Dean Blandino says official “lost track of the football”

AP

Two major officiating controversies arose out of Monday night’s Bills-Patriots game. NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino addressed one of them after the game.

Blandino said on NFL Network that the official who blew a play dead on a pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola didn’t realize where the ball was and blew his whistle when he shouldn’t have.

“The line judge lost track of the football and he blew his whistle inadvertently. So, that’s a mistake and we shouldn’t have blown the whistle,” Blandino.

It got worse from there, however: Even after recognizing their first mistake by blowing the play dead too early, the officials made another mistake by concluding that the whistle had blown while Amendola had the ball.

“They’re going to look at where was the football when the whistle was blown, and they determined that Amendola had the football when the whistle was blown,” Blandino said.

But that’s not what happened. Video and audio of the play clearly show that the ball was in the air — not in Amendola’s possession — when the official blew the whistle. So not only was there an inadvertent whistle, but there was an incorrect enforcement of what to do about the inadvertent whistle call.

Patriots fans have complained that the inadvertent whistle cost Amendola a touchdown, and Amendola did run upfield and have a clear path to the end zone after he caught it, but Bills cornerback Ronald Darby slowed down as soon as the whistle was blown with the ball in the air, so there’s no way to know what would have happened if the play hadn’t been blown dead.

The other major officiating mistake happened at the end of the game, when the officials wrongly ruled that Bills receiver Sammy Watkins voluntarily gave himself up in the field of play, allowing the clock to run out. In reality, Watkins fell backwards out of bounds to stop the clock, and photos clearly show that Watkins went out with two seconds left. Buffalo should have been given time to run a Hail Mary.

Blandino did not address that mistake in his appearance on NFL Network. Perhaps because nothing he could say would satisfy fans who are tired of seeing weekly officiating mistakes.

158 responses to “Dean Blandino says official “lost track of the football”

  1. I mean really, these guys are no better than replacement refs. Everybody was frustrated with them. Fans are still frustrated watching this officiating every week and we tolerate it because really, what are we gonna do stop watching? Not me. NFL knows that we are going to watch no matter whose officiating. The rule book must look like the IRS tax code. Its not simple that’s for sure. Just ask Harbaugh.

  2. Dean Blandino had not been a ref or even played football. He is Goodell’s butt boy. His qualification was he taught Goodell the instant replay technology. And he had been taking millions $ from Goodell since.

  3. People can talk all they want about Goodell and Deflategate and this or that but in my opinion, his single greatest failure is allowing an unqualified kid be the head of officiating. This guy is a clown and clearly he’s not doing his job. He should be fired and replaced by a retired official immediately.

  4. Fat high school teachers who officiate $10b brands – who are mostly age-ed – do have declining fine motor skills like the rest of the human race.

    It makes the world’s most successful sports brand not a funny ha-ha joke, but a perpetual funny uh-oh joke. Let’s keep laughing!

  5. BUT they did get the critical 2nd and 1 spot correct on the final drive with Robert woods’ catch soooo way to go deano!

  6. ” tired of seeing weekly officiating mistakes”, really! Players, coaches and officials make mistakes every game because they’re human. Nobody likes it but why hold the refs to perfection when everybody else gets a free pass. Maybe everybody is just influenced by Jon Gruden’s nonstop whining about them. I’m sure he never made a mistake in his whole career. Hopefully he’ll go back to coaching so we won’t have to tolerate him ruining MNF.

  7. As far as the inadvertent whistle……2 wrongs alost made a right.

    I’d like to see replays on the Watkins play before commenting

  8. Goodell wants tax breaks so the NFL can create jobs for full time refs. If not, they are thinking about outsourcing the whole league to China.

  9. Officiating is becoming too much. Every great play I wait to see how many flags were thrown. Now the refs are getting confused. Almost unwatchable.

  10. I love how accountability applies to everyone except the officials and the home office.

    Epitomizes “do as I say not as I do.”

  11. “The other major officiating mistake happened at the end of the game, when the officials wrongly ruled that Bills receiver Sammy Watkins voluntarily gave himself up in the field of play, allowing the clock to run out.”

    That’s a pretty subjective assessment, isn’t it? It sure looked to me as if he gave himself up in the field of play, and then went backwards to try to stop the clock. I wasn’t at all surprised that they didn’t stop it, and don’t think it was the wrong call…

  12. The NFL’s silence on the PSI readings from last night tells me everything we need to know about what they were.

    #NotGuiltyPeriod
    #GiveUsOurDraftPicksBack
    #NeverMessWithTheNFLsGreatestDynastyAgain

  13. There is no future for any sports league that doesn’t have integrity and Goodell knows this, but the league now has no integrity at all.

  14. Only reason Amendola caught the ball is because Bills Db let up, then to top it all they ruled Watkins did not get out of bounds and even though they reviewed the spot on a 2nd and 1 in a two minute drill, they don’t review that.

    You know what is awesome, is Pats fans will spend all morning complaining that they were cost a TD when in actuality they were given the game. Again.

  15. The reason the line judge couldn’t see the ball was because Rex was standing between him and the field. Did you notice Rex didn’t even argue the call?

    On the last play the first part of Watkins to hit the ground was his derriere, in bounds.

    Ugly game.

  16. What happened to all the fumbles that Patriot Hater said would happen with inflated footballs?

    #UGotOwnedBoy
    #UrSorryTeamIsntInOURLeague

  17. paulrevereshorse1775 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 7:01 AM
    As far as the inadvertent whistle……2 wrongs alost made a right.

    I’d like to see replays on the Watkins play before commenting
    ——————-
    The Watkins play? He went down at ~50 with 2 seconds left, they wiped out a sure touchdown for the Patriots. Why are you waiting to comment?

  18. nbptma1 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 6:31 AM

    Do you know football or do u just come on here to look dumb? The whistle was an error yes, but it was blown WHILE the ball was in the air. So the catch, by RULE should not have counted. But the ref’s gave it to the pats b/c they felt bad they screwed up. THEN they charge buffalo with a 15 yd BS penalty. The ref wasnt even on the white line, he was behind it standing with the bills players- then calls a 15 yd penalty on Rex for ‘interfering’ when he was simply walking up and down the sideline. They obviously used two WRONG calls to justify their mistake- so no, they werent out ‘to get’ the pats.

  19. The refs are a joke, it made the game so dysfunctional and the delays were crazy. The refs huddled more than the Patriots offense did and they still got it wrong. Amendola was gone on that catch, no doubt.

  20. If Belichick had walked in front of an official like that and then they “lost track” of the ball like that…there would have already been a special prosecutor appointed by the NFL offices.

  21. At least the NFL got lucky and this was just some boring little game hardly anyone was watching. Can you imagine how inept the league would look if.. Say… This had been a highly televised prime time game?

    Oh.. Umm….

  22. I thought all the Faketriot fans were holding Belicheat in high esteem for his method of getting into peoples’ heads?

    Seems there is a major paranoia trend going on in NE that NFL is out to get them. Eat your cake and have it too!

  23. Worst officiating for any Pats game this year. Not just the calls that remained blown but a couple that had to be overturned by replay that never should have gotten that far. the spot of the ball that was initially ruled a first down was horrible. Obvious on TV where the player went down. Stopping at that point for replay was like adding a timeout. And the facemask call where the flag was picked up was horrible too. Anyone could see it was a shoulder tackle. And the Bills TD where they ruled the knee landed 100% on the defender’s glove? Really? Quite a feat. Never seen so many 5-10 minute conferences to come up with a ruling. Has this crew worked together before?

  24. I disagree with MDS on the Bills D “slowing down” while the ball was still in the air – in slow replay you can tell the whistle goes a fraction of a second prior to the catch, but there isn’t enough time for the Bills D to respond in the heartbeat before the catch and they aren’t within a heartbeat of the receiver anyway. And at full speed it all seems to happen at the same moment. It is true that the D didn’t chase the receiver, so it’s hard to tell 100% that it would have been a TD (though probably would have been). The bigger issue was Rex coming onto the field and obstructing the line judge at the critical moment (which was flagged but which probably caused the reflex whistle to begin with). There’s no excuse for the HC to do that so close to the play.

  25. The ref was trying to protect Brady since Tom had already taken a lot of shots, and was complaining about it all night. On a night when Brady constantly threw he ball away because he couldn’t find a receiver, it appeared he was trying to throw it out of bounds. Then Rex Ryan jumped in the ref’s way and he lost track of he ball. Honest, but bad mistake. On the last play of the game, the ref just went brain dead and ended the game with two seconds left. Probably just saved Tyrod Taylor from further injury, but you never know. Honest (I think), but really dumb mistake. The game shouldn’t have even been that close, but for some odd reason, Brady didn’t seem to be able to grip the cold weather football as well.

  26. Let’s face it,no matter which team you are a fan of the ref’s have screwed every single team in one way or another – Some mistakes cost teams the game.Every week there is at least three or four blown calls.I think officials should be fined for blown calls.

  27. If you run backwards out of bounds the clock does not stop. Not sure if this is a new rule or not, but I’ve seen it happen multiple times this year.

  28. I didn’t think there was really any question about the Watkins call. He stopped forward progress, and was going backwards, as in, heading back toward his own end zone (slightly) as he was heading out of bounds. The play is always blown dead when forward progress is stopped. Had Watkins gone straight to the sideline, or at a forward angle (which he easily could have done) this isn’t even up for debate. I thought it was the right call

  29. As long as that game took. The amazing thing to me is that out of all the confusion, neither coach threw a single challenge flag.

    All that confusion was 100% purely referees talking amongst themselves… and getting it wrong or right or just wasting our time and saying never mind.

  30. I have seen the clock continue when players get out of bounds late this year. Twice, the announcers mentioned the player had to be going forward for the clock to stop and the referee came on the mic once and said it. Is that stupid rule new or have I somehow missed it all these years?

  31. Another week, more major screw-ups by the refs that potentially changed the outcome of a game. Why wasn’t replay used to determine that Watkins went out of bounds with 2 seconds left? Why are the refs so afraid of allowing head coaches to challenge bad calls or non-calls? Last night’s officiating was as bad as the State Farm commercial with the refs huddling up while accidentally leaving the microphone on.

  32. I expect a whistle on every pass play and I’m usually not disappointed. The Vikings had over a 100 yards in their game and the Bears had none in their game. The comm. said they have to find out why some refs are calling more then others. I would think that would be a good idea.

  33. Rex Ryan directly caused the inadvertant whistle by walking in front of the ref and gesturing about something in the middle of the play, the most egregious coach interference since Mike Tomlin tackled Jacoby Jones.

    As someone else said, if Belichick had done that it would have been the lead story on the Today Show.

  34. Actually, the officials ruled correctly that Watkins was inbounds at the end of the play:

    Rule 3, SECTION 13 :FORWARD PROGRESS

    ARTICLE 1. FORWARD PROGRESS.
    “The Forward Progress of a runner or airborne receiver is the point at which his advance toward his opponent’s goal ends and is the spot at which the ball is declared dead by rule, irrespective of the runner or receiver being pushed or carried backward by an opponent.”

    Can’t really pile on the refs if you don’t know the rulebook ::)

  35. fan70 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 6:59 AM
    ” tired of seeing weekly officiating mistakes”, really! Players, coaches and officials make mistakes every game because they’re human. Nobody likes it but why hold the refs to perfection when everybody else gets a free pass. Maybe everybody is just influenced by Jon Gruden’s nonstop whining about them. I’m sure he never made a mistake in his whole career. Hopefully he’ll go back to coaching so we won’t have to tolerate him ruining MNF.

    ——————//-//-//——–/////————///————-/////——
    Really we read thread after thread about players, coaches, and GM’s. Then when the worst officiated game of the season occurs you deflect the problem onto the play by play- color commentary guy. Common on man this happened last night of course we are going to talk about it, our is it that you’re wearin stripes?

  36. should have been a do over. The ball was clearly still in the air (second mistake on that play with the whistle being the first.)

    The 15 yd call on rex was an obvious attempt at a make up of sorts.

    not much the refs got right last night.

  37. A human official made a mistake. Why is this a headline? Give it a rest Pats fans. The Pats aren’t significant enough for this big of a conspiracy. In fact, a conspiracy against the Pats makes no sense at all. They’re the best!

  38. Goodell tried to steal the game from the Pats. Almost, Roger. Almost.
    His worst nightmare would be handing the Lombardi to Kraft & Brady.

  39. Watkins was out of bounds. Not sure why there was no replay and don’t care. The officials gave the Bills several extra seconds on that play where they stopped the clock to replay a spot (the Pats would have given them the more advantageous spot if the clock kept running like it was supposed to). It was just a poorly officiated and played game by both teams the officials. If the Patriots play like that next Sunday, they will be 10-1.

  40. Inadvertent whistle happened because the ref thought he was saving Brady from being lit up by a defender, as refs generally do for him.

  41. Let me start with the patriots are a very good team. Why so many fans outside of New England dislike them is the double standards they receive.

    If the Bills yelled out Bill Belicheh at the line there would have been a flag for taunting

    Even though the whistle was a mistake, the right call is replay the play since whistle occurred in the air during the time there was no possession. Outcome- lie, give possession and an absurd 15 yd penalty.

    Face mask penalty on McCoy just “picked up” as if it never happened, Really??

    The bobbling catch that was never controlled as Lafell came to rest.

    These are only a few examples

  42. The officials were the same the week before where they were trying their hardest to have the Giants win the game with the terrible receiver interference calls against the Patriots…it didn’t work.

    Goodall, give it up.

  43. Thanks, those announcers were so annoying last night harping that the ref’s stopped a td for the Belicheaters. It was obvious on the replay Darby quit trying when the whistle blew, the pass might not have even been completed! And since they ruled a deadball on the whistle, the Ryan penalty shouldn’t have been enforced either!

  44. Because he couldnt see the ball thats why he blew the whistle. Lmao.

    NFL is fixing betting outcomes Of games thru the refs. When stand up clown boy says all catches are subjective, thats a major red flag into fixing games and betting outcomes.

    As usual mgmt always tarnishes the integrity of everything not the employees. These clowns couldnt manage a Dollar Store, yet they are in charge of a billion dollar business.

  45. Clearly this game had some instances of poor officiating. The inadvertent whistle, the Bills TD, the spotting of the ball (on one glaring play and many other un-reviewed spots), the last play of the game, etc. were all debatable or obviously wrong. Both teams were affected but I think the Patriots got the brunt of the ineptitude.

    That being said, this was a gritty win against a very tough and motivated team. The Patriots showed great character in the face of adversity again. We’ll see how well they do next week as injuries pile up and where the crowd will be against them.

    My sincere hope is that next week the Pats get the advantage on the sure to come officiating screw ups and win so everyone can go back to saying they refs are in their pocket.

  46. chriskap11 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 8:50 AM

    Let me start with the patriots are a very good team. Why so many fans outside of New England dislike them is the double standards they receive.

    If the Bills yelled out Bill Belicheh at the line there would have been a flag for taunting

    Even though the whistle was a mistake, the right call is replay the play since whistle occurred in the air during the time there was no possession. Outcome- lie, give possession and an absurd 15 yd penalty.

    Face mask penalty on McCoy just “picked up” as if it never happened, Really??

    The bobbling catch that was never controlled as Lafell came to rest.

    These are only a few examples

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    First off…don’t think there is a rule that states what you can or can’t say at the line of scrimmage..it wasn’t taunting it was a play call

    Secondly…if the ref hadn’t blew his whistle inadvertantly Amendola would have had the ball and possibly gone for a TD…we will never know because the legal play was blown dead…I think the Pats deserved to get the ball placed where they placed it. If it happened to your Team you’d expect the same treatment.

    Lastly…pretty sure the Bills had some plays/hits that weren’t called so I’d say we can leave that out of the equation.

  47. Games are fixed. Not in the traditional mob movie way where the game is decided before it starts. But, in a league where most games are decided by a few plays, Vegas and whoever definitely have the “bat line” to this anonymous New York booth to influence those few plays that it can. They are playing us fans as fools.

  48. Full time refs. No excuses, the NFL makes enough money, there wont be 6 months off because if they are on the payroll, they will be working mini camps and OTAs and training camps in hopes they get better (not to mention seminars, training sessions, etc…). They need to have more refs so they can adequately punish the ones that suck and have legitimate replacements. The NFL has to invest in its refereeing crews or they start to have the credibility of boxing and soccor. Of course, no one knew professional boxing and FIFA was rigged until things became so obvious that the government had to get involved because of the money. With Brady, with Spygate, with Wells and that money, with the refs, with outrageous outcomes, not to mention the trouble with the Washington team name. it is election year and candidates are just looking for something to bandwagon and the NFL had better watch out before it gets slammed by congress.

  49. jchipwood says:
    Nov 24, 2015 8:40 AM

    There are ALWAYS issues when teams play in Foxboro. Like it or not it always will benefit the Patriots in one way or another.

    “““““““““““““““““

    Please do tell us about these “issues”..make sure you have all your facts straight so you don’t come across as a big crybaby

  50. upstaterules says:
    Nov 24, 2015 8:48 AM

    Inadvertent whistle happened because the ref thought he was saving Brady from being lit up by a defender, as refs generally do for him.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Number 1….stop your crying…take the loss like a man…not like someone who lives in their mommy’s basement

    Number 2….I don’t get how blowing a legal play dead helps the Patriots….especially when it kept them from getting a TD

  51. That is just garbage. Why would you blow the whistle because you can’t see the football? You wouldn’t, you would let another ref for the whistle.

    Someone on another post said it best “Rex pulled a Tomlin”.

  52. With everyone blaming Goodell for everything under the sun whether or not it is something he could realistically control, i’d say he’s earning his money.

    Most of the posters here blaming Goodell for the officiating this year were the same people who sided with the media during the ref lockout that the “real refs” needed to come back ASAP because the replacement refs were ruining the game.

    The lockout was about the league trying to get younger full time refs but we were told the the part-time refs were irreplaceable.

    Some of the part-time refs make worse calls than any of the replacement refs ever did but it’s only now that the media cares. You bashed him when he tried to fix it and now you bash him for not fixing it.

  53. wmmarcellino says:
    Nov 24, 2015 8:36 AM
    Actually, the officials ruled correctly that Watkins was inbounds at the end of the play:

    Rule 3, SECTION 13 :FORWARD PROGRESS

    ARTICLE 1. FORWARD PROGRESS.
    “The Forward Progress of a runner or airborne receiver is the point at which his advance toward his opponent’s goal ends and is the spot at which the ball is declared dead by rule, irrespective of the runner or receiver being pushed or carried backward by an opponent.”

    Can’t really pile on the refs if you don’t know the rulebook ::)

    ——-
    You cited the wrong rule. How about when the clock starts and stops??

  54. So the guy who’s in charge of the NFL’s refs has no experience as either a player or as a game official? That explains a lot.

  55. Chriskap11,

    Lafell did control the ball. Even though it moved, it never touched the ground. That’s a catch.

    The McCoy face masked picked up as if it didn’t happen …. that’s because it didnt. There was no face mask on the play.

    You can argue from a Bills perspective on the inadvertent whistle but all it is is bitching. Amendola is gone for at least a 40 yard play, more likely a td. And you’re bitching because you got a 15 yard penalty because Rex is an idiot? You should consider yourself lucky. That was a game changing play. Instead of being down 17-3 in Foxboro, you were given a chance to tie it.

    The refs are terrible. You don’t need to make things up to try and criticize them.

  56. He didn’t blow the whistle inadvertently. It was intentional because he lost track of the ball. If you want to start correcting the problems on the field, you are going to need to define the problems correctly to begin with.
    That being the case, what caused him to lose track of the ball? Can it happen again? Is it preventable? What needs to be done going forward?
    If Blandino is supposed to be such a technology wizard, why isn’t he introducing a mandatory referee video training/retraining system that captures every single mistake made in real games and incorporates it into their training system. It’s been done in every single professional industry for decades and within military and police training for well over a decade. So the technology is there. Where is the will?.

    Start at the top. Fire Goodell and let the NFL healing begin.

  57. He “lost track” of the slowest QB in the league gingery running to the sideline area, right in front of him, with the ball hanging out of his hand like a loaf of bread?

    How can that happen? One of the most bizarre plays I’ve ever seen.

    Pats won anyway, but that play was just plain crazy.

  58. “The line judge lost track of the football and he blew his whistle inadvertently”

    Was this a hockey ref? How did he lose track of the ball anyway, if the ball was IN THE AIR after being just thrown? That’s got to be the most visible time for any football in the game, outside of punts and kicks.

  59. College football is a great product. Very exciting. Officiating is not great in some games but it’s never as bad as the NFL. If I stopped giving my time and money to the NFL then I’d have Sundays open to do all kinds of stuff. The wife would be happier and I might get a little more Bret Beilema style post-win action. The NFL is becoming an unwatchable product and you really have to wonder how many Tim Donaghy’s are running around on NFL Officiating crews. They don’t make alot of money and they are part time employees. Makes you wonder.

  60. Dawgzzxx didn’t the refs give the pats the game on a tick tack penalty with jobtime left, letting them kick a field goal?

    Wmmarcellino. Watch the play. He caught it, wasn’t touched and fell out of bounds. Wasn’t carried, just fell. Can’t really say what happened unless you watched the game 🙂

  61. There are reports from knowledgeable sources today that PSI measurement tests WERE done with footballs at Gillette Stadium last night, before the game in a 72 degree environment, at halftime, and before midnight in a much colder environment.

    All I’ll say is the NFL front office and Patriot Hater will not like the results.

    🙂

  62. How about Belicheaters TD where they rushed a play, didn’t allow the Bill’s to sub even though they were subbing and had a 12th man still on the field when they hiked the ball! The ref’s sure bent over backwards for them on that play!

  63. The inadvertent whistle shouldn’t happen, but by definition it is an error so it is what it is.

    I am wondering if Rex being on the field is what led to the referee losing track of the football. If that is the case, I am wondering why they didn’t award the Patriots a touchdown for a palpably unfair act.

  64. fanofsportsman says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:29 AM
    How about Belicheaters TD where they rushed a play, didn’t allow the Bill’s to sub even though they were subbing and had a 12th man still on the field when they hiked the ball! The ref’s sure bent over backwards for them on that play!

    Read the rule book. Watch the game. Get a clue.

    Pats player was off the field, they even replayed it to show him off the field even though ESPn was hoping they had caught the pats with 12 men, just like you and the rest of the burning, itching Hateriods.

  65. We all know why they allowed the catch, because refs messed up and wanted to give the Pats something. That is also why the refs threw the flag on Rex and blamed him for the whistle stating he got in the way and that is why the ref couldn’t see and blew the whistle, tacking on 15 yards to the catch. Refs are down right awful.

  66. What I find amazing is that people are acting as if refs just started blowing calls, if not outright fixing games.

    You should all be bowing down, chanting, “We’re not worthy” when you watch a 38 YO QB with only one of his starting receivers, 2 OL from last year and 1 RB still beat the Bills, cheating coaches and bad refs despite their best efforts to steal a game.

  67. STILLlolatpatshaters says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:25 AM
    There are reports from knowledgeable sources today that PSI measurement tests WERE done with footballs at Gillette Stadium last night, before the game in a 72 degree environment, at halftime, and before midnight in a much colder environment.

    All I’ll say is the NFL front office and Patriot Hater will not like the results.
    ================================
    Now don’t be teasing us, that just ain’t right . and please don’t become another of the typical professional click detectives. We already have plenty of them.

  68. fanofsportsman says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:29 AM

    How about Belicheaters TD where they rushed a play, didn’t allow the Bill’s to sub even though they were subbing and had a 12th man still on the field when they hiked the ball! The ref’s sure bent over backwards for them on that play!
    ________________________________

    LOL
    You watch the game through an entertaining lens.

  69. The New York coach ran 20 yards to be in that spot. Approaching from that spot most certainly infringed on official doing his job–and it should also be considered that this is something Ryan does often and the official(s) have allowed for it.

    Ryan’s behavior is intentional and intended to impact the opposing qb who is rolling to an already cluttered area. Seems absurd to suggest? Remember, this is a head coach that organized his injured players and strength coach to take out the gunner on every punt–until his JETS team was caught!

  70. Clearly full-time refs would be a step in the right direction but I’m not sure they’d help as much as we’d like to think. The base issue is the rulebook has grown so large and so needlessly complex that it’d be all-but-impossible for any mortal to correctly make all the calls on-the-fly. It’s a pretty simple game but the NFL has totally lost sight of that fact.

  71. Do these people in New York even realize that the continued popularity of the league is in serious jeopardy until and unless they get this horrible officiating under control?

    At least in my circles, it’s rapidly getting to the point where the best-case assumption is that the officiating in any given game will be incompetent and the worst-case assumption is that the officials are rigging the outcomes of games outright.

    When we’re 5 years down the road and pro basketball and hockey games are getting more viewers than NFL matchups they’re going to look back on this year and realize this is where it all started going wrong. Or maybe not.

  72. That crew made so many mistakes. It was embarrassing for the NFL.

    They blew a punt play dead before the ball stopped rolling (it rolled about 3 more yards). They took forever on some routine calls. They messed up the spotting on the 2nd and 1 play by the Bills at the end of the game by giving the receiver almost 2 extra yards.

    And so much more I have already forgotten. It was up there with the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen from start to finish.

  73. Now don’t be teasing us, that just ain’t right . and please don’t become another of the typical professional click detectives. We already have plenty of them.

    —-
    I hesitate to say anything more because admittedly I do not know if it was the NFL itself that was doing the testing, and apparently more testing is going to be done at the next home game anyway.

    But apparently testing WAS done according to more than one person at the stadium last night.

    Let’s just say… major PSI drop on all footballs was found and no needle went in any ball.

  74. Dean Blandino should be fired. Clearly he is not the guy that can steer the officiating in the right direction. This has been the worst year by far with blown calls and bad judgement in crucial games, prime time games included. Heads need to roll. Bring back Mike Periera.

  75. I went to a high school football game in Texas last week and it was so much fun. After the game I wondered why. The reason — so stoppages for replay reviews, kickoffs that landed in the field of plays, NO PENALTIES called in the first half, no commercial timeouts. Just play after play of FOOTBALL. The NFL should learn a lesson from that, but they won’t.

  76. patsfiend says:
    Nov 24, 2015 7:36 AM

    On the last play the first part of Watkins to hit the ground was his derriere, in bounds.

    ——————————————————————–

    In the NFL, a receiver/runner is not down because they hit the ground, they have to be contacted by an opposing player – thus the term “down by contact”.

    So in this case, the judgment is whether Watkins was “giving himself up” (like a quarterback slide) or he was trying to get out of bounds.

    Its hard to imagine anyone seriously arguing the former unless you’re a Pats fans that is incapable of seeing things as a football fan first, or you’re an NFL official.

  77. So in this case, the judgment is whether Watkins was “giving himself up” (like a quarterback slide) or he was trying to get out of bounds.


    There is at least one NFL player on record today saying he was coached all his career to NOT to go out of bounds backwards or sideways if he wants to stop the clock. Most likely because calls like this are the result.

    I am sure he knows what he’s talking about and he is not just a “Pats fan or NFL official”

    🙂

  78. Mike, you left out other inexcusable officiating errors from last night

    1. You mentioned the inadvertent whistle.

    2. You mentioned the incorrect ruling as ball was in air. (the defensive back clearly would have tackled NE #80 had the whistle not blown).

    3. Should be mentioned that there was quite likely a screw up on NE TD on short run. If Buffalo had 12 on field at any time, impending snap is supposed to kill play. Also NE running a twelfth man on and off the field is supposed to allow Buffalo to make a personnel change! Ref should have been over ball until Buffalo had chance to set after change.

    4. As to 3 above, there was no automatic replay review on the td, replay could have included review of whether NE twelfth man got off field.

    5. What was deal with critical face mask penalty at end of q3. Why was flagged picked up and more suspicious why was there no replay following the commercial break. It seemed to me that many replays of borderline calls were missing–and I have never before bought into the conspiracy theories that circle the Patriots.

    6. I am confident the call would stand, but where was the automatic review after the NE fumbled following the Buffalo punt returner fumbling? Watching live, there appeared to be the smallest doubt only, but the NE player ran quite a way with only apparent possession and stranger things have happened where ball was never really put away during that type of distance. I reviewed it with dvr three times, no evidence that they got call wrong, I only question why it was not automatically reviewed.

    7. Absolute screw up in last minute when the officials gave a first down on a completion clearly A FULL YARD SHORT! This was potentially critical as Buffalo ended up getting a free time out when instant replay had to step in. Also, that break in play should have taken place with more time remaining on clock.

    8. As to 7 above, opposing headsets not working again in New England at critical time!!! Again jammed up with music? Is there no way the officials couldn’t deal with this once replay had to stop game anyway? And why was ESPN focused on this happening with Buffalo two weeks in row while the clear story is why does this happen all the time at Foxborro??

    As to what the officials got right–in fairness…

    1. Ryan was appropriately assessed 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for interfering on the inadvertent whistle play. Considering his NYJ team’s roll on the infamous ‘take out the punt team’ gunner–again designed to use sidelines to shrink the field for the opposition–he deserves no consideration and league should most certainly fine him heavily for last night’s inappropriateness. Headset and all he ran 20 yards out of his way to add to the clutter that awaited the opposing qb while inadvertently infringing on the official doing his job. They paint the white by the sidelines for a reason–he was trying to game the system and AGAIN was caught.

  79. “I am wondering if Rex being on the field is what led to the referee losing track of the football. If that is the case, I am wondering why they didn’t award the Patriots a touchdown for a palpably unfair act.”

    Rex got a 15 yard penalty for that

  80. What happened to all the fumbles that Patriot Hater said would happen with inflated footballs?

    #UGotOwnedBoy
    #UrSorryTeamIsntInOURLeague

    30 10
    ————————————
    Lets see, on the season Brady was throwing at almost 70% with 25 TD and 4 picks. Last night in the cold he threw for barely over 50% (20 of 39) one 1 INT and another called back and 1 touchdown…Oh BTW on you fumble stats, all of last season there was only 6 fumbles, this year they have already had 5. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

    #crazywhatthestatsactuallydotellus
    #troll

  81. As to 7 above, opposing headsets not working again in New England at critical time!!! Again jammed up with music? Is there no way the officials couldn’t deal with this once replay had to stop game anyway? And why was ESPN focused on this happening with Buffalo two weeks in row while the clear story is why does this happen all the time at Foxborro??

    ****************************
    The league handles the headsets. Ask them

  82. Its so hypocritical of the NFL. When they screw up royally and i mean royally, everyone gets a nice little reminder memo. Please remember to do your job properly, please remember to tie your shoes, please remember to not let concussed QBs stay in the game.

    Player does somethibg wrong, fines, suspensions, banned for 1 year

    I mean this league and the incompetent clowns running it and the owners all need to be replaced. There wont be an NFL in 10 yrs if this continues. I hope all these owners and Goodell get exactly what they deserve

  83. The inadvertent whistle didn’t necessarily cost the Patriots points but it might have, and the ball was in the air when the whistle blew, but Amendola would have likely caught that ball at least with no whistle. Bad call but probably a fair result, with the exception of the interference flag, which probably should have been picked up under the circumstances.

  84. As on-line fantasy betting and football betting in general has become more prevalent, officiating seems to have become less and less accurate. I hate to say this, but once the fans lose confidence in the fairness and integrity of the game, the NFL will collapse in on itself. I see it coming. Big money, big business, and a monopoly environment don’t usually flourish forever.

  85. Can someone please tell me how this call costed the Patriots anything? The defender stopped on the whistle while the ball was in the air. Best case scenario is he catches and is tackled just like the refs ended up awarding the Patriots. But if the defender didn’t stop then it could of been a pass breakup, interception, or dropped ball. So why are Patriot fans complaining about a call that gave them the most out of what could of happened.

  86. Lets see, on the season Brady was throwing at almost 70% with 25 TD and 4 picks. Last night in the cold he threw for barely over 50% (20 of 39) one 1 INT and another called back and 1 touchdown…Oh BTW on you fumble stats, all of last season there was only 6 fumbles, this year they have already had 5. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

    #crazywhatthestatsactuallydotellus
    #troll


    Tee hee. 🙂 Patriot Hater really is grasping at straws today aren’t they!

    🙂

    #TooBadUrStatsAreWrong
    #TooBadUrTeamIsntInOURLeague
    #TooBadUrTeamNeverWillBeAtOURLevel

  87. ~20 seconds ran off the clock before the “review” of Robert Woods forward progress on the last play of the game. That’s the injustice I care about. Sammy Watkins “attempted” butt-clock stoppage was a judgement call that could go either way, but taking those 20 or so seconds before initiating a review, and then not putting the time back on is baffling. It wasn’t a coach who durdled around before throwing the flag, this was a booth initiated review. Teams shouldn’t be punished because somebody upstairs think the call made down stairs was wrong. One last note, I hate Tom Brady, HATE, however, that quick-snap for the touchdown when Buffalo was falt footed was executed perfectly. I’ve seen it done before by them, but never from the “All-22” angle they showed last night. They line up in a pee-wee wing formation. Easy splits, easy line up, it gave me football feels.

  88. sammievee says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:39 AM
    As to 7 above, opposing headsets not working again in New England at critical time!!! Again jammed up with music? Is there no way the officials couldn’t deal with this once replay had to stop game anyway? And why was ESPN focused on this happening with Buffalo two weeks in row while the clear story is why does this happen all the time at Foxborro??

    —————-
    Did you see Rex thrown his headset to the ground after the Patriots scored at the end of the 1st half? I did!!! He probably broke the thing….

  89. This Blandino dude is a tool. Never heard of this many blunders and bad officiating under Perriera, Jerry Seeman and Art McNally. It’s either the refs are being tasked to be judge, jury, executioner and monitor every little thing or the rule book is way too big.

  90. bullcharger says:
    Nov 24, 2015 11:17 AM

    The inadvertent whistle didn’t necessarily cost the Patriots points but it might have, and the ball was in the air when the whistle blew, but Amendola would have likely caught that ball at least with no whistle. Bad call but probably a fair result, with the exception of the interference flag, which probably should have been picked up under the circumstances.

    ——
    I’d argue that the interference was the cause of the inadvertent whistle. I’ve watched the replay a number of times this morning, Rex was ‘running’ down the sideline, in the white area, pointing toward Brady. At the point Brady threw the ball, Rex got in between the line judge and the ball as it was approaching Amendola. watch the linked video and freeze it at 0:25.

    The league says the line judge blew the whistle because he lost sight of the ball. watch the linked video and pause it at 0:16. then click on the ‘time’ slider bar and you can go through frame by frame. you can see Rex directly in front of the line judge while the ball is in the air. there is more than one view if you freeze frame through to 0:25.

    Rex clearly was the cause for the whistle and needs to be reprimanded for his actions. This sort of behavior cannot be allowed to happen on the field.

    Now THAT is cheating.

  91. There are a lot of people calling for full time officials. Folks, that will not fix the problem. Blandino is a full time employee in charge of officiating and his explanations are as bad or worse than the on field officiating. Job status has nothing to do with competency. None of us are full time officials yet we know a catch or a fumble or a TD when we see one even if the officials rule differently. The problem is that the rules are purposefully complex so that any controversial call can be justified. Blandino has cited different portions of the catch rules to justify opposite calls under identical circumstances. Personally, I feel that it is intentional in order to massage the games. A favored team can get calls so that they are still in the playoff hunt and other games are massaged so that they are close. Both have an impact on viewership and ultimately profit. The fix is to simplify the rules and state the intent behind the rule. That allows the officials to have a better foundation to work from on those inevitable judgement calls. We fans need to call out the corruption honestly. That means not basing opinions on how the calls benefit or hurt your team. We need to get integrity back into the game.

  92. And Goodell tried his typical deceptive PR/marketing tricks saying that DFS could be tarnishing the integrity of games.

    Uh no clown, you, the NFL League Office, Dean Blandino and the refs are tarnishing the integrity of every single game. All of the above are fixing the outcomes of games, betting totals, betting lines. Stop trying to make it look like everything except you and your incompetent employees tarnishing the integrity of every game played.

    These games are now being blatantly fixed and most people arent bright enough to recognize it.

  93. I’m officially declaring shenanigans on the NFL.
    This is 2015. There is no reason officiating should be this bad. There are literally 5-10 cameras on every single play. Frickin’ Google satellite cam can zoom in and see an ant in the middle of NYC. This seems to happen once or twice in EVERY game. I feel like I’m trying to break up with a really hot girl that I can’t stand. I love football and love rooting for my team, but the NFL is making it nearly unbearable to support their embarrassment of an organization.
    #Shenanigans

  94. It’s truly amusing Patriots homers think PSI testing results mean anything. Nobody is buying that lame excuse. Plausible deniability is meaningless.

  95. A couple of things.

    First, Dean Blandino needs to be fired immediately. He is the head of the officiating for the league, and his department has been horrendous. There is NO continuity between crews. There are too many mistakes to use the “They are human” line. And he has done nothing to correct this.

    Second, regarding the inadvertent whistle. There is clear proof that, not only did Rex Ryan stand on the white line, which is illegal, and interfere with the side judges view, but he also turned to the ref and pointed to Brady and yelled something at the ref. One would have to assume that he called for a whistle. That is blatant cheating. There is no grey area there. He entered the into a zone of the field that coaches are prohibited from entering, and caused a stoppage in play that could have resulted in a score. Given the precedent set, the Bills should be fined $1 Million and be stripped of a first round pick. And, Ryan should be suspended four games.

    Finally, it is beyond time to employ full time refs. These part time guys are not meeting the standards. And, start making the entire officiating crew available to the media following games. Not the current, head of the crew meets with an AP pool reporter to answer league approved questions. Players and coaches have to do it, so should the refs. And, they need to be able to be suspended without pay for terrible calls. Players and coaches lose jobs for bad playing or coaching. Refs need to feel that pain as well.

  96. factman66 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 11:53 AM

    It’s truly amusing Patriots homers think PSI testing results mean anything. Nobody is buying that lame excuse. Plausible deniability is meaningless.


    Well I happen to think it’s amusing that Patriot Hater really thinks their sorry team deserves to be on the same field as the team that has won more Super Bowls than any NFL team in the last 25 years, more games this century than any other NFL team, home of the GOAT QB and coach, home of the greatest organization in sports, the team who all intelligent fans consider the NFL’s Greatest Dynasty and the paragon of excellence in the modern NFL.

    Too bad Patriot Hater’s wuss team isn’t man enough to put in the effort and work to beat the Patriots on the field. That’s why I look forward to another 15 years as the top dog! It really is GREAT to be king!

    🙂

    #AllHailTheWorldChampionPatriots
    #AllHailTheNFLsGreatestDynasty
    #BowDownToGreatness
    #LookHowShinyThoseRingsAre
    #KissAllFourOfThem
    #PuckerUpButtercup

  97. Gotta love the modern NFL – multi-billionaire owners getting subsidized to pay multi-millionaire bio-mechanical machines on steroids (who break down so we can watch $500K a year backups) play a game that is going to largely be determined by referees, watch 2.75 hours of commercials around 2 minute snapshots of action, and be yammered at by tedious announcers. It’s unwatchable.

  98. Heck, from the NFL’s point of view, the officials are only screwing up on MNF, a small part of the time. From a fans perspective, we know that the small sampling is just the tip of the iceberg.

  99. Why are people complaining about the last call? He fell backwards out of bounds and the clock only stops if your forward progress takes you out.

    And why is no one talking about the cheap shot Brady took on the interception that was called back in the 1st Qtr?

    One of the worst officiated games I’ve seen.

  100. This is the 3rd time Rex Ryan has done these sidleines shenanigans.

    1. Tripgate
    2. SecondLevelGate
    3. Whistlegate

    All attempts to cheat during the game.

    Will ex-Jets employees, Goodell or Blandino shows consistency in ruling vs non-Pats employees?

  101. “opposing headsets not working again in New England at critical time!!! ”

    Hey did you even consider the possibility the Bills were having a headset issue was because Rex Ryan slammed his headset to the ground ?

    They aren’t made of titanium you know.

  102. Instead of talking about a darned good defensive game plan executed by the Bills or another win for the Patriots with practice squad players now relied on to start here we are again talking about BS officiating. Every. Single. Week. Shame on you NFL!

  103. “It’s truly amusing Patriots homers think PSI testing results mean anything. Nobody is buying that lame excuse. Plausible deniability is meaningles”

    I could laugh at you but I find it really sad that our educational system has created so many science deniers and people who have no real grasp of how the world around the works.

    I bet when you take a flight you’re busy praying the engine elves have enough magic pixy dust so the plane will make it through the flight without crashing.

    SMH

  104. All of the smoke around the inadvertent whistle in the Bills game is baloney. If you watch the play, the defender got tuned around but was coming back to make the tackle on the soft pass that Brady made to Amendola. He would have hit Amendola right after he caught the ball. But if you watch the video, as soon as the defender hears the whistle he stops and turns back towards the line of scrimmage which is why Amendola was able to start running up the field with no one around him.

    Bad whistle by the refs for sure but the Pats got about what they were going to get out of the play anyway with a possible extra 15 yards because of the penalty to Rex Ryan.

    Also, if you watch the replay and the defender, the whistle goes just before the catch is made. According to the rules, an inadvertent whistle while the ball is still in the air means no play and you do it over so in effect, the Patriots got a break that they ruled the whistle occurred after the catch.

    On the Watkins out of bounds play, forget the forward progress talk. That is applicable only for spotting the ball, not for out of bounds and clock control. If the defender hit him in bounds, stopped his forward progress and then he went out of bounds, that would have been true.

    And why on Earth would the official think that he was givinghimself up in play with a few seconds left in the game and no timeouts? Watkins probaly thought that he was closer to the sideline when he fell backwards, realized he wasn’t and then did what he needed to do to get out of bounds. I doubt that would have had any impact on the outcome of the game, just a perfect way for the refs to cap off a great night.

  105. The Pats, Belydick and Kraft are cheating liars. Who cares. I wish someone would take out Brady for good on the best flagrant hit in history that would end his career for good! Then Goodhell can hand out a $1,213.43 fine and a verbal warning for the hit. Retribution baby!

  106. A lot of comments for a couple of plays that didn’t likely have much impact of the eventual outcome of the game. The officiating the end of the Cincy-Zona game was far more impactful. The false start overturned because of the call against Peko for impersonating at QB on the Sunday meant the difference between OT and a 20 yard field goal for the win. Not one pundit even mentioned Fitzgerald throwing the ball out of bounds to stop the clock. I’m fine with that actually…just can’t figure out why these two calls are now a big deal.

    That said, I agree with commenters that say the rule book needs to be simplified. The whistles are out of control this year.

  107. Was it just me or was anyone else thinking of the Aaron Rodgers commecial with the refs who were discussing a play with the mike turned on unbeknonst to them? That is the first thing that crossed my mind while they were discussing the inadvertent whistle. I kept waiting for a couple of them to do the juggling the ball act. Hilarious.

  108. GODell through the refs are ruining the NFL…

    There needs to be an in booth official that can overturn calls like this or the absolute ridiculous call against Chris Culliver hitting Greg Olson. A 5 inch 70lb difference and Olson lowered his helmut. Culliver never hit him with his. Negated a go ahead TD.

    Its the NFL…

    Players legs and arms will hurt a lot when they are 50+. So will their heads. Its a contact sport. That’s why they get paid…

    It has become embarrassingly bad.

  109. “I’d argue that the interference was the cause of the inadvertent whistle.”

    Rex’ actions most definitely infringed upon the ref’s ability to do his job. I think Rex was actually trying to involve himself with Brady. Rex does this type of crap all the time–remember how his Jets lined up the injured players to intimidate the opposing gunners on punts! Rex had no business being where he was, the play didn’t come to him he ran 20 yards to be in that spot and on the white part where he doesn’t belong. If you believe that he didn’t know he was impacting the play than you likely don’t believe Tomlin didn’t know what he was doing when he wandered into onto the field to impact what should have been a Jacoby Jones touchdown two Thanksgivings back.

  110. rlenh87943 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 1:41 PM

    And why on Earth would the official think that he was givinghimself up in play with a few seconds left in the game and no timeouts?
    —–

    as I have said numerous times here and continually gets ignored, it is not about forward progress. it is about trying to advance the ball. the act of going to the ground, while not trying to advance the ball, constitutes “giving yourself up”. the rule doesn’t say anything about intention…..that is not what is being judged. what is being judged is whether Watkins was attempting to advance the ball when his but hit the ground. he wasn’t. That’s why the officials said that going out of bounds had nothing to do with it. Watkins “gave himself up” by the act of going to the ground while also going backwards.

  111. tylawspick6 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 12:59 PM

    This is the 3rd time Rex Ryan has done these sidleines shenanigans.

    1. Tripgate
    2. SecondLevelGate
    3. Whistlegate

    All attempts to cheat during the game.

    Will ex-Jets employees, Goodell or Blandino shows consistency in ruling vs non-Pats employees?
    ———–

    I suppose collectively they could be called RexGate

  112. BTW, the fifteen yards against the coach was only accessed due to the result of the action–it should have been flagged in any regard and immediately not after the fact. NFL will send out an internal memo this week, announcers will inappropriately denounce the series of upcoming calls as “ticky tacky calls”.

  113. Significant distinction, in regard to what happened here, though by rule being in the white is a penalty (never called), Ryan running 20 yards in the white is far different than if the play had come to him.

  114. paulrevereshorse1775 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 2:00 PM

    rlenh87943 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 1:41 PM

    And why on Earth would the official think that he was givinghimself up in play with a few seconds left in the game and no timeouts?
    —–

    as I have said numerous times here and continually gets ignored, it is not about forward progress. it is about trying to advance the ball. the act of going to the ground, while not trying to advance the ball, constitutes “giving yourself up”. the rule doesn’t say anything about intention…..that is not what is being judged. what is being judged is whether Watkins was attempting to advance the ball when his but hit the ground. he wasn’t. That’s why the officials said that going out of bounds had nothing to do with it. Watkins “gave himself up” by the act of going to the ground while also going backwards.
    ******************************************
    OK, so if Watkins would have lost possession of the football as he was trying to roll out of bounds, would it have been a fumble? Given your definition of giving himself up, forward progression would have stopped and a turnover cannot happen.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand Rex Ryan, and am glad the Bills lost. But this was another glaring example of incompetent officials blowing a call that had major impacts on the outcome of a game.

  115. NFL refs have been garbage the past three years, now they are getting progressively worse if there is even any room for that game over game.

  116. “According to the rules, an inadvertent whistle while the ball is still in the air means no play and you do it over so in effect, the Patriots got a break that they ruled the whistle occurred after the catch.”

    According to the rules Rex needs to keep his fat ass out of the officials way. Refs can place the ball where they like, look up the rules on palpably unfair act

  117. The Pats were robbed of a TD.

    If the ref supposedly “lost track of the football” that is a reason NOT to blow the whistle, not blow it. The ref did the exact OPPOSITE of what he should have done.

  118. The Pats, Belydick and Kraft are cheating liars. Who cares. I wish someone would take out Brady for good on the best flagrant hit in history that would end his career for good! Then Goodhell can hand out a $1,213.43 fine and a verbal warning for the hit. Retribution baby!

    ______________

    This level of unmatched stupidity makes me worry for the future of America.

  119. Absolutely embarrassing. At this level, there is no excuse for this sort of amateurism. And this falls on the league and Goodell, not just the officials. Goodell is too busy chasing Tom Brady’s ghost to ensure there is a top quality product on the field.

  120. I’ve been watching football for a long, long time, and I’ve never seen such a ridiculous, terrible call by officials followed by such a lame response.

    No one “lost track” of the football, unless the official Rex walked in front of during the play was blocked – but then why is he blowing his whistle?

    If Belechick had walked in front of an official during a play like that the NFL would’ve started a 10 month investigation.

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