Holding calls increased for a week, then went back down

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The NFL told its officials to call holding more strictly. For one week, they did. And then they stopped.

As former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira revealed on FOX during a game, the league sent its officials a video before Week 13 showing several plays on which the NFL said the officials missed holding calls. The officials responded exactly the way you’d expect: They called more holding penalties the next week.

According to ESPN, there were 94 flags for offensive holding called in Week 13, the most in any week of any season since at least 2012. Clearly, the officials got the message: Call more holding.

Except that the very next week, Week 14, the holding calls dropped back down to 62, which is within the normal range.

So for one week, the NFL told its officials to crack down on holding, the officials complied, and then the very next week they just forgot all about it and went back to calling holding like usual. And people wonder why fans think NFL officiating is inconsistent.

33 responses to “Holding calls increased for a week, then went back down

  1. Holding happens on most plays. Only some teams are consistently called for it. I see offensive linemen with hands full of jersey all the time and no call.

    I was thinking Miami should use Velcro to fasten numbers and names on their jerseys, so when you see their numbers stuck on the opponents gloves there can be no mistaken it.

  2. The holding calls went down because they were too busy watching but ignoring other calls like the non-call for an illegal block of the field goal by the Seahawks.
    I’ve always felt that NFL officials were as a group the best officials in any sport because their job is very difficult. But I don’t anymore. With all the rules changes and interpretations, I cut them a little slack because it has to be a nightmare trying to remember and decipher them. But even doing that, the officiating now is the worst I have ever seen in 58 years of watching the NFL. The biggest problem is there is no consistency, even by the same officials in the same game. And then the replay system sucks because half the time they still don’t get it right and because the rules are so open to interpretation.
    I never thought I’d see a day when the NFL would be too tedious to watch, but it is now. I have turned off games more this year than at any time in my life. I find myself getting ready to watch a game now and I look to see who the officiating group is and I immediately know that the game is going to suck because of certain groups of officials ruining it.
    But what do you expect when the Commissioner is one of the biggest dopes there is?

  3. It’s not that they do or don’t call it, it’s these odd calls that come late in the game when one team is driving for the win and they call a ticky-tacky hold that they’ve let everyone get away with all day… that just looks suspect, that’s why I don’t trust officiating.

  4. Why would the NFL want non-reviewable, drive-killing penalties called only for one week?

    Maybe we should look to see if wagers were the highest they’ve been since 2012, too.

  5. As a Rams fan, I definitely see missed holding calls, especially against Donald. I get why they hold him, but there has to be some level of consistent calling. My biggest beef isn’t the inside clutching and grabbing, that is expected, it is the holds once the defensive player starts to beat the O-lineman. Once they start to go past, that is when the officials need to be consistent. These are the holds that are obvious to see, and should not be missed.

  6. It’s entirely possible the players adapted and didn’t hold as often. Reaching a conclusion of inconsistent officiating is highly suspect and based off of just one piece of evidence and not the totality.

  7. Instead of wanting more penalties, maybe the NFL should look at getting the ones they call correct.

    Why turn an already 3 hour snooze-fest into a 5 hour catatonic episode?

  8. Poor officiating is to be expected, and to some degree evens out. The huge problem the nfl product has, however, is that there has never been a season where the winners and losers are being so consistently determined by CRUCIAL calls.

  9. ncfloyd says: “It’s entirely possible the players adapted and didn’t hold as often. Reaching a conclusion of inconsistent officiating is highly suspect and based off of just one piece of evidence and not the totality.”
    =====================

    Which is entirely possible since all teams also have officiating scouting reports too. They know exactly the tendencies of all 7 field officials and are coached to avoid committing those (or what they can get away with more that week).

    But hey, that doesn’t fit the narrative here so stop it with your common sense.

  10. If they called all the little penalties, Derrick Henry would not have a 99-yard run and the Seahawks would have lost .. I’ll take missed calls for an exciting game sometimes. Sucks when it’s against your team but stopping the action for every infraction is over-legislating and that’s the problem with the game.

  11. jasons81 says: “It’s not that they do or don’t call it, it’s these odd calls that come late in the game when one team is driving for the win and they call a ticky-tacky hold that they’ve let everyone get away with all day… that just looks suspect, that’s why I don’t trust officiating.”
    ========================

    The internet has full of useful information, like sites that actually track all NFL penalties. Here’s one that breaks it down by quarter:

    1st – 69,025 plays, 136 total (0.1970%)
    2nd – 73,170 plays, 186 total (0.2542%)
    3rd – 73,710 plays, 188 total (0.2551%)
    4th – 71,360 plays, 176 total (0.2466%)

    Other than the 1st quarter where presumably offensive linemen are fresh so less likely to be beaten on a rush, the last three quarters have almost identical rates of holding.

  12. tylawspick6 says:
    December 13, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Goodell cheating working well when he wants it. Loved the phantom holds on the Pats O Line. Quite comical.
    ———————————————————————————

    A Pats fan complaining about the refs? In last year’s AFCC game, the Pats had ONE penalty while the Jags had 98 yards in penalties. And just to refresh your memory, the Austin Seferin Jenkins and Jesse James plays that were called TDs on the field bu mysteriously overturned by the replay booth. You should be the last one complaining about officiating.

  13. I know it’s de rigeur to rag on the officials, but they have an extremely difficult job and can’t see everything. They are watching a mass of bodies at field level- we get to see players isolated from 10 different angles at multiple zoom levels in slow motion replayed several times when a penalty occurs. The speed of the game has increased over the years as has the technology which highlights referee errors. You have all of the same issues at the college level. People want to see better officiating, and act as if there are better officials hidden somewhere. Their isn’t.

    Baseball is relatively easy, you only need to follow the ball. Basketball and hockey are a bit more difficult, but you’re only dealing with 10 moving players and they are typically spread out more. With football you are dealing with 22 bodies, often bunched up, but also on a large piece of real estate when long plays occur. It’s clearly the hardest sport to officiate.

  14. When jerseys were loose, up until mid 90’s, players were more strict in their blocking technique, actually using hands and forearms, because if they grabbed, that jersey stretched so much it was impossible to miss and likely was pulled down exposing a shoulder pad. Today those fitted jerseys are so tight even before pads are on, they hardly stretch and the grabbing of cloth at the breastplate is the technique being taught. What I don’t get is the hook that some lineman get away with. Extending the arm, not grabbing, but hooking the defender. Some teams get away with that much more, depending who the QB is.

  15. frank booth says: “we get to see players isolated from 10 different angles at multiple zoom levels in slow motion replayed several times when a penalty occurs.”
    ======================

    Couldn’t agree more. The NFL should just tell the networks – stop showing slo-mo, instant replays of penalty calls/no calls. That would eliminate 99.5% of the whining by fans. You didn’t catch it in real time? Too bad.

  16. Holding calls increased for a week, then went back down…simple: scoring went down in week 13…NFL has got to help the offense score (more) points…and heaven forbid that the MVP is a defensive player…

  17. Can we please, as a fanbase, stop advocating for more penalty calls. I’ve realized over the years that people want more penalties called that benefit their team (several posts above like this), yet they also hate the concept of a football game mired in penalties.

    It’s not possible to have both. If everyone gets more penalties called to benefit their team, that just balances out, and the effect is just to increase the amount of time spent on penalties. It doesn’t change anything besides making the game less watchable.

    Call the egregious penalties, maybe call the really minor stuff a couple times in the game just to have the players aware. But don’t call every foul as a penalty. I want to watch football. If the game turns into a penalty fest, we will start studying and learning about the referee crew before games, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, and having specific referees on our fantasy teams. The game will be just as much about the referees than the actual contest of football.

  18. tylawspick6 says:
    December 13, 2018 at 9:04 am
    Goodell cheating working well when he wants it. Loved the phantom holds on the Pats O Line. Quite comical.

    —————–

    At least you’re consistent. Lol

  19. The patriots should have been called for a dozen holding penalties. In the first half alone, no call for a blatant hold on the long TD pass to Patterson, defensive holding on the sack prior to the first blocked punt (the O lineman that was trying to step out to block the blitzing LB couldn’t because he was being held by his helmet), and on an extra point (the pats player was able to legally leap the Dolphins guard because the pats D lineman pulled him down and out of the way). The tape doesn’t lie delusional patriots fans.

  20. jasons81 says:
    December 13, 2018 at 7:07 am
    It’s not that they do or don’t call it, it’s these odd calls that come late in the game when one team is driving for the win and they call a ticky-tacky hold that they’ve let everyone get away with all day… that just looks suspect, that’s why I don’t trust officiating.
    —————-
    Also, the blatant holds that aren’t called, on big plays.

  21. On the week there was over 90, it must have been the week that the refs chatted and allowed a holding penalty to be called against a Dallas opponent. To make up for it, they threw two extra holding flags per game in all the other contests.

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