Officials miss roughing call on Saints

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Saints fans who zealously have been defending the flag thrown on 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks for hitting quarterback Drew Brees in the neck have suddenly fallen silent.

Saints defensive lineman Akiem Hicks got away with a more obvious infraction in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game at the Georgia Dome.

Hicks hit Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the face with a hand while Ryan was in the pocket.  No flag was thrown by referee Ron Winter.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Hicks gets fined next week.  Under the standard that was applied to Brooks, Hicks should be making an involuntary contribution to the NFL’s various charitable efforts.

The rules prohibit all forcible blows to the head or neck of defenseless players, which includes quarterbacks in the pocket.

101 responses to “Officials miss roughing call on Saints

  1. Matt Ryan got sacked with the face mask grabbed no flag WoW the commentators even saying talk about that no flag and talk about Ahmed Brooks sack the NFL is all about ratings they are trying to make the next week Monday nite game interesting because its Saints vs Seahawks

  2. When did the NFL stop becoming a sporting event and became an episode of Amish Mafia?

    I guess the NFL like the ratings of honey boo boo more than a legit sporting event.

    The refs determine the outcomes of games now, not players…FACT

  3. Let’s just wait to make that call when the game is on the line and the “foul” is far less egregious. Bravo. Hicks will get fined and we’ll all shrug and move on.

  4. I’m quickly losing interest in this joke of a league.

    Anyone have any advice as to what sport I should take up watching instead?

    Baseball is a joke with all the roids. Baseketball…there were refs found guilty of fixing games/shaving points. Guess that leaves Hockey, eh?

  5. Let me bring you back to the 2009 NFC Championship game when the refs let 4 roughing the passer calls go and basically gave the saints the game because they wanted them in the Super Bowl because of hurricane Katrina…

  6. maxl49 says:
    Nov 21, 2013 9:21 PM
    I think the defenseless definition applies only to top 5 QBs.

    Thank you maxl I was thinking along those lines. This is how they alert Ryan that he’s not elite; they allow him to get ring necked and face masked. Now he knows. But good luck to him.

  7. Beg to differ on Saints fans falling silent. All the Saints comments I’ve read on the game threads are saying it should have been called.

  8. My highly ingenious plan for an Oversight Person would have prevented this issue as well as the goal-post issue, also packaged with improvements to the rulebook and protecting the referees from making mistakes with bad calls or non-calls, or any procedural or protocol missteps.

    It’s just a logical idea to make the game professional and clean and fair and just and running smoothly and without complaints from the audience, and to eliminate fodder for the media to scavenge on.

  9. thepftpoet says:
    Nov 21, 2013 9:27 PM
    It’s funny how the refs are cheating for the saints like during bountygate on that asterisk Super Bowl win
    So let me get this straight the NFL purposefully allowed the saints to cheat to win the Super Bowl so they could then suspend the coach for a year, and they’re doing the same thing again?

    Cool story bro. Tell it again.

  10. I really hope this crappy officiating is addressed by the “higher ups.” It’s out of control. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, no? Doesn’t matter who the QB – rules (even stupid ones), should apply to all. Sick of it!

  11. They should called it but realized it was only Matt Ryan. Regardless of his over payed contract he’s not elite enough to garnish a flag.

  12. The refs took a lot of flack for that call (which the league and multiple referees said was the correct call) in the Saints/49ers game last week, so they are overcompensating and trying NOT to make an attention getting call this week.

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Attention or not, they just need to make sure they do the job RIGHT, and I say this as a Saints fan who thinks we probably should have been called in that first quarter.

  13. Wondering if Brees thinks this warranted a flag? Of course not, it would of hurt his team.

    NFL refs are taking over the games and deciding outcomes. See Super Bowl, Seahawks – Packers last year, Niners – Saints, & Pats – Panthers, just to name a few. Take away replays if they still can’t get it right.

  14. Stop with all the “conspiracy theory” nonsense. It’s Ron Winter. He’s absolutely awful at his job. Complain about incompetence, not conspiracy.

  15. Not really into all the conspiracy theory crap, especially on the eve of Kennedy…

    But man it sure seems like the NFL is also trying to protect Brees.

    Just ask the 9ers

  16. Nicks got away with one against the niners! Much more obviously grabbed Kap by the neck than brooks, who initially hit torso and his arm slid up as the two bodies followed through on their separate momentums. Also, got to mention saints beat the Bucs in week 2 when a very questionable roughing the passer call negated Tampa’s sack/fumble. Is the league bending over backwards to even things out from the result of their bounty penalties?

  17. The Falcons should thank the Saints, an insurance check is more valuable than Matt Ryan for $100 million.

  18. Absolutely disgusting. The league NEEDS to step in and do something, this has been a season skewed by the refs.

    This is the NFL, it is difficult enough to beat your opponent. Can’t beat the refs…

  19. If it had resulted in a fumble that would have likely lead to the Saints losing the game, the flag would have been thrown.

    Complete BS that penalties are not able to be reviewed. There is no reasonable explanation for it, if the coaches only have two reviews per game why can’t it be for any play or penalty? All plays that are reviewed are in some way because of the judgement of the ref being called into question, either they didn’t see the foot on the line or they thought thought they did. Why shouldn’t that same burden of proof be applied to penalties? Like the 49er game penalties can play a HUGE impact on the game and that should simply never happen.

  20. Why are so many people acting like these B.S. calls are a pressing, terrible, and current problem driven by favoritism? Is this your first year as a football fan? Or were you lucky enough to be fans of one of the annually coddled, worshipped and protected teams with “Golden boy” QB’$. This has been going on for a LONG time. Get used to it, or start watching marquee games on NFL classix when football was a gladiator sport and the best team ACTUALLY won. Get over it, you are watching a thriving business grow, the fact that it is a competitive “sporting event” takes a distant back seat , and this is the product that results. Good game tonight, not a fan of either team but i’m glad the hurting Falcons made it a battle.

  21. thepftpoet says:
    Nov 21, 2013 9:27 PM
    It’s funny how the refs are cheating for the saints like during bountygate on that asterisk Super Bowl win

    Still better than your team’s no Super Bowl run…..

  22. It should have been flagged and Hicks got away with one. To his credit, though, after smacking Ryan in the face he didn’t finish the play by throwing him down by his neck. He’ll probably get a fine, but not as high as the one Brooks got.

  23. I still think officiating was better before instant replay. I think refs felt more pressure to get the calls right on the field because they didn’t have replay to fall back on. After a few years of that, you lose your edge, and miss more things on the field as a result.

  24. hicks hand did barely touch ryans facemask…a penalty could have been called..the difference in the two hits is..hicks lays ryan down gently like a new born baby…while brooks hit brees with the rock bottom …but continue your crying session falCLOWNS, 40 whiners, and vikeQUEENS fans…you all lost, because u got beat..not because of one call… u sissies

  25. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth. The truth is the NFL feels guilty about bounty-gate so they’ve hand picked the Saints to win and instructed refs to cheat for them

  26. Saints fan here. The refs missed the call. That simple. Speaking of silence, though, Brees was ripped when he said he expected a flag. I’ll assume the same criticism will be shown to Matt Ryan for expecting a flag.

  27. Wow, lots of Saints Haters here. The Sack on Brees, Brooks continued to bring him down by his neck and head, its absolutely the right call that’s why he was fined.
    The refs blew it here on this call, but can you really say this was just as bad, yes, he grabbed the facemask, should have been a penalty, I totally agree, but he let go and brought him down by the shoulder. He didn’t tackle him by the neck or head.

  28. Its getting to be literally EVERY SINGLE GAME the refs blow it in one way or another, or at the very least there’s some controversy involving a call or lack thereof. Ive been watching football religiously for almost 20 years and although there has always been the occasional bad call, it never used to be this bad. Whats the problem with officials these days?

  29. Wow, no Vikings fans coming in a whining about the refs in the NFC Championship game 4 years ago? You’re slipping, guys.

  30. It is becoming very obvious that the refs favor certain teams and even hate others. A few Sunday nites ago these same favored Saints were the benefit of a no-call vs. Dallas when Harris , returning a punt was jacked by a Saint after he took no less than 3 full strides out of bounds. Blatant and crystal clear with a sideline ref no more than 5 feet away. I also recall an out of bounds late hit by Matthews of GB vs. Kaepernick. Is this “fixing” of games by direction from the League office, the networks and/or does it matter? My take is that there is now just too much money at stake for everyone involved in the pro game. Along with the new rules that overly protect, fans will be turning more and more to the college game.

  31. I’m a Brees fan and yes Nicks should have been flagged on this play. I don’t think either Brooks or Nicks should be fined unless they have a history of these types of hits or intent. Neither player intended to hit the player in the head, but they did. Should of been a 15 yarder.

  32. what do you expect, it wasnt mr. pink panties crying on the field…..

    that was an actual penalty, the hit on mr. pink panties was not a penalty

  33. Gödel fines this hit but still no mention of fine for the golden boys actions against the officials, Brady.

  34. I don’t think saints fans have fallen silent. We all know that should have been a flag. As far as a fine. He won’t gt one because as soon as he hit Ryan in the face, he moved his hand away. Unlike brooks who first hit brees in the chest, then wrapped his arm around Brees’s neck and threw him down by his head. I guess the refs are cheating for the panthers too huh. I wonder what they’ll do when the saints and panthers play??? I guess in the haters opinions, that will be the worst officiated game of all time. And for all the people who didn’t even watch the saints – 49ers game, but want to talk about the cheating refs, kapernivk had an intentional grounding while still in the pocket in the end zone that wasn’t called. That would have changed that whole game also. But arm chair quarterbacks who only saw one play on espn wanna act like the game was just given to the saints.

  35. I’m a Saints fan. I’m not falling silent. Last Sundays officiating crew made the call. Last night’s crew missed the call. It was a penalty! What the cuss do you want me to do about it?

  36. Just goes to show that the top QBs get favoritism…i.e., the Brady rule. Now we can call it the Brees rule when someone hits a QB in the head. It only gets called if it’s Drew Brees or one of the other top players in the league. For anyone else, it’s not a flag. The officiating in the NFL is turning into the NBA where the refs determine who wins and who loses.

  37. I said last week that the flag for roughing the passer on Brees was a good call. I was called a homer. That same flag should have been thrown last night. Roughing the passer is roughing the passer, regardless of the team. We got away with that somehow.

    Again, for all the people who said it was a bs call last week, I think would change their tune if it were their QB.

  38. These refs have become the central point of way too many games. It’s only Thursday and we are already talking about them. The game is way too fast these days to have part time refs. They need to be full time, they need to watch film, they need to ref practices during the week and need to learn how be invisible during the games themselves.

  39. I watched very little of the game and did not see the play in question.

    Seems accurate to say however, another NFL game more screwups by the refs. I don’t think they really favor anyone, I think they just suck.

  40. Saints fan here…it should have been called and wasn’t.

    Again, I often wonder where they find some of you people. Bad calls and missed calls happen every week to every team across the country. Case in point: Junior Galette was bear-hugged and blatently held at the line when Brady threw a last second TD to beat us. In the same game, Brees performed a text book hard count and drew the defense into the neutral zone…should have been 1st down but no…they called false start.

    Grow up people…this is the world we live in. Now, on to Seattle where we’ll take the ONE seed!

  41. The issue of the no-call on Hicks’ hit on Ryan is a failure of the Refs to be consistent. This is not the fault of Hicks and definitely not because of favoritism toward the Saints.

    We’re arguing team vs team and player privilege but this problem springs from the mountain of new judgement-type calls the NFL has lain at the feet of the Refs in order to protect QBs and cut down on concussions. The hit should have been called.

    I don’t like all these judgement-type calls because it naturally leads many to the conclusion that the Refs have the power to control the outcome of the game. (A fair conclusion, IMO.) But the real stink of this issue is on the Referees.

  42. Despite the blowout, there were two times against the Cowboys where the Saints should have been called for roughing the QB–not saying conspiracy against Dallas, but Manning, Brady, Brees would get those calls nearly every time–there is a double standard and despite the NFL’s idiotic attempt to legislate hitting in a violent sport, QBs, receivers, are still getting hurt at the same rates–I see this as QBs being red shirted during games in 5 years, and I wont be watching. At that point, the soap opera aspect of the NFL will be as big as it is in pro wrestling.

  43. whodatnmyrtleb says: Nov 22, 2013 1:12 AM

    Wow, lots of Saints Haters here. The Sack on Brees, Brooks continued to bring him down by his neck and head, its absolutely the right call that’s why he was fined.
    The refs blew it here on this call, but can you really say this was just as bad, yes, he grabbed the facemask, should have been a penalty, I totally agree, but he let go and brought him down by the shoulder. He didn’t tackle him by the neck or head.

    duece5 says:

    Uhh….did you watch the play????

    Ryan’s whole head gets turned around……I’m sure that had NOTHING to do with him falling to the ground!!!!

    Not a Falcons fan, just an obvious miss, reminiscient of the 2009 NFC game handed to the saints!

  44. In reality, this will come back to haunt the saints in the playoffs, because it will be heightened for the referees to ensure they don’t miss these types of calls.

    Saints and seahwaks fans better be careful to ASSUME they will meet in the NFC championship game.

    Both are vulnerable, but they are the 2 best today in the NFC, but both, are fully beatable, especially on the road.

  45. 1) First off, for those saying it wasn’t a penalty that determined the outcome of the game, how do you know? Even though it was earlier it could have still meant a touchdown and that might have been enough.
    2) Brook’s hit was actually the one of the two that shouldn’t have been called. Last night’s was a blow to the head and face mask and a definite penalty. Brook’s was not.
    3)Now all the no nothing talking head analysts on TV and radio can stop with their meaningless comments of “the refs are gonna call that every time!” Right guys.

  46. Didn’t see the game, so I didn’t see the play. The fact that Ron Winter was involved makes me believe it did, in fact, happen and a call was missed. He’s been so bad for so long and the NFL keeps bringing him back year after year after year. Where’s the accountability???

  47. The announcers reason why That call was made when The Saints Drew brees got hit on the shoulder and roughing was called. “The league will call that even if it’s close, to protect the QBs, because they fill the seats”. Matt Ryan, i guess you see the writing on the wall,

  48. 30 yard swing and killed the momentum on Atlanta’s drive.Saints are pretty lucky. Need help from the refs to beat the 9ers and a bad falcons team. Heck the saints were a dropped pass in week one from losing to the falcons then

    and let me ask you this. How is brees and that offense going to do vs. the seahawks when they only managed to put up 17 points against an awful falcons D that even Geno Smith torched. They are going to need a lot of help from the refs

  49. The sad fact is that only a few qbs will get this call. We all know who they are. Rothlesburger gets pounded on a weekly basis and never gets a call. They even broke his freaking nose and did not call it. Michael Vick never got any breaks either. It should be the same for any qb but we know it is not.

  50. The real point here is – refs are humans and mistakes happen.
    There needs to be a quick review system that can catch most errors, especially game changing turnovers (which are not called turnovers).

  51. I’m a Saints fan and I say the call absolutely should have been made. Hicks clearly slapped Ryan’s helmet.
    But the Saints haters are blaming the Saints for playing football? They play the game, they don’t throw the flags.

    The problem here is the officials are not on the same page…different refs see the rules and call games differently… they also missed a facemask penalty on Pierre Thomas and once again… threw a flag, then picked up the flag, and then decided it was a penalty after all and enforced the flag. They also blew a quick whistle on Mark Ingram.

    The referees are pathetic this season league wide… I don’t remember any other season with this many bad calls and controversy.

  52. As a middle aged life long Raiders fan I just think all this outrage directed at NFL officials is misplaced and applaud this site for fervently supporting the refs during their labor dispute well done chaps

  53. Have suddenly fallen silent? What do you expect us to do, rise up in protest? It was a bad call, they should have called a penalty. Can you name another fan base that protests when they get a bad call in their favor? Go look at the Saints-Pats game if you think the Saints get favorable treatment. And the call in the SF game wasn’t a bad call, for the record.

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