refs back? These replacement refs suck. In recent weeks there have been 10+ minute delays, phantom touchdowns called where the runner’s knee was down at midfield(Forsett), etc. It goes on and on. The league really needs to give the regular officials what they want so that the officiating can get back to the high standard that we are used to.

  28. All along, I’d thought that “the refs see what we see” meant they always had full access to all the camera angles of a play we in the audience saw. It blew me away when it was explained that the booth guy DECIDES what shots the ref downstairs sees, as well as that the booth guys aren’t guys who were good refs to begin with. The booth is a “punishment” for bad performance. BOTH of these need to change…yesterday.

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