Officials missed field-goal push call in Ravens-Dolphins game


Given Sunday’s game between the Patriots and the Jets, everybody knows about Rule 9, Article 1, Section 3(2)(b) of the rulebook.

Before that, not many people did.  Including game officials, apparently.

As explained by Albert Breer of NFL Network, the Ravens violated the rule against pushing players on the line of scrimmage in field-goal formation during a late 57-yard try from the Dolphins.  The kick, if successful, would have tied the game.  The kick, if it had come 15 yards closer after the flag that wasn’t thrown, may have been good.

Per Breer, the Dolphins gave the tape to the NFL, and the league conceded (privately) that the call was missed.

A review of the coaches film available via the NFL’s Game Rewind service conducted by PFT (that sounds so official) shows that Chris Canty was lined up between, but slightly behind, Arthur Jones and Haloti Ngata.  After the snap, Canty got behind Jones and pushed.

The temptation to skirt the rule surely increases on longer field-goal attempts, when the trajectory of the kick necessarily is lower.  In those situations, a strong push could result in a blocked kick.

The league thereafter decided to make the rule a point of emphasis, prompting V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino to send out a video explaining that game officials would be watching for future violations.

While some Patriots fans may point to the failure to flag the Ravens as further proof of a cockeyed conspiracy against the franchise that parlayed the tuck rule into its first Super Bowl win, the broader point is that the enforcement of the rule was, before Sunday, a work in progress.  The Patriots either didn’t understand the rule or deliberately rolled the dice on the 56-yard attempt from Nick Folk, hoping the flag wouldn’t be thrown.

Either way, no one can claim ignorance of the rule going forward.

58 responses to “Officials missed field-goal push call in Ravens-Dolphins game

  1. It did happen in that game and never was called I was there and saw it. The refs in that game were horrible anyway. That wasn’t their only mistake.

  2. It is an anti-patriot but instead pro-raven bias. The commissioners pet team always gets the benefit of calls.

  3. There are too many rules for them to not miss one almost every game. Condense the rule book and refs will officiate better and maybe fans will understand what’s happening when a flag IS actually thrown. Im at the point where I expect a flag on every play.

  4. Hmm… The Dolphins getting screwed by refs IN MIAMI is nothing new. It’s even more ironic that their complaint helped the Jets win a huge game in the AFC East.

  5. Between this missed call and the 50+ yards the Ravens got on ONE drive from bogus pass interference calls that gave Baltimore a TD, the Dolphins should’ve won this game.

    Not blaming the Ravens, just the inconsistent refs. It’s tough to see something flagged when something worse went on last drive and wasn’t flagged.

  6. Longer kicks trajectory DOES NOT need, and as a matter of fact must not be lower than any other kick.
    The optimun angle for the longest, or any distance is 45 degrees, and that’s physics and not only my opinion.
    At 45 degrees a kick would be 7 yards above the ground when passing through the line of scrimmage, making it unblockable by any human being.

  7. Bottom line is Little Bill has never won a thing without CHEATING………….Pats are a fraud who have TAINTED ******* titles……..follow the rules Little bill you cheat.

  8. It’s a good rule.

    I don’t support most of the new “safety” rules, but this is just common sense. The long snapper literally has his head between his legs and is completely blind to the rush with his head and neck exposed.

    And just because it didn’t get called in one game doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have been called in another.

  9. .

    ”a team that parlayed the tuck rule into their first super bowl title ”

    Parlayed? The NFL Competition Committee and every other governing body of the NFL has repeatedly stated that Walt Coleman’s call was the correct application of the rulebook.

    There are missed / blown calls in every game. If you leave the game in the hands of the refs, you do so at your own peril.


  10. The more I read of this story the more I think (Pats) fans are making mountain out of molehill. To sum up:

    1.) New rule implemented this year. Takes time for refs and teams to understand it (see: BB initially misreading rule).
    2.) Refs aren’t calling it for whatever reason and get called out my head office for it.
    3.) As stated here, teams are more likely to commit this foul in long field goal attempts as more chance of it succeeding.
    4.) Refs are now looking for it and probably looking for it in longer field goal attempts where it will be a factor.
    5.) Jets attempt a ridiculous 56 yard FG attempt the week after HQ tells refs to look for it.

    Is it a bull rule? As a fan, absolutely. Is it still a rule? Yes. Is there a reason why it wasn’t called until now? See above.

    But I’m sure we can squeeze out a few more articles here on the subject. Seems to be a huge traffic generator for the site judging by volume of comments.

  11. Nick Foles was NEVER gonna hit that field goal. Not all the way from Philly with a bum hammy.

  12. oh, so this is what we’re going to do now huh?

    You know, there’s a line, and it’s really not that fine, between legitimate reporting of information people need to know and sensationalism.

  13. @greenlantern75,

    You’re correct. Pats fans are overreacting and that’s coming from a Pats fan. They lost because they didn’t take advantage of the scoring opportunities they had.

    That said, I expect if you reviewed the film of every game this year that you would find defensive players pushing others in field goal attempts in every single game so far this year. Let’s see how many more times that penalty is called over the course of the season.

  14. eduardo, I’m no physicist, but you’re only talking about trajectory. Watch a good golfer, they will hit down on the ball and drive a low trajectory, with the ball eventually rising and turning over. I believe there are many more factors in the disctance equation than just trajectory.

  15. I’ll bet there is plenty of game film from this season showing many teams using this technique. I don’t think any of the officials were specifically looking for this until the Jets/Pats game, and only then because Jets coaches brought it to their attention. Either the Jets coaches saw it looking at game film or, more likely, a spurned Zach Sudfeld told them to watch for it. Good for the Jets, though, they check-mated Belichick.

  16. baltimoresnativeson | Oct 22, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT
    Yeah, I don’t think he was making a 57 yarder. Nice try Florio.

    Sincerely, World Champs

    I am sure you felt that way about 4 and 29 in San Diego last year when you got that great spot. I know I know Raven rules….how could I object after all raven fans are the most level headed fans in the NFL.

  17. cmich2006 says:
    Oct 22, 2013 10:38 AM
    It is an anti-patriot but instead pro-raven bias. The commissioners pet team always gets the benefit of calls.

    You realize you’re a Patriots fan, right?

  18. @6ball

    That comment about the refs swings both ways my friend. The Pats don’t win that game without the call, plain and simple. It wasn’t a penalty, it was an interpritation of a rarely used rule. Assuredmutualdestruction, I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty solid grasp on how all fouls pertain to the game. Football is quite possibly one of the easiest sports to follow in terms of penalties. As soon as Sundays foul was announced and then I saw the replay, I couldn’t have agreed more. It wasn’t some crazy call by a ref 10 yards away, the guy who threw the flag was directly behind the players and threw it almost simultaneously with the action. What I can’t stand are the delayed flags, or the horrid PI calls by refs on the opposite side of the action.

  19. Patriots keep getting screwed by the NFL. It happened during the bogus Spygate scandal, it’s happening again. Every team was videotaping, not just the Patriots, because it was legal to do so. Goodell sent that memo about videotaping to every team in the NFL, because every team was doing it.

    Seems like every team pushes forward to gain advantages on field goals, yet somehow the Patriots are the team that gets flagged for it at the most critical point of the game. Absolutely disgraceful, the Patriots are team that the NFL wants to make the example of again. I’m so steamed, I’m boycotting all NFL games this weekend and just checking out movies instead.

  20. @realitypolice – But the rule is not to push someone into or hit the long snapper, it’s not to push someone on your team…. period. If the aim was to protect the long snapper, they could institute a rule to do that (every level of football with the exception of the NFL has rules against hitting the long snapper).

    As a Patriots fan, I can argue til I’m blue in the face whether or not it should be a rule, but the bottom line is it is a rule. I just wish they would call it more often because it happens on every-single-fg-opportunity.

  21. The NFL risks its demise as the premier sporting event if they continue with increasingly horrible officials and their growing body of proof on subjective calls and non-calls. Soon, the NFL will go the way of the NBA where a shooting foul was called on the nearest defender who as 8 feet away when Jordan missed a wide open jumper.

    I can’t wait for the phantom holding calls or phantom personal foul calls to keep growing in number as well as the obvious non-calls being made by NFL officials. At that point, the fans will say, “Who cares about these phony games? The Fix was in.”

  22. kellyb9 says:
    Oct 22, 2013 11:40 AM
    @realitypolice – But the rule is not to push someone into or hit the long snapper, it’s not to push someone on your team…. period. If the aim was to protect the long snapper, they could institute a rule to do that (every level of football with the exception of the NFL has rules against hitting the long snapper).

    The intent of the rule is to protect the long snapper even it may not specify that. Where else you employ the technique? It wouldn’t make sense to do it anywhere but right up the middle.

    As to why the NFL doesn’t just specifically protect the LS, your guess is as good as mine. I guess it’s another case of not wanting to take a potential exciting play out of the game (blocked field goal, botched snap). So, typical NFL, they pass a half-a** rule that says you can’t push a guy into the line, but you can still hit a guy who has the back of his head and neck fully exposed and is defenseless.

  23. @harrisonhits2

    I actually expect it to get called at least a few more times throughout the year until teams adjust and stop doing it.

    Fact is the rule was equivalent of 55 MPH speed limit sign. Teams will keep driving 75+ until they see the speed traps out…Hard to argue with the cop that it’s unfair you were caught when there were other cars going your speed.

    And the next time you’re on that highway, you can bet you’ll be watching your speed.

  24. A rule is a rule. I have no problem that they called it on the Patriots. However, I do wonder why they didn’t call it on the Jets earlier in the game? Bottme line…its water over the bridge, and all teams are now well aware of the new rule. Time to move on and prepare for next Sunday.

  25. or deliberately rolled the dice on the 56-yard attempt from Nick Folk

    No matter what you think of BB there’s no way he’d roll the dice as you want to suggest on a 57 yard attempt, outdoors. It makes no sense. The chances of that kick being good are remote at best.

  26. Since this is becoming such an issue, why do the refs never call the offence for aiding the runner. Happens all the time n short yardage situations. The ball carrier is held up at the line so people start to push the ball carrier. This is also a penalty but never called.

  27. Steeley McBeam says:
    Oct 22, 2013 11:32 AM
    Ravens should be 2-5 TOPS


    According to what? Your objective logic?

    I really, really hate when fans think they know what a team’s record “should” be. If that were the case, then the Patriots “should” have gone 19-0, since David Tyree made a crazy catch after Eli avoided being sacked about 5 times on one play.

    Playing revisionist history is fun, isn’t it?

  28. To all of you saying that the NFL is helping the Patriots week after week, you just had the proof that you were wrong.
    Also, earlier in the game, a Patriots player was flagged for pushing the helmet of a Jets player on the ground. No problem with that, except that a Jets player did the same kind of push few plays before on a Pats WR…

  29. @realitypolice – I assumed the rule was to protect the defensive lineman who was getting pushed or the offensive lineman who was blocking. Either way, I agree it doesn’t make a ton of sense if the point was protect the long snapper. In that case, they should just make a rule that protects that one person, like “roughing the kicker/punter”.

    The intent of this rule is kind of lost on me. There’s a lot of other areas where player safety is a much larger concern.

  30. I don’t have a problem with the rule, but I think15 yards is too much. Committing this act should not be put on the same level of blows to the head and horse-collar takles.

  31. Full disclosure – as a Phins fan, I can’t stand either the Jets or the Pats……but Pats fans need to stop whining. The fact that your team was even in the position for a field goal to beat you is the problem. The Jets played you tough, so give them some credit for a good game plan and good execution in this one.

  32. They were warned and they did it again. It happens in almost every game, and in almost every game (except the pats) when the team is warned, they stop committing the violation. It’s that simple. It wasn’t a bad call, it was a great call. They gave them a chance to correct it before throwing the flag and the Pats didn’t do it.

  33. assuredmutualdestruction says:
    Oct 22, 2013 10:42 AM
    There are too many rules for them to not miss one almost every game. Condense the rule book and refs will officiate better and maybe fans will understand what’s happening when a flag IS actually thrown. Im at the point where I expect a flag on every play.
    I agree, and thank you for your testimony in favor of FULL-TIME OFFICIALS! If these guys were full-time NFL employees, they have much more time to memorize the rule book, act as officials for all teams’ minicamps and OTAs (in addition to training camps & preseason). Of course streamlining the rule book will help as well.

  34. Pats fan here.

    Don’t care about the way they did or didn’t make the call in either game.
    We lost and that’s that.

    Nice work Rex and Jets.

    onto the next game

  35. prospero63 says:
    Wow. You northeast media guys really can’t believe when the patriots lose can you?
    Not usually to the Jets, no.

  36. I’m a Pats fan and I’ll be the first to say, who cares? Calls get missed all the time and just because it was missed in one case does not mean that somehow the fix is in in another case. When you commit the penalty you are chancing that the ref is going to see it and call it. Chris Jones admitted he did it and it was clear he did. You can’t do it and while it sucks that the ref decided to wait until OT, and a 56 yard prayer, to call it doesn’t change the fact that it was a penalty.

    Most people up here in Boston have already moved on, which is one of the reasons Boston teams are always playing for titles. We don’t worry too much about winning the championship of Week Seven.

  37. What EVERYONE is NOT talking about regarding the bogus call in the Patriots game are simply this:

    The Jets did it on the field goal that Patriots made to tie up the game. Not only did they do it, they did textbook wrong and the reason it was why the rule was written and how it read at game time.

    The one called against the Patriots DID NOT meet the criteria as it was written at game time.

    When I say “as it was written at game time” that is a fact and what I mean is that it no longer reads that way. Yes you read that right. There is PROOF not only that the official that made that call admitted he made the call incorrectly, but also that he said he would and DID rewrite the rule so that it would read correctly as it was called against the Patriots. Yes, FACT. There is proof and evidence of it.

    Why is the league not looking into this, fining, firing the official and doing someting to rectify the situation?

    I gave up on the NBA years ago because of how rigged it is. Now I have to give up on the NFL?
    The only thing I have left is NHL. Please God, don’t let the last REAL sport in this country get tainted like my other two favorites, I don’t want to be sitting down with the wife watching a ridiculous “reality” show because sports have become nothing more than a sham…..

  38. Pftwstbshmc
    That is just factually incorrect. The league did not change the rule, they changed the press release that was first issued with incorrect language. The rule NEVER changed.

    It’s clueless opinions like this that give Pats fans a bad name.

  39. Some have mentioned about not hitting the LS. I know there is a rule in place where the defense cannot line up over the LS. And I don’t think they are allowed to hit the LS directly. I believe they added the no pushing rule to expand on the safety issue. I’m afraid that every PAT and FGA are eventually gonna look like they do in the Pro Bowl. And, it’s sad.

  40. Steeley McBeam says:
    Oct 22, 2013 11:32 AM
    Ravens should be 2-5 TOPS


    According to what? Your objective logic?

    I really, really hate when fans think they know what a team’s record “should” be. If that were the case, then the Patriots “should” have gone 19-0, since David Tyree made a crazy catch after Eli avoided being sacked about 5 times on one play.

    Playing revisionist history is fun, isn’t it?

    You raven fans taught everyone how with the we aren’t the Browns and we have eight championships blah blah blah.
    Funny you call out something that is so much part of the raven mantra…..smhid

  41. Spygate bogus? How do some know? Goodell shared the tapes prior to quickly destroying them?

    Bill Belichick thinks rules are simply suggestions.

  42. Just wondering how parlaying the tuck rule into a Superbowl win is a conspiracy against the Patriots??

    As for the Jets doing it on the tieing field goal.. Other commenters have said that isn’t true & I haven’t reviewed the film myself but that field goal was good .. SO WHAT IS YOUR POINT???? It’s not like if the penalty was called you’d need another chance! Just an excuse for more whining!!

    And for all you whiners who say the Jets were handed 2 wins.. For one if the penalty wasn’t called the game would still have gone on undecided at that point & as for the Bucs game which brings me to the MAIN POINT in all this that most everyone misses is that in this NFL a team can’t put themselves in the position where a penalty like these gives the othe team the opportunity to capitalize on a win!! With all the inconsistencies in the officiating you have to play for being up by 2 scores by 2:00 warning Q4 otherwise you haven’t secured the win & anything is possible…. You have to give kudos to the team that capitalizes on said opportunity because your team didn’t get the job done on their own!

    With all that said the game should never had even made it to overtime given we got ripped off on the TD catch offensive pass interference call on Stephen Hill!!

  43. I don’t disagree with the fact that Jones had circled behind another lineman and provided “some” kind of push (it does not look like he was very successful). What I find unusual is:

    A) The rule was enforced for the very first time on an overtime, sudden death kick where the kicking team had not EARNED very good field position and was likely to miss the kick. It should have been enforced in the first half, and then it wouldn’t be a game changer.

    B) The ref appeared to have his hand on the flag and began the act of throwing it prior to confirming a push actually took place, rather than it just appearing like a push. he could have waited a bit longer. If he did, it wouldn’t seem like it was a premeditated thing.

    These things remind me that the NFL is classified as an “entertainment” business, and they are free to manipulate outcomes without fear of a lawsuit. Had the Patriots won, by virtue of a season sweep, they are 4 games up on the Jets and the division race is essentially over. By winning, they only trail by 1 game, and they assure fan interest until late in the season at least.

    What has gone unmentioned is that the Jets, who may also be guilty of this (it would be interesting to check all the film) would try and set up the refs/Patriots for something like this on game day in NY, much like the video taping issue. The teams knew about the new video taping rule created in 2006 (pre-Super Bowls) but many ignored it and it was not enforced. The Jets and Pats were locked in a video taping spat based on an issue in Foxboro the prior season when the Jets brought in an extra camera (one more than what was allowed) and the Pats made them take it down. The Jets returned the favor the following season and an ESPN ratings hit was born.

    While many point out that the Patriots benefited from the Tuck Rule, that rule was in place since 1999 and the game against the raiders was in January 2002. In addition, the Tuck Rule was enforced four months earlier that season AGAINST the Patriots when Vinny Testaverde of the Jets appeared to be sacked and fumbled inside his own 15, recovered by the Pats. The Jets were awarded the ball back. Nobody every mentions that.

    On a final note, in 1977 the Raiders benefited from a stupid rule, where by ANY contact with a QB above the shoulders was considered roughing the passer. With just seconds left in a playoff game, Stabler was pressured into an incompletion and it looked like the Pats would win the game. The linemans pinky grazed Stablers facemask and roughing was called. The ball was placed at the 1 yd line. Stabler scored on the next play and the Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl. It took 25 years to reverse that with the Tuck Rule. This is another fact conveniently overlooked by many fans when crediting the Tuck Rule as responsible for the Patriots going on to win that game against the Raiders and ultimately the Super Bowl.

    The Patriots have certainly seen their fair share of officiating and rule issues in big games. I won’t even start on the phantom PI calls responsible for getting Manning to a Super Bowl…

  44. It’s amazing how Flacco always gets off the hook for Ravens losses, but credit when they win. Sunday in Pittsburgh he did nothing, and yet Ravens fans are out there blaming everyone else but Flacco.

    Sorry, but when you make the 120 mil you are EXPECTED to carry the team on your shoulders. No matter what. When you don’t, you get grilled.

    Hear that sizzling sound? It’s the sound of Flacco finally getting the grilling he deserves…

  45. Matt14gg:

    No, that IS FACTUALLY CORRECT. There is a newswriter who was confused about what took place and looked up the rule right after the game. A picture was taken of the rule as it appeared on the website with a time stamp.
    Hearing about what the official said he went back a while later and sure enough, the verbiage had changed. Again, a picture with a time stamp was taken. The rule DID change.
    It’s mindless wonders like you that make Pats fans look like top level mensa members.

    The league needs to stop covering for officials that have no clue on how to do their job or are (as I believe may have happened here) on the take.

    Lanman 11:
    Thank you for pointing out what many love to forget.

    Did you really write that? They got the field goal, and you think it is okay because of that? If they called it then it would have been an automatic first down, 15 yards further down the field and the drive would have continued with the possibility of TD instead of 3.
    Really, what are you on?

    The NFL has turned into wrestling people. It is fake and fixed. I’m done with it.

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