K.J. Wright: “I didn’t know that rule at all”


After the Seahawks won Monday night and the NFL admitted the deciding play should have been a penalty that allowed the Lions to retain possession, the man who batted the ball out of the back of the end zone told reporters he didn’t know he should have been flagged for doing so.

“I didn’t know that rule at all,” K.J. Wright said.

Kam Chancellor forced the ball out of the hands of Calvin Johnson and sent the ball bouncing towards the back of the end zone. Wright tracked it and intentionally knocked it over the back line. Wright should have been flagged for illegal batting, NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino admitted after the game.

“As soon as Calvin went down, I saw the ball bouncing, bouncing, bouncing and I was running so I just tried to knock it out,” Wright said.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll admitted his team was “fortunate,” which is one way to put it.

“I wanted to just knock it out out of bounds and not try to catch it and fumble it,” Wright said. “I just tried to make a good play for my team.”

93 responses to “K.J. Wright: “I didn’t know that rule at all”

  1. To be fair 99% of the viewing public thought so as well.

    I mean if he hadn’t of touched the ball it was going out of bounds. Really the Lions didn’t get screwed they just didn’t get bailed out by a guy breaking an obscure rule (we’ve seen players bat the ball out of the sidelines many times with the only fouls being called when it was batted forward).

  2. The draftkings 1.2 million dollar winner won this week due to the fumble out the end zone. He needed the defense to score 2 points for the win.

    Some people get all the luck.

  3. Troy Polomalu did the same thing against the Pats in 2011. When asked if he did it on purpose, he said something like “Whichever one doesn’t get me into trouble.”

    The Steelers would ha be won that game anyway. This one, not so definite.

  4. So a ref with a clear line of sight thought a player who admittedly batted the ball on purpose did it on accident. It’s worse than a blown call. It is absolute and complete incompetence.

  5. At the end of the game, Steve Young and Ray Rice could not believe this was a rule. They said that in the end zone QBs and punters have been batting the ball out of the end zone for years. Young said he had done it many times and it had never been called. They asked the ref if it was a new rule and he said no. They simply couldn’t believe it.

    We have all seen punters and QBs at the end of games turn around and fire the ball out of the end zone.

    Perhaps this in the same category as the rule that says it is illegal to push your own runner into the end zone. Players do it all the time but it is never called.

  6. It’s ok KJ, the rest of the planet didn’t know that rule either, but a lot of overnight rules experts gonna cry in comments below. The Seahawks won babies, get used to it.

  7. I don’t think a lot of people knew about that rule. The guys on Monday Night Football never mentioned anything about it. And I didn’t see the Detroit Lions complaining about it at the time either including their coaching staff. I sure as hell didn’t know it was a rule.

  8. The Lions should either get the win for the mistake or else they should get a chance to replay it live and on the field.

  9. That was a very bad call. Dang these blind referees! How could any person say that in their judgment it was not an overt batting of the ball?

    Why did Wright not just catch the ball and fall on it in the end zone? Isn’t that what they are taught to do?

    It is terrible that the refs missed that call when it is clear that the ball was pushed out or batted out. I feel for the Lions and their fans – this would have been a great win for them and gotten them out of the 0 win column.

    I am a Seattle fan and feel terrible about this call. They need to work hard to make sure that all calls in the last 2 minutes of a game are reviewable. Get rid of this “that call cannot be reviewed”. It just does not make any sense.

  10. Nor did any of the commenters. The refs were paid off, except when Wilson was handing the ball to Detroit, they weren’t paid off on those plays.

  11. You can also argue that the ball would have rolled out of the end zone by itself. Or Wright could have easily just fallen on the ball and thus claimed possession for Seattle.

    With all this information it is not difficult to see that the back judge exercised good judgment.

    Good call, back judge, good call!

  12. I remember it being called in a Dolphins-Patriots game a few years ago. IIRC, there was a strip-sack of Brady, followed by illegal batting that led to a recovery by MIA. It all came back because of the bat, though, and NWE retained possession and got the yards.

    It was also called in SB XLII.

  13. Lucky for the Seahawks but it wasn’t as controversial as the “Fail Mary”. He was either
    1) going to grab it and get a touchback
    2) it was going out anyway

    Still – a call should have been made

    And I am a Seattle fan who thinks Cable needs his butt chewed out for developing that offensive line.

  14. Steve Young, Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, and that other guy didnt know that rule either. Neither did Gruden or Mike Whatshisname.. they literally had to look it up in the rule book. Only that 100 year old ref knew that rule. Not the refs on the field. Not the players. Not the commentators. Not anybody. If Wright grabs it and falls down, its a legal Touchback. Why is it illegal to bat it out???

  15. My first thought was that it was a heads up play by K.J. I know about the batting rule as a Pats fan but I also definitely remember seeing defenders push the ball out of the back of the endzone for a touchback, possibly at the college level. In this case I don’t believe the spirit of the rule was violated as the ball was heading out of bounds anyways, and no one would have even brought it up without ESPN’s “Rules Analyst” giving the talking heads some easy fodder for tomorrow.

  16. Shameless Pete Carroll, never admits he’s been the beneficiary of a single blown call.

  17. Ultimately it was a fantastic play! Good one to leverage and continue the romp to 14-2!


    I FREAKING LOVE IT. Waited my whole life to see the Seahawks play in a SuperBowl and when they finally got there, they got the worst play-calling hose-job I’ve ever seen in pro football. Karma ain’t even yet! Y’all wanna cry about bad calls, go watch tape of XL and you’ll see what getting hosed by game-changing bad calls looks like.

    Every time we get bad calls in our favor, I’m out in the street dancing like a fool! Flying those birds in the air, laughing, and ACTIN THE FOOL!!!

    Y’all go cry somewhere else, karma ain’t even yet!



  19. Rosevelt Colvin on twitter


  20. And neither did anybody else on the set including Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, two Hall of Famers in Steve Young and Ray Lewis and Trent Dilfer…

    Then they go back to the set in Connecticut and they didn’t know about it either including the ex GM. Literally nobody knew about this rule except some old geezer who wanted to make a big deal out of it and get on TV.

    Steve young and Ray Lewis were like, ” really that’s a rule I swear I’ve seen that before?”

    He could have easily just downed the ball in the endzone, no lions were anywhere nearby.

    On to cincy…another large cat awaits.

  21. Very few of us (fans, players, coaches, apparently even the refs) knew that rule. There are a LOT of rules, many of which are applied very rarely, and keeping them all straight requires super-human abilities.

    You will see posts calling the Seahawks cheaters and using this play as evidence. I suspect nine out of ten people who are making that charge didn’t know this rule before the game either.

    The Seahawks caught a break here — true. I doubt very much if any employee of the NFL officiating crew did it intentionally. Sometimes it happens.

  22. That “good play for your team” could have cost you the game. Belichick would have you on waivers already.

  23. I swear the seahawks must provide the “Louisville Basketball” to refs on Monday night Football. First that packers nonsense now this. Ridiculous.

  24. I guarantee you that Bill Belichick knew that rule and would have told the officials about it too.

    BB plays chess while the rest of the league plays chequers.

  25. Not gonna lie, I didn’t either.
    Watching it in real time, I thought it was a smart play rather than risk going for the recovery, having the ball pop out, and a Lions player landing on it for the TD.

  26. Oops.
    Well, another rule missed. Perhaps, making the rule book a tad lighter is in order. The whole losing possession when one fumbles the ball out of the end zone is silly. Make it the same as what the rule is between the goal lines.
    Had Wright known the rule, he would have recovered it and the game’s outcome would be the same.

  27. I realize it is a penalty but I also think it should be an allowable tactic to knock the ball out of the end-zone.

    It’s done all the time when you knock the ball out of the receiver’s hand to prevent the “completion of the catch”

  28. This occurrence represents another example of the need to trim the NFL Rule-Book down to a more manageable and digestable thickness.

  29. We all learned a few things last night. You can’t bat a loose ball out of thevery end zone for a touchback, and the Seahawks are not a good football team anymore.

  30. Watching football for 50 years, and I didn’t know that rule either. But then again, I’m not an NFL official. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  31. NFL had it as a win for Seattle but not to cover or tie the spread. You just did what you were supposed to do and the refs had your back.

    Let’s be real here.

  32. Maybe he knew, maybe not. I used to think highly paid full-time NFL “stars” at least knew all the rules that pertained to their own particular sphere of the game, until Donovan McNabb said he didn’t know a game could end in a tie! But don’t direct your hate at Wright – the officiating was to blame.

  33. Seattle isn’t making the playoffs. They aren’t getting this lucky every week. That was a terrible Detroit team that had a W ripped away by terribly blown no-call.

  34. Quite a rule that three NFL players announcing say is never enforced and asked when it was put in, players don’t know about and refs don’t know about…

    Got it.

  35. “I didn’t know that rule at all,” K.J. Wright said.

    “I didn’t know that rule either, either that or I was just too afraid to call it; in either case I should be canned”, said the “official”, (and I use that term very loosely) who was standing 10 feet away.

  36. Love how the league is in meetings about a London franchise and more international games, yet Europeans are confused about the rules of the game. After last night I realized that no one knows all the damn rules even the officials.

  37. Time to pay the enforcer. I mean seriously. Sure there was a little luck in the play not getting flagged, but without Kam that’s a Megatron TD and the game is essentially over.

  38. That’s okay, KJ, neither did the officials. It’s about time to change the officials names from referees to game changers.

    They are no longer extra men of the field that keep the spirit of play fair for both teams. They constantly inject bad calls and non calls into a game that is only supposed to be affected by the two teams on the field. They clearly don’t know the rules, only apply them when they want to rather than when it make sense. They missed two extremely blatant holding calls on the Seattle OLine on their first series, also.

    That the commissioner that oversees these “game changers” makes over $400,000,000 a year to be this bad at their jobs tells me that changes are extremely necessary, starting from the top down. The NFL is turning into an absolute joke.

  39. It is not important that Wright know or understand the rule. It is very important for the officials to understand it however.
    Does anyone buy the notion that the back judge kept the flag in his pocket because he deemed the batting to be inadvertent?
    Admitting a mistake would be easier to understand and move on from. The constant BS trotted out to cover and justify officiating errors makes everything worse.
    The crime usually pales in comparison to the cover up.

  40. You know this game will lead to Seattle winning the division or home field due to a tiebreaker.

  41. Does anyone else see the old “hiding a foreign object in the trunks” scenarios played out each week in NFLWWE games lately?

    In case anyone doesn’t understand the foreign object scenario and the extremely awful officiating in the NFL comparison above, I believe that it’s enough to say that both involve the official somehow “not seeing” the foreign object, and “not seeing” plays that should or should not be called.

  42. “WE” as fans don’t have to know the rules, but the refs do! Do your job, know your job. As a lawyer, I wish I could tell my clients “I didn’t know that rule/law”, sorry. See you in 10-15 years.

  43. The rule is not obscure at all. There are some way more obscure rules, like being allowed to take an undefended FG kick after you fair catch a kickoff. That only gets tried once a decade or so, if that.

    But batted ball plays happen much more often. If you’ve watched football for more than a year or two, and paid attention, you’ve seen it happen. Smart players are aware of it, and smart coaches practice situational football and make their players aware of it.

  44. r502 says: “It is not important that Wright know or understand the rule. It is very important for the officials to understand it however.”

    Disagree with the first part. If the officials had done their job, Wright’s ignorance of the rule could have cost his team the game. That would have been VERY important.

  45. It happened in the same end-zone as the Fail Mary Play….

    How ironic.

    The replacement officials would have been blasted for missing that call…. But these regular guys get a free pass.

  46. So you’re telling me the wealthiest owner in the NFL, one of the co-founders of the most evil company in history, is benefiting from bad officiating? Hmmm.

  47. I didn’t hear that rule once before in 10 years plus of watching games. Dean Blandino can’t lie his way out of this one.

    Legendary play by Kam Chancellor.


  49. dukeblue12 says:
    Oct 6, 2015 9:50 AM

    Whether you or I knew the rule is irrelevant. The refs ARE PAID to know the rules and should’ve called it , period.
    Unless the refs are now schooled to let certain calls fall through the cracks, and other calls to be enforced.

    Can anyone think of an easier way to manipulate the outcome of games than to just “blame the bad officiating” and then go on about your business? The bad officiating in the NFL has reached epic proportions, and people need to start putting the pressure on the league to account for themselves and their officiating.

  50. I seriously believe this should be looked into. The refs need to be held more accountable. If they can suspend players, why not referees? What about the integrity of the game?

  51. I have heard of the rule. In fact Ahmad Bradshaw did in one of the Giants Superbowl wins. But it an offensive player doing it to prevent the defense from recovering. I can see why when a defensive player does it to prevent the offense from recovering, it would be a tough call. Nevertheless, the referees should know it.

  52. 8oneanddones says:
    Oct 6, 2015 9:16 AM

    You know this game will lead to Seattle winning the division or home field due to a tiebreaker.
    That’s possible, but we haven’t had the privilege to have seen the entire 2015-2016 script yet.

  53. kevinwayne20 says:
    Oct 6, 2015 8:28 AM

    Seattle isn’t making the playoffs. They aren’t getting this lucky every week. That was a terrible Detroit team that had a W ripped away by terribly blown no-call.
    How can you be so sure it’s luck, when it’s just as possible that it’s manipulation of the game’s outcome?

  54. thefatlazygamer says:
    Oct 6, 2015 5:16 AM

    Tomorrow he’ll say he tried to recover it but his stone hands punched it out instead by mistake.
    Why would he do that? He could come out today and say, “I intentionally knocked it out of the endzone”, and nothing would change the outcome of last night’s game.

  55. 8oneanddones says:
    Oct 6, 2015 9:16 AM
    You know this game will lead to Seattle winning the division or home field due to a tiebreaker.

    That may be so, but the call will also benefit the Lions because they are going nowhere and this will help them get a higher draft pick. Everybody wins!

  56. I’m surprised so many on here keep saying that no one knew the rule. Florio wrote an article about how it was a stupid rule just a week or two ago. I figured everyone who follows this site would know the rule…no matter how stupid it is.

  57. ———————————-
    artworkworld says:
    Oct 6, 2015 5:09 PM
    I’m surprised so many on here keep saying that no one knew the rule. Florio wrote an article about how it was a stupid rule just a week or two ago. I figured everyone who follows this site would know the rule…no matter how stupid it is.

    This is not what we’re talking about. Everyone knows that if ball goes out of bounds in the end-zone WITHOUT anyone touching it in the end-zone, then it’s a touchback.

    The controversy is that a player is forcing the ball out of bounds while inside the end-zone. If there is a loose ball bouncing around the 5 yard line, then a defensive player is allowed to bat the ball back towards the end-zone out of bounds.

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