Al Riveron determined Mike Evans was not significantly hindered by Richard Sherman

Getty Images

Based on a critical non-call of pass interference in the final minute of the 49ers-Buccaneers game, it appears that the standard for throwing a flag via replay review is higher than it was believed to be.

“It was determined that both the offensive player and defensive player were contacting each other as they were going down the field,” senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron said in a video explaining the decision to uphold the ruling on the field. “Neither player significantly hindered the other’s opportunity to make a play on the ball. Therefore the ruling on the field stood.”

The video suggests otherwise. Although review of the full play shows a subtle shove by Evans while the two are jostling for position, Sherman clearly and obvious hinders Evans as the ball is arriving. While it’s not the same kind of blatant hit that marred the outcome of the NFC Championship game, it’s much more obvious than the examples of non-calls from 2018 that Riveron had said would have resulted in a reversal via replay review. Indeed, former NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino said during the FOX broadcast that replay review should have resulted in a ruling of pass interference.

Given the messages sent by Riveron before the regular season began, the situation continues to be confusing. Based on Riveron’s doubling-down video, it appears that the bar for a reversal is higher than he had previously led the media to believe it would be. As the remaining 240 regular-season games unfold, it will be interesting to see whether this same high bar will apply in future cases, requiring something even more than the “what the hell!?!” standard we’ve previously suggested for these reviews.

Based on the decision not to drop the flag via replay review in 49ers-Bucs, the standard for a reversal actually may be “what the f–k!?!”

12 responses to “Al Riveron determined Mike Evans was not significantly hindered by Richard Sherman

  1. I don’t see the rationale for getting fixated on this non-call. Look at the replay video provided in the Twitter link in this article. Evans shoves Sherman not once but TWICE as the two are fighting their way down the field. Sure, Riveron could have explained it better, as this was a case of offsetting penalties committed by both players. But this particular replay review is not grounds for working oneself into a lather.

    Note: this is how Sherman plays- if a receiver gets physical with him, he will take that as license to get even grabbier.

  2. It is becoming clear the the officials on the field are avoiding calling PI calls and leaving the onus on coaches to throw the red flag and New York to make the call via replay. Poor abused officials are scared.

  3. Riveron is terrible. He should not be deciding these calls. Maybe give the job to someone who can actually see and has common sense? As it stands, there’s no point in having NY make decisions, because they can’t or won’t correct obvious mistakes.

  4. The refereeing has been horrible so far this year. Every game there are flags that are not penalties and then there are no calls when there are penalties and this new Pass Interference challenge rule just confuses things even more. It is time to put a guy in the stands with the ear of the Head Official and he can quickly shout down when there is an obvious no call. The flags when there are not penalties is the fact that there are some inexperienced officials or flag happy officials and they need to be upgraded weekly. Monday night games had at least 3 hands to the face or facemasks totally missed – come on men.

  5. If the NFL wants credibility for it’s officials, they need to start with the decisions coming out of NY. And when they are wrong, you know it because the explanation is BS. First off, yeah Evans was hindered. Maybe the best thing to say was that the receiver can not get physical with a defender or else they will offset the PI that would be called on the defender. Yeah Evans pushed off, but he was being mugged by Sherman. In the end, Sherman wasn’t significantly hindered, but Evans was.

  6. Al Riveron hasn’t been able to correctly call penalties for a number of years now. Even with replay. I don’t believe that he’s doing this on purpose, I just think he’s a bad referee. Is this the best we can do in the NFL?

  7. What Riveron is saying is that both players could have been called for pass interference, if no touching is ever allowed by either player. That means both could have been flagged and it would be an offsetting penalty. The best that Tampa Bay could have gotten is another play, not a first down near the goal line.

  8. Even if they call Richard Charmin for interference (and I am a 49er fan), I still support a review of possible pass interference calls. Getting rid of it does not improve the game. In fact, I hope they include personal fouls as calls that can be challenged. Even though Kwon Alexander’s helmet contacted Jameis Winston’s helmet, the contact was not intentional. Alexander did not “spear” the quarterback, which was what they call it if a defender tackles with his helmet while a player is on the ground. Alexander’s body was turned sideways as he tried to stop Winston’s forward progess to prevent a first down. There was no intent to hurt the guy.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!