NFL defends controversial roughing penalty in Denver as a “judgment call”

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Rookie referee Adrian Hill got his baptism by F bomb on Sunday, thanks to a controversial shades-of-early-2018 roughing the passer call that extended what became the game-winning drive for the Bears in Denver.

Hill’s decision to flag Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb gave the Bears 15 extra yards, helping to set the stage for Eddie Piñeiro’s game-winning 53-yard field goal. From no angle did it appear to be roughing, however.

Although Hill may privately hear negative feedback from 345 Park Avenue, the powers-that-be are circling the wagons, dubbing Hill’s decision to gift the Bears 15 yards a “judgment call.”

Well, yes, it’s a judgment call. But judgment can be poorly exercised. As it was by Hill, who simply may have been giving the Bears a makeup call for a questionable roughing penalty from earlier in the game, when Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman appeared to apply a legal hit to Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco. Both calls appeared to be an effort to address the “body weight” wrinkle that the NFL embraced early last year, until a hue and cry from fans, media, and teams forced the league to soften its stance.

The good news for the league is that Hill’s apparent error wasn’t the most egregious example of officiating ineptitude on Sunday, making it far less likely to resonate deep into the week. The bad news for the league is that Hill’s apparent error wasn’t the most egregious example of officiating ineptitude on Sunday.

16 responses to “NFL defends controversial roughing penalty in Denver as a “judgment call”

  1. If the NFL can’t call the games with intergrty and accuracy I just may have to stop watching…because what’s the sense in watching a game that’s being decided by bogus ref calls? This is ONE of those games.

  2. Don’t forget that insulting UR call on Floyd’s great play earlier. They were all typical of what’s happening to the fan’s experience.
    The game is simply not as much fun to watch when instead of jumping out of your seat yelling on a great defensive play, you quietly hold your breath for ten or twenty seconds, waiting painfully for a flag.

  3. The decision to add one mystery second to the game clock when all of the official game clocks indicated 0:00 was also a”Judgement” call?

  4. Re-watching highlights on ESPN (I was at the game) there’s a split second of helmet to helmet. I hope that was it, otherwise it was BS.

    Chicago still not satisfied with a road win in 90 Degrees and 5,280′ elevation. Trubisky will never get credit unless he throws for 500yds and 6 TDs.

  5. Referees routinely put time back on the clock. Nagy was standing next to a referee and called the time out.

    I’m more confused about the spot of the ball when the Broncos decided to go for 2. After the touchdown, Flacco was called for a delay of game. The Broncos were then given the choice to either go for 2 points from the 7 yard line or kick the extra point. They decided to go for the extra point, and then Skrine got called for offsides. Fair enough. But then the referees forgot to apply Skrine’s penalty from the 7 – they applied it from the 2 yard line – so the Broncos lined up at the 1 yard line. Insane.

    Can anyone be a referee? These guys are horrible.

  6. I still don’t understand why they blew the whistle quickly on Fullers int as it looked like a pick 6 from home he didn’t step out of bounds and at first I thought his knee touched but later replays it didn’t seem like the case. Wouldn’t proper procedure be let him run it back then review if he was out of bounds/down ? Also after the ticky tack calls on Floyd and Goldman it was pretty clear they where going to be calling any hits that where not sacks on the QB the color guy pointed it during the broadcast.

  7. Yeah, there were two shady roughing calls on the Bears, and all three penalties (inc. Chubb) were terrible.

    And there was one second left on the clock. There was. You can look it up. He’s down with :01 left.

  8. I won’t be watching anymore. This was not the only game with these types of bad calls. There is a penalty on every play. It’s not fun to watch. I think we all pine for the good old days but those days are gone. I watch sports to relax, not get frustrated.

  9. If that’s a legitimate call, they ought to just start playing two hand touch. Goodell and his dim-witted lackeys are hellbent on ruining the NFL. Fortunately we still have college football.

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