Blandino suggests replay review of facemask call wouldn’t have changed it

AP

In a tweet issued immediately after last night’s memorable Fail Mary counterweight game, NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino defended the facemask foul by saying an official “is going to make that call almost every time.”

In an appearance on NFL Network after the game, Blandino strongly suggested that, even if replay review were available to overturn the ruling on the field, it may not have been reversed.

“It’s a close play, but even looking at the replay, the hand is up near the mask, the finger looks like it gets caught in the mask and the head gets turned,” Blandino said. “So I’m not convinced it wasn’t a facemask even looking at the replay, but live at full speed the referee is going to see that hand at the mask and the head turn and he’s going to make that call every time.”

Blandino also was asked whether the call, which by rule is not subject to replay review, could have gone either way.

“You know, it’s one that it’s really close and so we made the call,” Blandino said. “I think when you watch the play live I was just like everybody else. You thought, ‘That’s a facemask,’ and then you see the replay and it’s a lot closer than it initially seemed. But again, hand up near the mask, finger caught in the bottom bar and the head does turn.”

He’s right about what he saw, but the explanation still overlooks the clear language of the rule, along with a critical “note” that applies particularly to this case.

The rule: “No player shall grasp and control, twist, turn, push, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction.”

The note: “If a player grasps an opponent’s facemask, he must immediately release it. If he does not immediately release it and controls his opponent, it is a foul.”

That language has yet to be quoted by the NFL or anyone connected to it. And perhaps for good reason. At the very most, Devin Taylor grasped the facemask with his thumb and immediately released it. Under the rule as written, that’s not a foul — regardless of whether the officials would make that call “almost every time” or “every time.”

176 responses to “Blandino suggests replay review of facemask call wouldn’t have changed it

  1. If you slow anything down to 1/60th speed, it’s going to look different. Any angle, in real time, looks like a face mask. This is no different from a catcher framing an outside fastball and getting the strike

  2. QB did his part to evade the rush. WR did his part to place himself in the vicinity of the pass, locked in, and brought the catch to him.

    For a fan not vested in either team, it was Beautiful!

  3. Blandino suggests replay review of facemask call wouldn’t have changed it
    ============================
    Last play of game??? I call B.S.

  4. I think Blandino needs to research exactly how times contact with the facemask (with no grasping) has been a no call. I can think of several from big games.

    He is missing the whole point. A play that did not meet the basis or verbage of the rule, did not even meet the spirit of the rule, allowed a no time on the clock play that won the game.

    If Blandino can’t understand why people are questioning this I can’t help him.

  5. I don’t know what he’s looking at. The thumb grazed the facemask. No finger joint ever hooked around the mask. Rather, even at live speed, it was clear that the jersey was what was being grabbed. This is not a penalty in any universe.

    Blandino needs to be fired.
    #nointegrityofthegame

  6. Of course it wouldnt have been overturned. The people in the booth are just as inept as the officials.

    Football needs full time refs. Officiating an NFL game should be a full time job, not a hobby for a bunch of accountants.

  7. Seems pretty obvious, Dean. The guy laid one finger in Rodgers facemask for a split second then let it go. Maybe you should read your own rule book again. Of course, that implies you’ve already read it, so….

  8. Doesn’t matter because it’s still technically an illegal hand to the face (albeit ticky-tacky), and the hand comes to rest grasping the inside edge of the side of Rodgers’ collar through his jersey and pulls him down, which is technically a horsecollar if (as I think) he’s become outside the “pocket” at that point.

  9. In the interests of competitive balance all future games will be decided by officiating mistakes.

    The past league policy of only deciding some games by egregious officiating errors is obviously unfair and must be corrected.

  10. Did anyone watch the Packer – Viking game two weeks ago when Teddy was face-masked and nothing was called? Objectively speaking, that’s face-masking!

    The refs did their job in this one. Now we need the refs in the Seattle game this weekend to do theirs!

  11. The NFL has certain teams they want to win every Super Bowl and the Packers are one of them. And there are teams the NFL never wants to see win a Super Bowl and the Lions, Browns, Eagles, Vikings and Bills are some of them.

  12. Watching today’s NFL you no longer consider a tackle or touchdown to be the end of a play. We now wait for the arbitrary decision of the men in stripes as to weather or not a penalty should be be included.

  13. I agree with Blandino. The game is fast, I’m sure 90 some percent of the refs would have called that. Personally the third to last play of the game the refs could have called a pass interference on the Lions, giving the Packers field goal range.

  14. Blandino should be fired. Not only does he have no idea what the rule is, he doesn’t have the guts to say an official was wrong even when faced with indisputable visual evidence. So now the standard is that it’s a penalty if it looks like it could have been a penalty? Have some guts.

  15. Whatever happened to the concepts of honesty, sportsmanship and integrity? Blandino is a pathological liar who is incapable of admitting mistakes. The Detroit Lions were dudded last night and the Commissioner and his VP of Officiating couldn’t give a damn.

  16. Keep talking about the facemask and completely disregard the multiple holdings and the most egregious block in the back ever witnessed on the Hail Mary. I needed to take a shower after that game I felt so dirty watching it.

  17. Correct, it wasn’t a facemask as the rule is written; but, his tackle was a horsecollar as the rule is written. Meaning that regardless of the facemask call there was still a 15 yard penalty that should have been enforced against Detroit that still would have given the Packers 1 untimed down, rendering this entire conversation moot.

  18. Florio seems determined to push a controversy here, but I think he’s using some selective interpretation. The way it reads, once you grasp and turn or control the mask it’s a penalty.

    The letting go part doesn’t apply because the helmet was turned. If he let go before he turned or controlled the helmet, then that would come into play. He didn’t have a chance to do that because the momentum of the two going separate ways caused the first little grasp to turn the helmet.

    Bottom line, the finger grasped a bar on the mask and turned the helmet. By the definition, that’s a facemask penalty.

  19. I suppose the 2 PIs they gifted Rogers in the 1st half were PI. NFL officiating is a joke but as long as Blandino and the Fuhrer see no issue it won’t get fixed.

    Without the aid of the refs in numerous spots last night the Packers season is over.

  20. #INTEGRITY (Sound of toilet flushing). Multi-billion dollar product run by a bunch of azz clowns.

  21. They should play football without hands then and just play kick. In this case Rodgers would be kicked in the balls, how’s that? Stupid calls, not only the face mask call but other calls that shouldnt have been called. Pi should have been called in Packers Richard with that long play. He just cuddle the defender not even playing the ball.

  22. If this same play happened to Brady and the Patri*ts the officials would have marched off 30 yards instead of 15. If for no other reason than to stop all their whining and crying.

  23. Baghdad Blandino strikes again.
    The stand up comedian delivers his script on cue….”The league knows better than you…..trust us.”
    (except for understanding cold air effects PSI)

  24. Refs are just as bad at their jobs as Goodell and Jerry Jones are with theirs. Its pathetic. Yea, Im a Lions fan and I notice it every week. They even alter rules so the can keep us down or keep Packers up, whatever. Did anyone notice how many time the Pacers cried for a flag after every throw?? Crazy right?

  25. So, for all of you conspiracy theorists out there, please explain this to me. You are telling me that the referees were trying to fix this game so GB would win. Their plan was to wait until the game had essentially ended to call a phantom facemask penalty, knowing GB would complete a 62 yard Hail Mary on an untimed down? But yet they called the offsides on Peppers earlier in the quarter.

    Tell ya what, that Goodell guy sure is clever. After all, he orchestrated the whole thing, right, conspiracy theorists?

  26. The finger never was hooked into the mask. That’s obvious. Players do have the ability to turn their own head. It can happen.

    The maddening thing is it was a ticky-tack call that completely changed the result of the game. It was over. I’ve never seen a facemask called like that after 0:00 was on the clock. Maybe out of the huddle or something, but on a hopeless play like that??? It’s just bad. Don’t call that and end the game. That would be the right thing. It was not definitively a facemask. Why change the game on that???

  27. We know who won this game. Packers may have the bigger number but Lions won the game, except refs gave it to the Packers. Pathetic rule and refs. I can do a better job than those clown refs.

  28. Just because it’s always called that way doesn’t make it right dean you slime. Every time this j-o speaks he destroys whatever credibility the NFL has left which ain’t much.

  29. Fingers weren’t in the mask, they swiped the mask in a game in which is now touch football. Be a homer, but at least call it the way it is, in this case the video replay showing no fingers in the mask.

    Either way, Green Bay isn’t going far in the playoffs.

    ________________________________________

    diehardpackfan says:
    Dec 4, 2015 8:21 AM
    Fingers in the mask, head turned. Good call.

  30. It’s annoying how many fans blame the refs for their teams losing… You are taking this game way too seriously. I bet the players don’t 100% blame the refs like you do.

    Even if there was no controversial call, there would still be a bunch of sore losers blaming the refs for missing calls. Yeah, they miss calls sometimes, and yeah, sometimes it affects the game at the end, but get over it! The players can move on – why can’t you?

  31. Didn’t see the game live, have only seen the replays…..

    Gee, thanks for the explanation on the facemask, Blindino….now, what about the block in the back on the pass rusher as Rodgers rolls to his right on the final play? OL gets totally beat, never has a hand on the DE until he gives a shove from behind….that makes the Hail Mary even possible given the distance…..horrible, horrible miss.

    Huge credibility problem here Mr. Goddell…. makes you wonder if the rumors are true –“the game is fixed”

  32. The NFL has certain teams they want to win every Super Bowl and the Packers are one of them. And there are teams the NFL never wants to see win a Super Bowl and the Lions, Browns, Eagles, Vikings and Bills are some of them.

    _________________________________

    So, how does the NFL pick these teams?

  33. The refs make enough terrible calls to rip them.This isn`t one of them.The way his hand was on the facemask and his helmet turned is going to get called every time live speed and NO WAY should they be looking to review every play to catch something before they run another play.It was a very close call even on replay so save the fake outrage for plays they actually make terrible calls because as a fan of neither team last night i knew that was getting called without a doubt.

  34. he definitely “controlled the head” of Rodgers by “grasping the facemask” by hooking his thumb around the center bar of the facemask

  35. If the facemask hadn’t been called, you would have seen an uproar by the media over the Packers getting screwed out of a final play, and Blandino would have defended the non-call. It was borderline and probably can be justified either way, depending on who you are rooting for…still doesn’t absolve the Lions of letting a tight end lounge around the three yard line, take a look around, make himself a nice mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich where the mutton is nice and lean, and then go catch a TD pass without so much as his jersey getting brushed.

  36. Give it a rest, Mr. Attorney. It says “control”, which was indicated by the change of position of the head. If the hand was on the face mask and the head did not change position, then he could let go and not be called.

  37. The last time the Packers played the Giants in the playoffs I can clearly recall a Packer had his PINKY graze the side of Eli Mannings helmet as he went for a ball swat. That penalty kept the drive alive and the Packers lost that game.

    Where was your fake outrage then?

  38. Why did the refs keep their flags in their pockets on the Hail Mary play. The offensive line held and blocked in the back….it was undeniable, except to the refs

  39. Good god. Who, when they watched it live, didn’t think it was a face mask. There are calls missed that are ludicrous— all ways But this is one of those that you can understand a competent human making. There were at least 2 flags. That is just a bad break for the lions. Not ridiculous like the Seattle bat. But that was as poorly played a Hail Mary as I have ever seen.

  40. What Blandino keeps forgeting to add is,

    “it would have not been changed…..for Aaron Rodgers”

    It’s clear that the refs have a different standard for Aaron Rodgers then all other qbs.

    Bridgewater gets a blow to the head, AND a grazed face mask, and there is NO call at all.

  41. streetyson says:
    Dec 4, 2015 8:28 AM

    Doesn’t matter because it’s still technically an illegal hand to the face (albeit ticky-tacky), and the hand comes to rest grasping the inside edge of the side of Rodgers’ collar through his jersey and pulls him down, which is technically a horsecollar if (as I think) he’s become outside the “pocket” at that point.

    ————-

    It wasn’t a horsecoller. That’s reaching. Green Bay won because of a call. They had already lost and the game was over and the call saved them. It sucks when games end that way regardless of what the call is and this one was ticky-tack like you said at best.

  42. Why is nobody blaming the athletes who play defense who are paid to prevent a 1 in a million hail Mary pass? Everybody loves to hand off responsibility instead of accepting it. Smh

  43. Seems like Mike Carey always goes with the call on the field and sounds as if he was interrupted from something else…

  44. Blind-Dino strikes again. This guy has been at the forefront of dissecting rules to the point technicalities within the definition are conflicting and taking away from the game. Guy should be canned

  45. Well, I wouldn’t expect anything thing different from Blandino and his merry bandits of idiot officials. After all, officials can’t even figure out what a catch is, there’s nothing to suggest they would know what a facemask is.

  46. I can’t stand Dean Blandino. But he’s right here.

    1. In real time, it was the right call.

    2. On replay, it probably wasn’t a foul.

    3. Overturning on replay requires “indisputable evidence.” “Probably not” isn’t good enough to overturn.

  47. Watching the replay of the penalty on nfl.com, it seems like there was a finger or two that touched the facemask. The fingers briefly graze the facemask, come off the helmet, and Rodgers gets his collar grabbed and tossed to the ground. The last sequence is what seems to cause his head to turn. The call was questionable at best.

    I’m not saying all penalties should be reviewed/reviewable, but it’s not news that our eyes can deceive us sometimes. This is why we have cameras; they don’t lie.

  48. streetyson says:

    Doesn’t matter because it’s still technically an illegal hand to the face (albeit ticky-tacky), and the hand comes to rest grasping the inside edge of the side of Rodgers’ collar through his jersey and pulls him down, which is technically a horsecollar if (as I think) he’s become outside the “pocket” at that point.
    **************************************

    A thumb brushing the bottom of the facemask is not a penalty when attempting to tackle a runner (AR was not functioning as a QB at the point of the call).

    Do you know how often a RB gets his facemask “touched” in the process of a game?

    A horsecollar tackle is when you pull somebody down b7 grasping their collar from behind. Devin Taylor was in front of Rodgers and had a firm grasp of the “12” at the top of Rodgers uniform’s right shoulder.

    There is no pocket when a receiver laterals the ball to the QB after the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage.

    Devin Taylor made a heckuva play to end the game. But the refs decided to make it up as they go…

  49. Watching at full speed, I can see why they made that call. But that’s what a replay should correct. I may be a Packer fan, but that was one heck of an early Christmas gift. Happy for the win, but getting it on such a call makes it sorta unsatisfying.

  50. I would like to see a video from the other side of the field.

    The parts that we currently see.. yes.. it was a questionable call…

    But…

    It looked like his head got further twisted when is back was to the only camera angle we’ve seen.

    The call came in from behind #12 (the right of the above picture)… It wouldn’t surprise me, that Taylor grabbed the facemask a second time, when the camera couldn’t see it, but the ref could.

  51. Equally questionable non-call on pass interference two plays earlier that would have given the Packers a short field goal to win.

    Two questionable calls cancel each other out. The team that executed the best on the last play of the game won.

    Moving on.

  52. Blandino said. “I think when you watch the play live I was just like everybody else. You thought, ‘That’s a facemask,’

    *****************************************
    No Dean, that’s not what everybody thought. I know I didn’t when I saw it live. CAVEAT: I am a Rodgers fan and think he has been the best QB in the NFL for the last 5 years.

    That said, I am convinced that was a bad call. I thought he grabbed the shoulder pad.

  53. sdspec says:

    The last time the Packers played the Giants in the playoffs I can clearly recall a Packer had his PINKY graze the side of Eli Mannings helmet as he went for a ball swat. That penalty kept the drive alive and the Packers lost that game.
    **********************

    Two totally different situations.

    Eli was operating as a QB, and you can’t put hands to the face of a QB while he is back to pass.

    Rodgers was not functioning as a QB in this play. He was only entitled to the same protection as any other player running with the ball.

    The Packers lost this game too. It’s just that the ref’s decided to give Rodgers a birthday present.

  54. Baghdad Blind-dino……the NFL’s stand-up comedian….always good for a laugh.
    How many party bus rides has Blind-dino taken this year?

  55. The Zabras did everything possible to give GB the victory, including a phony face mask call.

  56. Such crying little babies. I’ve seen worse calls nearly every game this season. Doesn’t matter if its the last play or the first one, if it looks like a penalty it should be called. It’s not like that call gave them first and goal or any thing. They still had to gain 65 yards to score. This is just the usual bandwagon hatred. In real time it absolutely looked like the right call…

  57. The Packers lost this game too. It’s just that the ref’s decided to give Rodgers a birthday present.
    ——
    Says the completely objective Viking troll…..

  58. Erin Rodgers should be call the ref whisperer. Need a free play? Get the ball into Rodgers hands and he’ll get you one.

  59. Remember this is coming from the same people who after 80 years still can’t figure out what a catch is.

  60. More like a typical case of a “QB-deemed-elite-by-the-media” crying foul and “getting the call” — Rodgers could “go to the video tape” for the next two weeks and still claim that his mask was held onto and that his head was yanked lol Simply Unreal.

  61. Of course, Goodell is loving this because it deflects the attention from his sorry narcissistic face. And you can expect Goodell to come out with a statement how he has convened yet another useless non-committee made up of current individuals who will provide guidance to the competition committee.
    And in unison we will all sing, glory to Goodell. He’s our savior.

  62. For once, we have a clear rule, written in plain english, that you don’t need a lawyer to decipher, and a clear replay that clearly shows the rule wasn’t violated. And this JAMF is suggesting the call STILL wouldn’t have been overturned? If that’s the case, then why even have a rule book at all? Just make a random call as the ref sees fit, based on his own interpretation of what should or should’t be a violation. Sure, that would provide more integrity for the game. What an idiotic statement.

    Blandino needs to get fired TODAY.

  63. It’s not a facemask as written, it’s a facemask because they have to bail out the Packers’ season from being a total disaster.

  64. denverdude7 says:
    Dec 4, 2015 8:49 AM
    If this same play happened to Brady and the Patri*ts the officials would have marched off 30 yards instead of 15. If for no other reason than to stop all their whining and crying.

    Denver dude, Everyone knows the call on Pat Chung in the end zone to deliver the game to the Broncos was a joke. There’s nothing to whine about, people are just stating the obvious. Tony Corrente’s crew wanted to please the home crowd & in doing so the Broncos got a tainted victory.

    It will just make the inevitable playoff pounding the Pats will deliver to the Broncos (assuming they can beat the Colts this year), all the sweeter.

  65. When my vikes get spanked by seattle this weekend we will be back in second place. I guess it is better than 3rd or 4th where we usually are.

  66. sdspec says:
    Dec 4, 2015 8:59 AM
    The last time the Packers played the Giants in the playoffs I can clearly recall a Packer had his PINKY graze the side of Eli Mannings helmet as he went for a ball swat. That penalty kept the drive alive and the Packers lost that game.

    Where was your fake outrage then?
    —-
    Yeah… By 20 in a game that wasn’t even that close.

  67. Dean found a perfect place to sit on the fence so he can do no wrong. Either “it’s always called that way” or “that’s exactly what the rule book says.” Life is good for that hack. Any one of us could be dean blandeano

  68. What an awful, petty call. Blandino cannot justify this. However, the defence the Lions called on the last play was worse. There were more Packers than Lions in the vicinity when the ball came down.

    That said, Rodgers made that throw look easy. What a cannon!

  69. Can’t blame the refs for that loss. In real time, it looked like a facemask. Blame Caldwell for not rushing at least four on the last play to keep Rodgers in the pocket and for not putting Johnson back there, and blame the DBs for leaving the Packer’s tallest player uncovered. Still, it’s hard not to feel bad for the LIons fans as they seem to be on the wrong end of controversial calls alot lately.

  70. My brother texted me this AM and said “All the headlines are talking about a controversial call instead of the great play that ended the game. That’s the NFL today.”

    I texted him back…
    “You mean the play that never should have happened? That’s the issue.” The Packers tried a hook and ladder, it failed, and Rodgers was tackled with zero seconds left on the clock. Game over. But wait! A FLAG! The announcers even get excited about it now. Jim Nance last night announced with glee, as though a football team had just made a fantastic play to extend the game. “Ohhhhh GAME IS NOT OVER!”

    There is absolutely NO reason the league shouldn’t have a central command by now. There is, for the most part, ample time to get the right calls between plays with the way technology is these days.

    Vegas will force them into doing so next year I think. No reason not to at this point.

    Side note… has anyone ever noticed a really really tiny smiley face at the bottom center of this site’s page? I just noticed a few seconds ago.

  71. The real question is if this happened to Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles you really think they would throw the flag? That’s right, this flag was thrown because it was Aaron Rodgers.

  72. paulrevereshorse1775 says:
    Dec 4, 2015 9:33 AM

    Notwithstanding the points my fantasy team needed Rodgers to score for me, that wrongly called face mask penalty cost the Lions another game.

    If you read between the lines of what Blind-ino is actually saying, the point is that the league likes these rules that allow for judgment of a call to go either way as a “close call”, so they can justify whichever way it was called.

  73. Dear NFL Fans,
    You have just fallen down the slippery slope and enetered into Goodell’s World. the place where you BELIEVE what the NFL tells you, despite what your eyes, mind and logic say different.

    You bought into the BIG LIE when they did a FULL SCALE assault on your intelligence with Deflate Gate. Now you see the effects of the CONTROL and MANIPLATION that the NFL have given themselves = A Catch is a Catch when THEY say it is a Catch. Green Bay losing, No Problem Face Mask Flag.
    Patriots are going to win against the Broncos = No Problem TWO Bogus Flags and the Broncos are given the game.
    And remember, the Refs can look away from obvious holding against the Broncos and allow Brock to throw the winning TD.

    This is just the beginning of how the NFL will be controlling game outcomes for THEIR DESIRED END.

  74. Why are people outraged by this? If there was no face mask why did Rodgers helmet get turned?

    Do you think Rodgers would go down that easily if he wasn’t yanked by the helmet? I don’t think an arm tackle gets him down there.

  75. Questionable call for sure,

    but there were 8 calls or non-calls in the Patriots-Broncos game that were clearly worse than that one,

    and all 8 went against the visiting team

  76. Blind-ino’s explanation doesn’t even mesh with the written rule, how stupid is that. You would think the idiot would’ve at least formulated an explanation AFTER reading the rule so that he wouldn’t sound so damn stupid. Didn’t have a dog in this fight but absolutely despise bad officiating in any game and the Lions got hosed.

  77. jwcarlson says:
    Dec 4, 2015 9:50 AM

    Side note… has anyone ever noticed a really really tiny smiley face at the bottom center of this site’s page? I just noticed a few seconds ago.
    ——–

    I don’t see it, looking at both my PC (and I have a huge screen) and phone

  78. sdspec says:
    Dec 4, 2015 8:37 AM
    I love the title, “Motor City Miracle”. It’s so catchy.
    —————————————————————————–

    Motor City Murder is more fitting for what happened last night.

  79. Great example here of how blowing major calls on a consistent basis creates a snowball effect where every borderline call becomes a controversy.

    But the talk of replay reviews of plays like that is scary because they botch reviews as frequently as they botch the original calls. Anybody thinking things would improve markedly if every play was reviewable is kidding himself: We’d just get endless controversies over why some got overturned while other ones stood. And NOTHING looks worse than a review overturning what was arguably the right call to begin with. But if you venture into major expansions of what can be reviewed you’re inviting that to happen more and more often.

  80. The ref who threw the flag was behind Rogers and therefore never saw the phantom mask contact. Funny how the ref saw something that didn’t happen from a position he couldn’t make a judgement on to begin with.
    Even more puzzling, why did this same ref ignore the holding and the block in the back penalties on the OL on the subsequent gift play.
    This league is so dirty

  81. they might as well change the rule to read: you can’t touch the face mask in any way, shape, or form. because that is basically what Blandino is saying when he says that what occurred last night is always called a face mask penalty

  82. This probably happens to every team, but it sures seems to happen to the Lions a lot. A penalty is erroneously called against the Lions, so the next year they change the rules making the call correct after the fact.

    The Calvin Johnson non-catch is a classic example. Prior to that officiating screw up, all a receiver needed to do was something, anything, after a catch to show that he had secured the ball. Calvin had caught the ball and secured it, and then used it to stop himself from falling to the ground.

    Using the ball as a support was a secondary move proving that the reception was complete. Subsequently to that screw up the league changed the rules to say ‘The process of catching a ball requires securing the ball for at least 30 minutes. Anything less may be ruled an incompletion.”

  83. Kinda funny, nobody in the bar I was at gave a rat’s putoot about the facemask call, including Lions fans, until the Detroit D failed on what amounted to a 4th and goal from the Packers 38.

  84. Maybe nobody remembers or cares but there was a facemask call against a GB O-lineman that closely resembled the call at the end of the game. If that call hadn’t been made perhaps the Packers would have been in Victory formation at that time, nobody knows. Why aren’t Lions fans complaining about that call?

  85. Even if it was t a facemask, then it’s a horse collar tackle. Either way it’s a penalty.

  86. Even if it was t a facemask, then it’s a horse collar tackle. Either way it’s a penalty.

    —————————

    Lolol wrong. Nowhere near a horse collar tackle

  87. Fire this guy already! The last 3 seasons I can’t even tell you the blown calls that effected the outcomes of games.

    NFL is started to look like Vince Mcmahon is running the show.

  88. diehardpackfan says:
    Dec 4, 2015 8:21 AM
    Fingers in the mask, head turned. Good call.

    ******************
    Wrong. Horrible/Typical Packer favoring call.
    Finger BRUSHED the face-mask, and went to Jersey/collar, which was grapsed and yanked and turned his entire body INCLUDING his head. They saw his entire upper body and head turn around and ASSUMED it was a face-mask, and than Karen lobbied for the call and AS USUAL he got it.

    This was NOT a face mask, and the Lions were robbed, and the entire playoff field may end up being modified because of it.

    Most egregious bad call of the year in the NFL.

  89. A finger touched the front of the face mask and it giggled. If that’s a face mask then 90% of the tackles to running backs are a face mask. The Lions got robbed but had a chance to win twice but botched the last play. Take a timeout and gather your team and get them ready to fight for the Hail Mary. Caldwell is out at the end of the year.

  90. Let’s just be honest about this.
    It was called because it was Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers.
    If it happened to Stafford, no call would have been made, even if it WAS facemasking, which it was NOT.

    Nobody spoke out about the Non-call where Bridgewater was HAULED down by his face-mask in the Vikings game, effectively ending their drive and the game.

    Why wasn’t it called when it was CLEAR face-mask?

    Because Teddy Bridgewater is NOT Aaron Rodgers.

    Period.

    As in “You’re not old enough to get that call, Cam” – Ed Hochuli

  91. Do we need any more evidence to prove that Blandino is even more incompetent than the officials he is in charge of?…

    Good Lord! It’s sad when officials make mistakes… But it’s an insult to Fans when you cannot even admit an obvious mistake.

  92. Detroit Fans
    Just accept your letter from the NFL next week admitting their mistake and move on as the Ravens had to. Only bad calls that matter are when it happens to Brady’s team.

  93. The ball had been lateraled back from beyond the line of scrimmage, making rodgers a runner. All the qb rules were out the window about touching his head irrelevant. Lions got screwed again

  94. farmmbig says:
    Dec 4, 2015 11:08 AM

    Do we need any more evidence to prove that Blandino is even more incompetent than the officials he is in charge of?…

    Good Lord! It’s sad when officials make mistakes… But it’s an insult to Fans when you cannot even admit an obvious mistake.

    ——————————–

    Insult to fans??? I didn’t know such a thing was possible. Most fans don’t know whether the ball is blown up or stuffed. Take away alcohol and gambling and see who’s left.

  95. As High School officials– We were always instructed to makes sure penalties are obvious and certain before throwing a flag…

    If only the NFL would direct their officials in the same manner.

    #incompetence

  96. Detroit lost for two reasons and one of them is bigger than the other.

    1. Caldwell let off the gas and they went into turtle mode. Playing not to lose is never a good idea. (small one)

    2. Phantom face mask call. Look at the rule and watch the play. NOT A FACE MASK. Ref that was behind got fooled by Erins acting job and the fact that his helmet was so loose it moved around when he started throwing his tantrum.

    NFL is going to have to go NHL and make all plays reviewable at the league office, otherwise they are headed more toward WWE.

  97. I’m a Pat’s fan and the Lions clearly got screwed. I feel for them. The ref couldn’t even see the play. It looked like it was *maybe* a facemask in real-time, but the ref didn’t *know* it was a facemask. How could he – it wasn’t.

    The philosophy of the refs should also change. “Ticky-tack” violations should never be called. Also, if there’s any doubt about it, it shouldn’t be called. Only blatant, egregious violations should be called. That would speed up the game and take the outcome out of the refs hands and put it back into the players hands, where it belongs.

  98. As High School officials– We were always instructed to makes sure penalties are obvious and certain before throwing a flag…

    If only the NFL would direct their officials in the same manner.
    =================================

    This is what I’m talking about….

  99. For all you Lions fans complaining about the face mask, here’s an idea:

    1.) Don’t blow a 20 point lead at home to a team that is reeling

    2.) Don’t give up a 60 yard td on the last play of the game on a hail mary. Literally that is one of the easiest play to defend.

    Then the face mask call would have either not happened, or been irrelevant.

  100. “Cant touch the QB head at all. Facemask may have been the wrong but it was still a penalty for touching AR in the head”

    you are forgetting that Rodgers was a runner in that situation. He wasn’t in the pocket, he received the third or fourth lateral in a desperation play. He is afforded no more rights than nay runner – and you see defenders graze the facemask of a runner quite often.

    What I think we are all ignoring is that the official was behind the play and called what he thought he saw. A hand that in fact did touch the facemask and a head turning.

    I was not surprised it was called. But then for the first time ever I read the actual ruling. Now I’m very surprised that Blandino would admit that call would be made every time.

    In other words, the refs will make the wrong call every time because it looks like it could be a facemask. Based on player safety we’re going call it unless we can be sure it isn’t.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with that, if he said it that way. Just don’t lie and say if it were reviewable it would still be called. If that SHOULD be called, then the rule needs to bve re-written.

    I wish at least one Packer fan would acknowledge that as written, it was not a penalty. But as frequently misinterpreted, it is.

    (And drop the dumb horse collar claim. It makes you sound really ignorant. That’s not what a horse collar tackle is and you all know it.)

  101. Let’s be clear, Blandino was NOT RESPONDING to a question from a media shill–HE TWEATED OUT this very flawed opinion. This is not good.

    I don’t blame the refs for the call, it looked to most in live speed as if the replay would verify the facemask was grabbed and pulled. But replay showed this not to be the case, Blandino very uncharacteristically took it upon himself to defend what by NFL rules was an incorrect decision by the two refs who threw the flags.

  102. Allow me to be blunt. If you say that when you watched that live at full speed, saw Taylor’s hand around Rodgers’ face mask, say Rodgers’ head whip back, and then saw his helmet sitting half way across his face and DIDN’T think that was a face mask BEFORE you saw the replay, you’re lying.

    You may be lying to yourself, but you’re lying.

    Now, if your argument is that replay should be used on a play like that and it should have been overturned, that’s a better argument.

  103. Blandino is just a mouthpiece for defending anything the NFL refs do. His god-like declarations that certain calls did not affect games when everyone knows he couldn’t possibly know that and that he’s just blowing smoke. Now he is declaring it would not have been turned over in replay when once again, he does not have that knowledge. The guys is a moron, never reffed a game in his life, has spent 20 years in an office, and this guy is in charge of reffing and also in charge of whether or not calls are overturned. That’s like getting a doctor who only read books in his life to perform brain surgery. He is unqualified for the position and unqualified to make decisions on calls.

  104. Wow, how can Blandino say crap like that…it wasn’t a face mask according to the ‘rules’.
    If challenged, it would have been over turned…no doubt! There is no phantom finger in his face mask, as Blandino says…he is just muddling the water to cover up the ineptitude of the refs.

  105. So everyone knows that was a blown call even packers fans admit it was a blown call but they will take the win which is fine any fan would. nfl in damage control, lol with all these excuses and the refs its ridiculous … goodell has ruined the game honestly to many negative stories about the nfl since he became comish, he is actually the worst commish ever, and i thought noone would ever top selig mlb old commish . Goodel has to be the most hated comish of all time

  106. So many comments about seeing this video, that video or more angels. How about ref makes call and we live with it? Then we have a 2 1/2-3 hour games.

    Yeah, we’ll still scream about bad calls but that’s just part of the game.

    Rant over…

  107. Blandino is just a stooge the league trots out as a sacrificial lamb. Like Goodell, only at a lower pay grade.
    They are aware the officiating sucks, but don’t care. Much like they don’t really care about concussions or player safety or off-field incidents.
    They will pay lip-service but until the bottom line is truly affected, it is a mild inconvenience.

  108. Nah even full speed you could tell his face mask wasnt grabbed, now if it was full speed from behind rodgers yes you would call fase maske, but even full speed u see his hand grabe his shoulders, with a finger slapping the facemask in the process, so if a finger can graze a facemask n be called for a flag, u can throw that flag for that reason on 70 percent of tackles.. mark cuban was right nfl is going to go down hill soon fans are getting fed up..

  109. Translation: “Even in the face of incontrovertible video evidence, we will not admit that we were wrong or that our criteria for this, and many other situations, are too difficult to adequately assess and reach the correct conclusion by our current officiating structure.”

    Right or wrong, when you arrive to a point where a controversial call directly determines the outcome of a game, sometimes more, every week, you have a problem.

    Boooooooooooooooo!

  110. “Blandino suggests replay review of facemask call wouldn’t have changed it
    ============================
    Last play of game??? I call B.S.”

    Last play? Were you in the bathroom or something? There was one untimed play after that. It was the one that determined the outcome of the game. Duh!

  111. Some years ago the league eliminated the 5 yard “incidental” facemask, and made all of them 15 yard penalties.

    With that should have come the notion that in order to throw the flag it has to be a real grab and twist, not some incidental grazing that had no impact on the play.

    If this was indeed a facemask, this penalty should be called dozens of times every game, including on a lot of stiff arms by offensive players, plays in the trenches, etc. But the overwhelming majority of those are never flagged.

    Under review this play never should have held up, and the Lions won that game.

  112. Allow me to be blunt. If you say that when you watched that live at full speed, saw Taylor’s hand around Rodgers’ face mask, say Rodgers’ head whip back, and then saw his helmet sitting half way across his face and DIDN’T think that was a face mask BEFORE you saw the replay, you’re lying.

    You may be lying to yourself, but you’re lying.

    ==================================

    No, I was watching the game. It looked like it could be a facemask, but it wasn’t like you could see the hand grabbing the facemask or anything. Why? Because it didn’t happen. It was not plain as day. It was not obvious. It was more like “was that a facemask? Not sure”. How can you say it was a facemask when it didn’t happen? What am I missing here?

  113. carloswlassiter says:
    Dec 4, 2015 12:08 PM

    How many times can the Lions get screwed in one season?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ANSWER : 17

    Once for each game of the season and one more should they make it to the Playoffs.

  114. You’re right, but the rule is written now to penalize the offender 15 yards for that incidental contact. I might agree with you that the NFL needs to look at this in the off season and make it a more overt action to justify the penalty, but as the rule is currently written, Taylor’s inadvertent, thumb-catches-the-facemask requires that a penalty be called there.

    I’m not a Pack fan. I would have preferred it if the Lions won, but it was a penalty and Detroit lost due to a huge mistake on the ensuing hail Mary. They had no defenders between Rodgers and Rodgers. There is absolutely no reason to play prevent D and keep all your defenders behind the deepest receiver in the friggin end zone. Duh!

  115. Ask Blandino why the face mask grab by the Broncos, clearly evident in photos, on their last touchdown pass to take the lead against the Patriots wasn’t called? It was blatant. The offensive lineman was beat. It was a crucial time in the game and came after several questionable calls against the Patriots to stop them from wrapping up a win.

  116. I’m so tired of everyone wanting the refs to pitch a perfect game. People want the human element completely removed from the sport, which is why I have watched the least amount of football this year than I ever have in my 30 years as a fan.

    If baseball ever goes to the automated strike zone that they have been testing, that would be the last time I watch a baseball game. It’s the same story, trying to take the human element out which is a huge part of the game and what has made it what it is.

    The NFL has gotten to the point lately that we talk more about the refs than the games themselves. Fact is, there are ref errors in every sport at every level. Period.

    I mean think about it….I’ve seen replays where they are challenging a sideline catch. And they will call you out of bounds if the tip of your cleat touches a white blade of grass. It is getting wayyyyy too technical now. Let them play for goodness sake and keep the human element a factor.

    With all of that being said, I’m not saying get rid of instant replay. But just keep it to a few per game and anything can be challenged. Have the coaches decide what is most important to challenge.

    The way it is now, the flow of the game has severely suffered. Too many flags, 5 minutes under the hood, ref conferences on the field, etc.

    Let them play!

  117. You want to say that live the plays looks like a facemask then ok, most of us would agree.

    But to say that this play doesn’t get overturned on replay?!?Since this is the guy in the refs ears for replays now, I can see why we have so many inexplicable replay results.

  118. Mike Pereira also agrees that it was a facemask. Basically that makes it everyone with the knowledge to know the rule thinks it was a facemask. Everyone who has no clue (99% of the media and fans) thinks it was…

  119. what a bunch of bs. I am so sick of the referees that I am no longer watching the NFL and canceling my Lions season tickets as of today. Are you serious that you are going to take that game from us over that call? Im done!

    Later

  120. To add on to my comments above, almost every football fan knows who Dean Blandino is. That should tell you all you need to know about the state of this game.

    5, 10 or 15+ years ago, nobody had even a remote clue who the head of officiating was. The fact that we know is a joke. This game has become such a media circus that the game is secondary now. Instead we know about what kind of legal trouble the players are in, who the head of officiating is, etc.

    Sad.

  121. I do not know what Blandino was looking at, if you do a replay you will clearly see he does not have the face mask and the official is behind the play, he cannot see the defenders hand, which was on his shoulder pad and not his face mask, the NFL is becoming a joke. The officials are sorry the commissioner is sorry, bad leadership, yes they are making money, but they are blinded by the money, because the product will soon lose its value, if they are not careful. Have you ever heard Blandino go against any of the calls the officials made?

  122. Let’s be clear, Blandino was NOT RESPONDING to a question from a media shill–HE TWEATED OUT this very flawed opinion. This is not good.
    —————
    You know this how? You are not privy to his direct messages. Also, if you look at his timeline, he has done this for many calls during prime time games.

  123. A blind man can see that his finger was not in the Face Mask. Jim Caldwell should have been going ballistic on the sideline, the official is out of position they do not know how to move into position, so they make calls on assumptions, his head turned so I assumed he had the face mask, you have to see the call and not assumed. The NFL is headed down hill if they do OT fix this mess. Everybody is focused on the money, but the product is getting worse, with all the rules that go against the defense, football is headed for a great fall, if the owners do not open their eyes and fix this mess.

  124. Officials need to review ALL replays in real time. No more slowing down the tape. This will make helmet hits easier to judge, and more importantly will make catching the ball easier to rule what is a “catch”.

  125. No, I was watching the game. It looked like it could be a facemask, but it wasn’t like you could see the hand grabbing the facemask or anything. Why? Because it didn’t happen. It was not plain as day. It was not obvious. It was more like “was that a facemask? Not sure”. How can you say it was a facemask when it didn’t happen? What am I missing here?

    __________________________________

    Well, what you are missing is the referee didn’t have the benefit of the zoomed in camera angle in slow motion. I don’t know what the referees are taught as far as a standard for calling penalties, but I’ve never heard that a penalty has to be obvious and it’s plainly evident that obvious in not the standard used in the NFL.

    That said, I am of the opinion that if this type of play were subject to review, it would have been reversed. The question is how much of a grinding halt do you want to bring every game down to? I don’t know how many of you watched the end of the Wisconsin/Northwestern game a couple weeks ago, but I think the last 30 seconds of that game took 15 minutes.

  126. “If a player grasps an opponent’s facemask, he must immediately release it. If he does not immediately release it and controls his opponent, it is a foul.””

    Blown call. Blandino has never been an NFL official. How did he get that job as their boss?

  127. I have umpired and ref basketball games, you have to get in the right position, in other words as an official you cannot just stand in one place. Officials do not move, I see it in baseball the umpire is behind the play. how about they just put flags on the QB’s? A blind man can see that was not a face mask.

  128. Fantasy football is keeping the league alive at this point. I have no doubts about this.

    Think about it. Take fantasy football out of this equation and nobody would care anymore about this extremely poor product that is out on the field.

    Sadly, I think Mark Cuban was right.

  129. Guess I’m old school. I think it’s important that if you call a facemask penalty, you should actually ‘see’ the facemask being contacted. Watching the play in slow motion, it’s perfectly clear that Rodgers was grabbed by the shoulder pad. It wasn’t his head that was turned, it was his whole upper body. Yanking on a shoulder pad will do that to a person. There was no ‘grazing’ of the face mask. There was no pinky in grill. How can anybody looking at a replay of that play see anything else. I’m not a Lions fan, and have no stake in the call at all, but I’m am concerned at the lack of quality referees the NFL puts out on the field. Most poor calls eventually get corrected due to replays, and yet we still have games impacted by poor officiating. And, even then, I can probably live with a few bad calls, because, honestly, it’s a tough job. But don’t go out there after a colossal goof, and claim it’s anything other than just that…a colossal goof. Lions take a hit, but they weren’t going to make the playoffs anyway. The call did, however, save the Packers season. I would bet that next year, this will be a reviewable play, God help us poor fans.

  130. In slowmo replay, it was not a facemask, or at least doesn’t look to be a facemask. Though in real time, and from the camera angle tv viewers had (which was the same view the sidejudge had who threw the flag) , it’s hard to tell whether the player got his thumb caught in his facemask rather than him merely grazing the facemask and quickly releasing, and with Rodger’s head getting turned around, one can see how it got called. No one likes to win on bad refereeing (well, not all of us), but on almost every play if not every play there are infractions by both sides that go uncalled or ticky tacky borderline infractions that get called but shouldn’t. That’s the human element of the game. Sometimes it works to your favor, sometimes not. Case in point: Fail Mary game where the NFL later admitted that DPI should’ve been called on Tate. We could whine and moan at referees, but we should direct it to our team. If the Packers or any other team have to rely on referees making all the right calls in order to win, then they didn’t do enough by their play on the field to deserve to win. Packers didn’t deserve to win this game, but they did. That’s how it goes. Still was an incredible final play, despite the incorrect call that set it up.

  131. I wonder why nobody is making a big deal about the missed pass interference that kept the Packers out of their kicker’s range.

  132. We could whine and moan at referees, but we should direct it to our team. If the Packers or any other team have to rely on referees making all the right calls in order to win, then they didn’t do enough by their play on the field to deserve to win.

    —————————

    A few days late, but the problem with refereeing, and why it’s standing out more than ever, is that teams are getting more and more mediocre. Back in the day, if the 12-4 cowboys were playing the 2-14 Buccaneers, and a couple of bad calls are made, no big deal – the Cowboys were going to win regardless of which way the bad calls went (for or against).

    We are going to have most teams massed around the center here pretty soon, so that every bad call has more and more ramifications to the outcome. The irony is the players are more athletic than they have ever been, coached up to the nines, but the talent is spread around so evenly that the outcome of the game is in hands of people other than the players.

    As for the “facemask”, and I’m amazed I haven’t seen it anywhere other than where I have commented, is that it was a COMBINATION of a leveraging the facemask (slightly) AND somewhat of a blow to the head. The contact, IN GENERAL, made Rodger’s helmet move, to the point of a flag.

    Do I like that rule? No.

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