Carl Cheffers: Replay official determined Darius Slay was down by contact

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The play that proved decisive in the Vikings-Lions game started with an interception and ended with a possible fumble. Officials ruled that Lions cornerback Darius Slay was down by contact; the decision, which seemed to be sufficiently close to justify a replay review, wasn’t reviewed.

More specifically, it wasn’t subject to a full-blown replay review. Referee Carl Cheffers told a pool reporter after the 16-13 victory by the Lions that the replay official confirmed the ruling on the field, obviating the need for a full-blown replay review.

That’s fine, but here’s what that explanation means: The replay official determined that there was indisputable visual evidence that the call was correct. That’s a very high standard. Anything less than that requires the replay official to deter to the referee, who then will search for indisputable visual evidence that the ball was coming loose before Slay’s knee or leg hit the ground.

Because a full-blown replay review didn’t happen, the CBS broadcast operation didn’t have a chance to present and to search for the kind of multiple angles that eventually could provide a decisive view, one way or the other. The limited views presented before the next snap happened didn’t seem to be definitive. Absent a clear look that Slay was down before the ball was moving, Cheffers should have been the one to make the decision.

12 responses to “Carl Cheffers: Replay official determined Darius Slay was down by contact

  1. They showed the replay a few times….. I was pretty sober at this point and I thought the ball clearly came out after his knee was down. Now the P.I. Call, I would like the to hear the explanation on. That was horrendous.

  2. Blandino tweeted a pretty clear video/screencap showing his knee was down and the ball secured in his hands.

    I’m sure Cheffers would have loved the chance to screw over the Lions again. You may remember he was the official that called the phantom facemask just before the Rodgers hail mary, from behind the play with no view of it.

  3. They didn’t go for a full blown review because it wasn’t close. It was clear in real time that the knee was down and it was clear on video, too. Why waste time? That said, aren’t ALL turnovers required to be reviewed?

  4. “We’d be 11-0 if it weren’t for the bad calls.”

    That was my inebriated Viking-fan brother-in-law…. with crow crumbs falling out of his mouth.

    He started whining at about the same time I started laughing. He then pouted….”stop it…personal foul!”

    Fair enough. I then said, “Maybe next year.” He grinned and showed me his t-shirt. Sure enough, it read: Maybe Next Year.

    There’s a lot of those shirts in Minnesota.

  5. Sadly, it was indisputable that he was down by contact. While we’re being honest, it was even more obvious that the PI call that gave us our first touchdown was textbook good coverage. We shoulda been down by 14 right there. Anyway, at least we kept it close.

  6. Hi. Lions fan here. It’s a lame explanation. This play was essentially the entire ballgame as the Lions would have the ball on the Vikings 20 with 30+ seconds left in a tie game -OR- the Vikings would get the ball back in the same spot and could play for overtime. You can’t possibly watch that play in real-time or even slow-motion from any angle and say there wasn’t any question and he was obviously down. It was extremely close and absolutely warranted a review. The NFL refs booted it on this one. The Vikings called time-out before the next play was run to still give the replay officials a chance to acknowledge their screw-up and they still didn’t announce a review. Just a boneheaded job in front of most of the football (and non-football) nation.

    In the meantime, I’m personally enjoying watching these kardiac kitties play some ball! How in the heck do you comeback in the 4th qtr EVERY freaking game? Woot! Go Lions!

  7. oh stellar maybe next year for the purple, but sadly we all know not this or next year for your packers.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  8. I don’t think it’s Cheffer’s call. I thought all replays within the last 2min comes from the booth. So if the booth doesn’t buzz down, then there’s nothing Cheffers can do.

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