Two years ago, an illegal batting call affected a game between the Dolphins and Patriots.
In that case, the rule was properly applied. You know, just in case the Lions’ flight back to Detroit could be any more miserable.
The Patriots defeated the Dolphins, 27-17, on Oct. 27, 2013. With the Patriots leading 20-17 in the fourth quarter and facing a second and seven at the Miami 23, quarterback Tom Brady fumbled after getting hit by Dolphins defensive back Jimmy Wilson.
Patriots tackle Nate Solder recovered, way back at the Miami 48. The ball moved that far down the field because Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon hit the ball while it was loose, and the officials ruled that Vernon had committed an illegal batting of the ball, applying a 10-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage.
Such a play, as we were reminded late Monday night in the aftermath of the Seahawks-Lions ending, is not reviewable.
The Patriots ended up with a first down at the Dolphins’ 13 after the penalty and scored four plays later to make it 27-17.
The Patriots essentially gained 35 yards on that sequence because there was intent in Vernon’s actions on the play. Rule 12-4-1(a) explains that an illegal bat occurs if “a player of either team bats or punches a loose ball in the field of play toward his opponent’s goal line. While Rule 12-4-1(a) doesn’t expressly require intent, Rule 3-2-5(g) defines illegal batting as “the intentional striking of the ball with hand, fist, elbow, or forearm.”
The back judge watching K.J Wright Monday night didn’t see fit to throw a flag. So, the Seahawks won the game and the NFL has admitted Wright’s bat should have been flagged but wasn’t.