Report: No suspension of officials for Jags-Ravens screwup

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The NFL has admitted its error, in letting the Jaguars win a game they should have lost.

But they’re not punishing the guys who allowed that to happen.

According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, citing a source with first-hand knowledge of the situation, the league  is not expected to issue any suspensions for the officials who blew the end of the Jaguars-Ravens game, allowing the Jaguars to kick a game-winning field goal.

As Seifert wrote: “Mistakes in judgment are part of officiating, and the NFL does not plan to make them subject to suspension.”

The Jaguars committed a false start which should have come with a 10-second run-off, and that should have ended the game with the score Ravens 20-19. But no call was made, no time was run off, and the Jaguars were left to celebrate.

The league has suspended officials previously, such as side judge Rob Vernatchi for his inability to control the clock in a Steelers-Chargers game earlier this year. That earned him a week off, and other members of Morelli’s crew were re-assigned to lower profile games. Then again, they were already working Ravens-Jaguars last week, so unless someone sneaks a Browns-Akron game in during the bye week, it’s hard to tell how much lower they can go.

As Florio noted yesterday, the goal should not be to simply bang on Morelli and his crew for another mistake. The goal should be to eliminate mistakes. And that would require some proactive work on the part of the NFL, as opposed to reactively punishing the boots on the ground enforcing a rulebook that players, coaches, fans and the refs themselves are having a hard time keeping up with.

83 responses to “Report: No suspension of officials for Jags-Ravens screwup

  1. Guess what? A missed call will happen in almost every game this coming weekend. Happens all the time. Its nothing new.

  2. We demand FULL CONSISTENCY!!!! Man I’m getting sick of the NFL. It’s imperfect humans playing an imperfect game. The entire game is turning into one giant court case.

  3. This will get flamed, but I agree with it….

    While it was a penalty on review, ( much like if they reviewed every play, you’d probably find holding) it was difficult to catch live.

    Not as simple as the illegal batting play in Seattle this year with an official staring at the guy.

    I feel bad for Ravens…..but….this one shouldn’t result in a team or guy being suspended.

  4. All plays are supposed to be reviewed in the last 2 minutes from the booth. Why didn’t the all powerful Oz in NY call in and fix it. The game is getting younger and faster. The refs are getting older and slower.
    If only the NFL could afford full time refs.

  5. For gosh sakes, if you suspend officials for making mistakes, you would have to suspend every official every game. It’s impossible to catch all the penalties. There’s holding on every play, there’s offensive pass interference on lots of pass receptions, there’s no end to all the uncalled penalties, and for every penalty that is missed on the last play of the game, there are dozens that are missed during the game that also would have decided the outcome, so give the refs a break, try to simplify the rules, try to give them more assistance, but don’t go suspending them for missing penalties. That would be ridiculous.

  6. Just need to get better officials.. Doesn’t help by suspending them when they will just be back a couple of weeks later.. This might not have been a high profile game with a lot of playoff implications, but every game in the NFL still maters, because of the draft.. A single win or loss can change a franchise, it can be the reason you move up or down a spot in the draft and don’t get the player you want.

  7. Good. No need to punish referees for this sort of thing. Maybe making them full time employees with year round training might help but it’s not going to eliminate guys missing things like this. Removing the human element of the game is nonsense.

  8. That wasn’t the only mistake made in the game, it’s just the only one you guys notice. And there’ve been more glaring errors made against the Jaguars. Heck, the Jets had a TD that involved a catch that touched the ground before it was fully secured (meanwhile, a Jaguars drive stalled when a catch was ruled incomplete when the receiver had the ball secured and tagged the front of his feet down before being knocked out of bounds), but no one goes in and talks up how the Jets were given a win and those refs should be suspended.

    Let it go already. I doubt you’d be banging this drum if the result had gone the other way.

  9. Time for the league to adopt the use of virtual reality or practice game situations with actors. Put together a group in the off season and work in real time to make it second nature.

  10. This error will change the the drafting order and possibly impact who wins the AFC South. Yes, this happens a lot during games and isn’t called. But the officials knew this was the last play of regulation and knew the game was on the line. They have to get this right, and if they are unable to do so, they shouldn’t be working games at this level.

  11. Players are taught to play hard until there are zeros on the clock. Looks like the officials took that last play off assuming there was no way Jax could get one more play in.

    Now we all know the Ravens have under performed this year and that in itself is an understatement. Conversely, this is the second time this season the NFL has come forward and admitted fault in game-changing plays in two separate games. Playing devil’s advocate, if you were to add two more wins to their record, they’re very much in the playoff race in a weak AFC. The Ravens were able to sneak into the playoffs last year and nearly made it to the AFC championship.

    Sad year in Charm City. However plenty of excitement for this Sunday as Ed Reed will be inducted into the Ring Of Honor. Wish he would suit up instead.

  12. The NFL should issue a list of referee miscalls that will get them suspended, just so everyone knows they’re on the up and up and not discriminately allowing bad calls for/against certain teams.

  13. The clock was a clear error, not judgement. Read what it says. Mistakes in judgement are part of officiating. I can see their point.

  14. As Seifert wrote: “Mistakes in judgment are part of officiating, and the NFL does not plan to make them subject to suspension.”

    What?

    Excuses excuses excuses. A suspension is needed to keep these morons on their toes! It’s now okay to make mistakes. Smh.

  15. A true punishment would be banishment to Oakland. They’d have to officiate all Raider games, and as a punishment, they’d have to reside there permanently.

    That’d send a clear message to all NFL officials.

  16. Good. There shouldn’t be. No one seemed to notice this “error” until hours after the game. I doubt it would be discussed if Dumervil hadn’t tried to tear Bortles head off which is really what lost the game for the Ravens.

  17. So………if you can’t keep time during a game, suspension! If you completely screw up a blatant false start………nothing!!!!! Wait till this happens to two teams who are playing a game that matters. Then what?!?!?

  18. This was a stupid statement by the NFL. I’d argue you could look at any team at the end of a game that tries to run up to the line of scrimmage to get a play off and I guarantee they are not sync’d

  19. The goal is to eliminate mistakes? Gee, no kidding. But as long as it is a human being completing the task, there will be mistakes.

  20. People will scream DOUBLE STANDARD on this, but it actually makes sense. A false start that wasn’t called is nothing more than a judgement call or honest mistake (unless there is evidence of actual bias). You can’t suspend them for that.

    On the other hand, I agree with the above: The NFL has to put a system in place so these mistakes can be reduced or eliminated. The easiest solution is to make everything reviewable. Not challenge-able, but reviewable. That would mean if an official saw something that should have been called, he could go back and call it. A coach could challenge a penalty, but not a non-call. That would be a start.

  21. Inconsistency with calling the game and applying the rules, pretty much status quo. Let’s face it, they’re a pickle short of a barrel in brain department, how do you not know cold and the environment reduce air pressure? It’s mind boggling.

  22. There are two issues here and they need to be separated.

    The first is the retched play of the Ravens, who have had 4th quarter leads in EVERY GAME they’ve lost this year. This is on the Ravens, not the officials. 3 Flacco turnovers, a muffed punt, and a blown interception caused the Ravens to lose on Sunday, not the officials. The blown call at the end of game caused the Ravens to lose, but if any one of the above turnovers had not happened the Ravens would have won. Nuff said.

    That said, the officiating is equally retched. The Ravens have had their fair share of bad calls this year, but so has every other team in the league.

    What’s the purpose of admitting you blew the call if you’re not going to change the score?

    If, as the League continues to state, it is the goal of the NFL to get every call right, then they are doing a retched job of that, too.

    A bad call between two bad 2-6 teams is hardly reason for headlines, but suppose that call was made during the Giants – Patriots game Sunday night? Suppose that call is made this coming Sunday in Minnesota when the Vikings host the Packers in a game rife with playoffs implications?

    It’s obvious the officiating crews do not understand all that’s in the rule book as evidenced by the number of blown or misinterpreted calls. So my remedy is the following:

    The NFL has to come to the realization that they cannot continue to operate this league using part-time employees in one of the most mission-critical jobs in the game – ensuring the game is played according to the rule book on every play. Hire full time employees as officials and send them to rule book school (for lack of a better term) and test them on what they know. Grade them, promote them, and fire them as needed.

    and/or

    Simply make every play subject to booth/League office review. To state that certain plays are “not reviewable” is no longer acceptable.

  23. So the league’s official response is that poor officiating is to be expected. Roger and the guys in NY have become comfy with that so we should too.
    B as in B and S as in S.
    No other industry would accept such poor quality effort from key employees. The NFL is simply too arrogant to admit that it has a huge problem, one that is obvious for all the world to see in virtually every game that is played.

  24. Typical result of any business that is expanding beyond its leader’s abilities. Insufficient attention is paid to the fundamentals of the business. Rather than stopping the expansion and fixing the myriad of new problems (which a competent leader would do) the incompetent leader, driven by narcissism, ignores the problems by making more noise.
    Some believe that Roger Goodell has somehow benefitted the NFL. However, the only thing he has done is cause the NFL to expand upon a quickly crumbling foundation. There is only one potential result, the ultimate destruction of the league.
    Until Roger Goodell is fired, the structural failings of the NFL, such as poorly unified officiating, will continue.
    You can’t just keep sucking money out of the league Roger. Do everybody a favor and quit. Today is not too soon.

  25. Why do the coaches who are paid millions not hold part of the blame for recognizing the problem as its happening

    Once again Crybaugh doesn’t know the rules and shows he’s not a good coach

  26. Anyone going to mention it was Referee Hottie that blew the call?

    That’s why there’s no suspension. How terrible would that be for The Goodell?

  27. This league is becoming a joke if I’m a few of the owners I’m going to raise hell in the owners meetings multiple teams have been screwed and every team continues to get screwed by these incompetent officials. Because it’s not losing the NFL money at the moment, they just sweep it under the rug like they’re doing with this.

  28. They must realize that if they keep suspending for poor officiating, they’ll be out of officials in a couple weeks!

  29. The product the NFL has put on the field has been going downhill for years. Fantasy Football/Offensive based rules, different rules each year, lower standards for officiating. It just looks like they are making it up as they go on the field for half of these calls. Now basic calls are being missed and it is embarrassing to watch. It has the feel of an XFL/UFL game.

    As a Ravens fan I am realistic to know that the missed lineman checking in as eligible, the non-whistle on the Chris Johnson play and this missed call are not what is going to keep them out of the playoffs. Their poor play, low talent level and glut of injuries are. However, a single loss this low in the standings will result in about a 3-5 position improvement in draft position, so some reward will be reaped from the loss.

  30. This wasn’t really a judgement call as much as it was administrative. Not being set isn’t a judgment call. They weren’t. Referee Hottie got caught up in the moment and didn’t throw the flag.

    Hand checking, giving the business, jersey tugs are judgement calls. This was a procedural failure.

  31. The punishment is a deterrent. Just like any punishment. No punishment for the officials means they can just keep making these lazy ass calls because it’s the “end of the game.”

    It’s just like when pass interference isn’t called on a Hail Mary. It’s ridiculous. Eliminate the nonsensical rules that can be called however you want. For instance… For it to be a catch, the ball can’t make contact with the ground at all. Simple. Takes the guesswork out of it.

    But, in addition… Officials should be punished for horrendous calls or non-calls.

  32. Just one simple question: Where is the accountability with referees? The NFL is so concerned with “integrity of the game”, yet it does little [nothing?] with those officials who make bad calls that directly affect the outcome of a game. Add to blatant bad calls, inconsistency in calling/not calling a penalty and you have a significant integrity issue to say nothing about ineptitude. As those of us in business know, accountability goes a long way in correcting ineptitude in the workforce.

  33. There’s a subplot to all these stories just as troubling as the admittedly bad officiating–namely the notion that somehow all mistakes can somehow be eliminated without negatively impacting the games. Challenging everything sounds great right up until you remember they also frequently screw up replay reviews and that games already are too long thanks to endless commercials and frequent stoppages for reviews. Games often have no sense of pace because the action seems to always be stopped. I’ve reached my limit for do-over plays following lengthy reviews.

  34. I honestly don’t understand why the NFL felt a need to make a statement about the false start in the first place. To keep Steve Bisciotti happy?

  35. rootpain says:
    Nov 18, 2015 9:00 AM
    Typical result of any business that is expanding beyond its leader’s abilities.

    However, the only thing he has done is cause the NFL to expand upon a quickly crumbling foundation.
    ___________________

    rootpain rolls out the expansion/expanding argument at least once a week, the other day the spiel even included contraction. The league has had the same number of games since 2002. The foundation of the NFL as it sits is quite solid even as the house is beginning to deteriorate into it unnoticed by it’s owners. What is needed is quality leadership from those owners. The reason the erosion of ‘integrity of the game’ under Goodell gets tolerated is the owners as a group have shown themselves to be indifferent stewards of the game. As long as the cash flows their way in ever increasing amounts they will continue to turn a blind eye.

    The sad part is the problems, particularly with officiating, aren’t all that hard to fix. Expansion, which again hasn’t happened since 2002, is hardly the issue. The owners lack of dedication to, and appreciation of, the game itself is the core issue impacting the game today. But we as fans continue to call the puppet into question while letting the puppet masters off the hook.

  36. As a Ravens fan I can honestly say that this outcome was a gift to the Ravens. Winning any additional games this year does nothing but hurt the team’s draft position this offseason. The way the Ravens draft, a potentially highest-ever slot could make for a quick turnaround.

  37. Morelli’s crew is just plain incompetent. He and his
    crew have made other blunders. So bad referees are assigned to the bad games?!?!?! Don’t suspend them…fire them!

  38. You can bet they would have been suspended if this had been a prime time nationally televised game, say between the giants and patriots.

  39. The League is still angry at the Ratbirds for embarrassing the NFL over and over and over. Allowing a double murderer to play. The Rice KO video they hoped would never be shown. Suggs. Harbaugh hissy fits, first because he didn’t know the rules. Then trying and failing to use those same plays. Let’s not forget how he, Grigson and Kensil lied for months how cold weather doesn’t decrease psi!

  40. I guess suspending the only female official (?) would send the wrong message. Then again, NOT suspending the official in this case sends an even bigger message. The line judge has a few simple jobs at the snap. Make sure the o-line is set, the players are on their side of the neutral zone and the o-line doesn’t move early. (Not sure who checks for illegal formation) Since they are staring down the line at the snap, it would seem fairly easy to do. Maybe the official was rushing into position or glanced away at the worst time.

    Whatever the issue the league needs to fix it. All games should be treated equally so the ‘punishment’ of working a specific game is the worst kind of garbage. Full time officials is not the answer either. The best fix is to replace those that can’t do the job right.

  41. I can see it for big misses…

    but you could probably dig up 20 missed false starts for any given game.

    If it doesn’t matter midway through the first half…it shouldn’t matter on the last play

  42. “And that would require some proactive work on the part of the NFL, as opposed to reactively punishing the boots on the ground enforcing a rulebook that players, coaches, fans and the refs themselves are having a hard time keeping up with.”

    I agree that the rule book is getting out of hand, with all of the changes that have recently occurred. But the rules regarding illegal procedure have been around for decades. We are talking about “Reffing 101” here people. If this crew can’t recognize illegal procedure when they see it, they should not be on an NFL field.

  43. False starts and offsides should be replayable. There is no judgement to this call (similar to 12 men on the field which is subject to replay).

  44. The problem is not that the refs should be suspended.

    The problem is that why is it always the same teams that suffer bad calls that affect the outcomes of games? Ravens, Lions

    And the same teams that NEVER have bad calls against them that affect the outcomes of games? Patriots

  45. My wife quit watching NFL games with me a few years ago because she thought at least some of them were fixed. I used to think she was nuts… but as of this year I’m not so sure. I mean here you have a case where a crew of officials literally took a win away from one team and gave it to the other, yet there are no consequences whatsoever. When things like that happen, there really is very little left in terms of the integrity of the game, isn’t there?

  46. As Seifert wrote: “Mistakes in judgment are part of officiating, and the NFL does not plan to make them subject to suspension.”

    Meanwhile a 200+ pound man running as full speed is supposed to make a split second decision regarding if and where they should hit a potential receiver and if they miss, or the receiver moves, they will be fined about $25,000 like clockwork for the first offense.

    The refs, Goodell, and the owners who empower them to continue ruining the game are a joke.

  47. Well Ravens fans how does it feel to be on the other side of this type of BS? Remember a couple of years ago when Ravens played the Vikings in the snow? Remember the bogus Gerhart fumble? That cost us the game.

    It is because your team was in a playoff hunt, and my team wasn’t. NFL needs those end of the season storylines. Thats why all games at the end of the season are against division opponents.

    Now you are on the bad side of the call. sucks don’t it?

  48. samadams14 says:
    Nov 18, 2015 9:16 AM
    Anyone going to mention it was Referee Hottie that blew the call?

    That’s why there’s no suspension. How terrible would that be for The Goodell?

    – I can’t address her hotness but she missed her first call in her first game. Pats punted, the replay clearly showed the ball hit an opposing player’s leg, Pats recovered but were not given the ball. Announcers dropped it like a hot potato when it was noticed (or they were told to stand down) who missed the call.

  49. “The League is still angry at the Ratbirds for embarrassing the NFL over and over and over. Allowing a double murderer to play. The Rice KO video they hoped would never be shown. Suggs. Harbaugh hissy fits, first because he didn’t know the rules. Then trying and failing to use those same plays.”
    _______________________________
    The Rice situation is the only thing factual in what was written above. All the rest of that stuff is just completely made up. But have fun with that.

  50. Basically what they are saying is they will suspend you for not applying a rule correctly, or for other non-judgement decisions.

    Tjey are saying that in their opinion the official’s judgement was that there was no false start.

    As a Ravens fan, we’ve been repeatedly told by Harbs that the team’s responsibility is to not let the game come down to calls like these. And I agree. But it still sucks when this stuff happens to you.

  51. swagger52 says:
    Nov 18, 2015 1:12 PM
    The problem is not that the refs should be suspended.

    The problem is that why is it always the same teams that suffer bad calls that affect the outcomes of games? Ravens, Lions

    And the same teams that NEVER have bad calls against them that affect the outcomes of games? Patriots

    Not so much, Lat year the Pats lost to the Jets when the refs pulled out a seldom used call to give NY a second chance at a missed field goal.

    Now if you want to talk about calls, why is it that Flacco can just throw a ball anywhere near a receiver at the end of a game and get a free DPI call?

  52. Mo Pro Babble.

    “Now if you want to talk about calls, why is it that Flacco can just throw a ball anywhere near a receiver at the end of a game and get a free DPI call?”

    The Patriots are famous for benefitting from the phantom illegal contact call. Brady holds the record for 3rd down incompletion but first down by penalty. Then the broadcast doesn’t even show the infraction.

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