NFL decided not to formally review Derrick Henry touchdown


With the Titans up by seven on Monday night and in position to burn up the clock and exit with a win, running back Derrick Henry broke a 72-yard touchdown run — giving Tennessee a 14-point victory.

Coincidentally, the Titans were favored by seven or 7.5 points to win, and the touchdown allowed them to cover the spread.

Henry came dangerously close to stepping out of bounds with a left foot, both at the Tennessee 44 and the Tennessee 49. A formal replay review never happened, and ESPN didn’t even mention the possibility that Henry had been out of bounds.

According to a league spokesman, it was determined that a closer look wasn’t necessary. Arguably, however, the game should have been stopped to ensure that Henry didn’t step out of bounds.

Apparently (and this didn’t come from the league but from someone familiar with how things work there), the standard for not ordering full replay review is the mirror image of the standard for overturning a ruling on the field. Basically, there must be clear and obvious evidence the ruling was correct to avoid an examination of whether there is clear and obvious evidence the ruling was not correct.

Discretion exists where the play will have no significant impact on the outcome of the game. In this case, however, the impact came not on the outcome of the game but on the outcome of the wagering on the game. With the NFL moving a team to Las Vegas and with a sense that legalized sports wagering is inevitable, the league needs to be cognizant of meaningless scores that actually are meaningful, and to ensure that they are valid and proper scoring plays.

It’s entire possible that Henry remained inbounds. But it was close enough to take a second look, and it definitely was close enough for any of the many ESPN employees who have eyes on the field to have noticed it and mentioned it to the guys in the booth.

26 responses to “NFL decided not to formally review Derrick Henry touchdown

  1. How does this article get written without acknowledging that every scoring play is supposedly reviewed no matter what? The NFL rules are such a mess: The NFL brass doesn’t know them, the officials themselves don’t know them, and the writers covering the game don’t know them.

  2. Perception is reality in this world and the perception has never been stronger that the NFL is fixed.

    No integrity = no future.

  3. brwmstr says:
    October 17, 2017 at 12:51 pm
    I thought ALL scoring plays were reviewed?!?

    All scoring plays are subject to review, they are not automatically reviewed.

  4. They also for some reason lacked a proper camera angle for that sideline … I remember a lengthy review earlier in the game where they had every angle, but not that one.

  5. The fix is in. NFL has been fixing the scores to cover/not cover the spread for years. I blatantly obvious the refs and officials are fixing scores for sports betting. Been that way for years.

  6. get a football card, and watch the games, you will see that its rigged, not every game, but the games that a team can cover and still win the game, Vegas makes a phone call, and 4th quarter becomes money making time for the bookies

  7. Fans have been led to believe that all scoring plays are reviewed. “Subject to review” has been interpreted by almost everyone who watches and more importantly, comments on football to mean “are reviewed.” Sometimes it takes only a couple seconds and the extra point is just as quick as if no review at all happened, but it has been implied that all scores are reviewed. This is a bad look.

  8. Everyone must have been wondering about that(I was). They review all scoring plays and, more often than not, over analyze them to the point where teams get robbed(The Jets this past Sunday) or it just kills the momentum of the game…I thought they may have had a quick look off camera last night, but I guess not.

    Of course, with my luck the guy I was playing against in fantasy had D. Henry as his flex; I was winning by 10…ended up losing by 4 points!

  9. As a guy who had Indy +7.5 last night, I can guarantee you I would’ve called holding somewhere in that run, and I have way more integrity than and NFL official I promise. Lol

  10. Subject to review means if it looks close at first glance then review it. If he had gone down the middle of the field and did not appear to toss the ball away before reaching the goal line there would be no reason to review the play. THAT play absolutely should have been reviewed because he was extremely close to the sideline. There is no excuse to not reviewing that play and it doesn’t matter what the score is. The fact that the league does stuff like this, the ridiculous ruling on the Jets TD and on average 1-3 baffling decisions on reviewed plays per week almost forces fans to conclude the NFL makes calls based on factors other than what actually happens on the field. I do not think that the league actually rigs games based on the spread, but there is no question that they rig them based on making the games close (keeping eyes on TVs) and based on who they want to see in the playoffs. In this case, it looks like the Titans have a better shot than the Colts do and the more teams in playoff contention means the advertising slots are more valuable to the networks who would be more willing to pay stupid prices to renew broadcasting contracts. Stuff like this is ruining the game. Fans of every team want fair contests. I have no problem with a call being reversed against my team as long as I can see the right call was made.

  11. “Discretion exists where the play will have no significant impact on the outcome of the game. In this case, however, the impact came not on the outcome of the game but on the outcome of the wagering on the game.”
    I understand the need to review to determine the outcome based on performance on the field. But review to understand if a team can cover the spread? Slippery slope Florio. Games are paid to get to the Super Bowl, not line a pocket. They rely on talent and teamwork on the field and not whether a player fills a fantasy need or as a whole they complete a betting line. Winning games counts. if they fill another need along the way, so be it. That’s the nature of entertainment but the business of football has to come first.

  12. I saw this and thought the same thing, but on one of the first replays shown by ESPN, you can see the Colts’ sideline in the background. Not one player pointed or flipped out as Henry came close to the sideline, which to me means that it wasn’t even close.

  13. So did he go out of bounds? I’m sure whoever wrote this has acces to replay. If he didn’t , why write this? Stir up a controversy for no reason. Their is a ref that watches the out of bounds line on plays to the sideline. If he didn’t step out , whoever wrote this is a troll

  14. The review of this play would have not served any purpose for the New England Patriots. Hence no reason to review it.

  15. Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    October 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm
    The fact that the league does stuff like this, the ridiculous ruling on the Jets TD

    You mean that play where ASJ fumbled and it clearly wasn’t a TD?
    You are referring to the correct play but you are woefully incorrect in interpreting what happened. The rule is indisputable evidence the call was wrong must be found in order to overturn it. That obviously hasn’t happened as people with no skin in the game (two of which were in charge of officiating) are arguing that it was a TD. By definition that call should have stood as called…which was a TD. I could argue how the call on the field was correct but I don’t even need to because the league could not meet their own standard yet overturned the call anyway…which circles back to my main point in the post you pulled that excerpt from.

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