NFL admits flag was wrongly picked up on hit to Baker Mayfield’s head

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The NFL has admitted that the official who threw a flag on a hit to the head taken by Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield made the right call, and should not have been overruled by the other officials.

In his weekly video, NFL head of officiating Al Riveron showed the hit from Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead. Riveron said the hit actually should have been flagged for two reasons.

“We had a flag on this play and we incorrectly picked it up after we had a conference by the officials,” Riveron said. “He lowers his head to initiate contact, and he does make contact, so that right there is a foul in itself. No. 2, as we can see, the quarterback starts to slide, and even though he slides late, he is still afforded protection from forcible contact to the neck and head area. And there is your contact, so that is a foul for two reasons. No. 1, lowering your head to initiate contact. And No. 2, forcible contact to a quarterback who has given himself up in the head or neck area.”

It’s unclear what was said in the conference by the officials that resulted in a hit that should have been two penalties being ruled no penalty at all. But the officials botched this one.

39 responses to “NFL admits flag was wrongly picked up on hit to Baker Mayfield’s head

  1. Why is it that every fan watching the game, no matter which team they’re rooting for, knew this was a stupid call, but the refs didn’t? You’re allowed to hit helmet to helmet? Really?

  2. What was said? This was, yet again, a critical point in a close game that could’ve changed the outcome.

    Browns are 0-4 on those types of calls this season. It’s unreasonable to expect all the calls to go their way, but a 50/50 split probably places them into the mystical category of “winning team” through 7 games. Just sayin…pretty BS to have a double-whammy obvious would be foul PICKED UP after a conference by field judges, and at a critical point in the game.

  3. My gosh can this league not make so many officiating mistakes and maybe speed things up a little. Last nights game went to a commercial break something like 7-8 times before 5:00 minutes of game time had transpired. Fox doing the commercials in between snaps is just painful when they are still going to real breaks just as often. Speed the game up and just do the commercials like that all the time while eliminating the 2:00 stand around segments every 5 plays.

  4. so even when they get it right they screw it up…why don’t they just bring out the officials in a clown car before kickoff

  5. No surprise here.i never miss a browns game and see bad calls weekly.last year Duke fumbles.comes out of the pile holding the ball in the air.refs are still looking for ball in pileup.gives the ball to other team WITH NO BALL IN PILE.

  6. Personal fouls should be automatically reviewable, just like touchdowns, and change of possessions. That should reduce the rate of bad calls and non-calls.

  7. “larrygblog says:

    October 26, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    No surprise here.i never miss a browns game and see bad calls weekly.last year Duke fumbles.comes out of the pile holding the ball in the air.refs are still looking for ball in pileup.gives the ball to other team WITH NO BALL IN PILE”
    —-
    Like the muffed punt that clearly hit Chubb in the head, both live and on replay, that the refs gave to the Browns?

  8. So was anyone fired over this obviously botched non-call? I mean this is just getting ridiculous. The sad thing is these mistakes are causing teams games. There was an obvious missed holding call last night against the Texan in the Texans/ Dolphins game that lead to the Dolphins throwing an interception. It changed the entire complex of the game. This cannot continue. All major penalties should be reviewed.

  9. What about SNF a couple of weeks ago? The ref was staring straight into the 30 second play clock and allowed the Chiefs 37 seconds to get the play off. It was the game winner. Legalized gambling is here and refs are in the action.

  10. The NFL is pathetic. They make up their own crap as they go along. Sick and tired of watching such a rigged sport.

  11. Josh Gordon was hit helmet to helmet last week, a flag was thrown during the play….then a conference and the picked up the flag…replay was clear as day he was hit helmet to helmet. All these rules and judgement calls are ruining the game…

  12. larrygblog says:

    October 26, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    No surprise here.i never miss a browns game and see bad calls weekly.last year Duke fumbles.comes out of the pile holding the ball in the air.refs are still looking for ball in pileup.gives the ball to other team WITH NO BALL IN PILE”
    —-
    Like the muffed punt that clearly hit Chubb in the head, both live and on replay, that the refs gave to the Browns?
    ——-

    As a Browns fan, yes, like that one too! When the refs have screwed the Browns over multiple times in multiple games, often with game-changing consequences, it’s very cute of you to point out one time when a bad call when the Browns way, but the fact remains that they’ve been screwed over far, far more times than they’ve gotten lucky… And yes, as a Browns fan, I would rather see the call go the right way, even if it benefits the other team. So sorry, but your snarky attempt fell way flat. We just want the refs to get the calls right, end of story.

  13. The NFL can’t possibly look worse in regards to the officiating so far. Lowering the helmet and hits to head/neck area were supposed to be a point of emphasis this season and halfway through we’re still seeing things like this, while a referee states “he’s allowed to be hit in the head” clear as day. It’s really, really bad.

  14. Why didn’t the clown (ref) that picked it up get fired? Much more egregious penalty than a false start.

  15. “So sorry, but your snarky attempt fell way flat. We just want the refs to get the calls right, end of story.”

    My point was every fan of X team can related all the “numberless times” when their team was screwed out of a call and can’t remember the times calls favored them.
    I’m a Steelers fan. I can list a humongous number of plays that went against the Steelers. The Chubb play in that game. The Jeremy Hill fumble in the Bengals playoff game 3 years ago that was whistled dead with the ball on the ground. The Connor play from 2 weeks ago. Half of James Harrion’s career when he was held around the neck without a flag. However I’m really good at blocking out the ones that went in our favor. It’s part of being a fan. The first step is acknowledging you have a problem…

  16. Dear NFL

    You have video replay .. you also have an office in New York that can review and make final decision.

    So why didn’t you and advise the head ref to make the call?

    Oh .. thats right because you don’t put two and two together. Why have video replay to begin with and if you aren’t going to let it decide the final outcome?

  17. Gambling is a sport unto itself with the point spreads taken into consideration. It was exciting to call the “man” or meet him in a bar and place the bet; office pools thrived. Now, with legalized gambling, the only thing left is for some automaton to select teams out of a twirling wire cage and call out the game winner. No more need for players getting injured or referees botching up calls and deciding the game winners among themselves. There’s the Powrer Ball, Mega Millions, and soon the NFL-ottery.

  18. Its nice to see Browns fans emotional about their team again.

    That said the officiating is ruining the enjoyment of the game for me.

  19. Fact is every bum on the couch at home has better view of the game than any of the refs or fans do. If it doesn’t go to review or the booth, refs never actually look at the game footage. So many times have I seen on TV the fans and refs both, physically at the game, staring at the stadium jumbotron like turkeys in the rain trying to figure out what happened. That is the fundamental problem.

    NFL needs to bite it and have something like a “video ref” watching the TV coverage – can directly access the cameras’ feeds himself etc. – who can also pull proverbial all-stop string catching ref mistakes before they’re forever in the books.

  20. brwmstr says:
    October 26, 2018 at 3:22 pm
    Josh Gordon was hit helmet to helmet last week, a flag was thrown during the play….then a conference and the picked up the flag…replay was clear as day he was hit helmet to helmet. All these rules and judgement calls are ruining the game…


    Absolutely correct and there was one last night when a Texan Defender clearly lowered his head and clearly made solid contact with the receiver’s helmet and they picked up that flag as well.

    BB was correct, everything should be reviewable. Why should anyone have to walk away from a game knowing that blown calls cost them a win. Not the case last night but sooner or later every team gets one and gives one.

  21. There are garbage calls in every game, I really hope people can see that, some for, and some against your favorite team. You only have to look at last night’s game for an example of an ENTIRE officiating crew that needs fired, or at the very least, retrained. A lot of things happen on the field that are going to be missed, especially if they are not around the ball carrier or where the ball is going. However, when a guy is clearly hit in the head, and the zebra conference results in the flag being picked up, something is clearly wrong with the system.

  22. it’s rather funny that likely all the people thumbing up the post about speeding up the game are the same ones thumbing up the post about all personal fouls should be reviewable. You can’t expect to speed up the game if your going to make personal foul calls automatically reviewable because you probably add at least 3 minutes on for every review so you could be extending the game likely by 10 to 15 minutes.

  23. “So many times have I seen on TV the fans and refs both, physically at the game, staring at the stadium jumbotron like turkeys in the rain trying to figure out what happened.”

    And given the refs are specifically prohibited from using scoreboard video to determine a play by the league, that is a problem all in its own self.

  24. So will they admit they were wrong for not throwing a flag on Baker mayfield for taunting on that same play. Dont know many instances where a guy can walk 5 yards the opposite directions to go get in a guys face while throwing the football at him.

  25. Why does the NFL bother with these formal apologies week after week for missed calls, non-missed calls, overturned calls, and non-overturned calls after the fact? All it does it get the fans all riled up, and for what? It doesn’t change a thing, and nothing will ever change regardless of how many times they admit they were wrong.

  26. Don’t feel bad Clowns fans.

    The Steelers one year received 3 or 4 official apology letters from the NFL a few years ago stating they blew the respective calls. The calls were ALL material to the game outcomes and the Steelers missed the playoffs that year.

    Incompetence happens. Deal with it.

  27. harrisonhits2 says:
    October 26, 2018 at 5:21 pm
    “So many times have I seen on TV the fans and refs both, physically at the game, staring at the stadium jumbotron like turkeys in the rain trying to figure out what happened.”

    And given the refs are specifically prohibited from using scoreboard video to determine a play by the league, that is a problem all in its own self.
    ________________________________________________
    Didn’t NE get called for a penalty after the Referee saw a play on the Big Screen at Gillette a few years back? I think it was Hochuli!

  28. Steeler fans just need to shut up. You were handed Super Bowl 40 with multiple favorable garbage calls. There should never be a Steeler fan complaining in here about officiating. Burger boy had the worst performance by a Lombardi winner in NFL history and Jerome showed up on a Parade Float to receive his ring in the pre game ceremonies, all they had to do was just hurry up and get that 60 minute pre arranged game over with to make it official.

  29. The 2018 Browns remind me of the Raiders every year through Al Davis’ death. Just a hard to statistically justify the amount of huge calls they get screwed on week in and week out.

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