Sunday saw a significant drop in offensive holding calls

Getty Images

NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron and the league’s referees discussed the spike in offensive holding calls during a Saturday conference call and that discussion was followed by a steep drop in the number of calls.

Kevin Seifert of notes that there were 41 offensive holding calls in 14 games on Sunday. That average of 2.9 per game is down from 5.7 per game over the first 33 games of the year.

The number of holding calls went up after an offseason point of emphasis to call holding on offensive linemen performing “lobster blocks” on the backside of running plays. Riveron said on the call that linemen must still refrain from blocking outside a defender’s frame, but said officials should give linemen more time to get inside the frame before throwing flags.

We’ve seen other points of emphasis lead to a flurry of early flags before the league revisits the topic or teams make adjustments to their style of play. It appears the former is the case this time around.

26 responses to “Sunday saw a significant drop in offensive holding calls

  1. I know we all crab about the quality of the officiating. We moan when our team is on the losing end of bad calls, and then defend them when they are on the winning side; ” well that makes up for the missed holding and the…….”. But can you imagine being held to the standard the Zebra’s are, when the standard changes weekly? It would be like being a cop and they change the laws every week, yet not really change them, just how we expect you to enforce them. “We’re a little short on funds this week, so quit letting the speeders drive 30 in the 25”. Then next week, “well, the residents are up in arms, so cut ’em a little slack guys”. They can’t win. Sure there have been some seriously bad calls. There always will be when humans are involved; we make mistakes. But these guys aren’t involved in the rules, just the enforcement of them and how they are directed to change the enforcement of them. Tough job to get it right most of the time. Tougher still when the bar changes regularly.

  2. hello3987 says:
    September 23, 2019 at 8:34 am
    Lord Tom Brady did say something about holding calls hmmmm.

    And if what he said didn’t reflect what you as a fan were thinking you are in a very small minority. That Thursday night game was an abomination.

  3. Great.
    Some weeks the refs call holding.
    Some weeks the refs don’t call holding.
    And some QBs rarely have holding called on his offensive line.

    That’s the perfect scenario for the league to determine who should be penalized.
    We all know holding happens on almost every pass play.

  4. Holding probably happens on almost every play. Unless it’s egregious, they should hold the flags and let the boys play. Too often a game’s flow is interrupted by too many penalties. The NFL needs to get to a point where games are done in under 3 hours and one way they can do this is to try their best to limit the number of penalties called each game.

  5. bos8888 says:
    September 23, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Holding probably happens on almost every play. Unless it’s egregious, they should hold the flags and let the boys play….

    Reminds me of a Bill Parcells anecdote when he was coaching the Giants. Mark Bavaro got called for a holding penalty which, apparently, killed a drive. When Bavaro came over to the sideline Parcells shouted at him something like “What are you doing holding, and killing our drive?,’ and Bavaro, known as a very good blocked Tight End, replied “Coach, I hold on every play.”

    I do not know if Parcells laughed during the game at the reply, but that is funny stuff.

  6. How about allowing all linemen to hold? 5 guys on each side can hold but no bear hugs. I know, crazy and stupid. Maybe make them wear mittens so they can’t grab jerseys? Sick of all these calls/non-calls.

  7. Holding is the NFL’S version of the chair that comes out in the WWE. They both ruin every ounce of momentum. The fact that holding DOES happen on every single play makes things worse because an official can call it anytime he wishes which of course drastically affects the game.

    Unless holding directly affects a play at the point of impact and causes a runner to spring free or keeps a QB from getting sacked, it should never ever be called.

  8. How does the league explain that oh that’s right Tommy called in and went to bed because of flags

  9. Don’t worry they will make up for it in tonight’s Monday night game … it should be a real barn burner too lol … sucks being a life long Redskins fan but I’ll be here watching them 😔

  10. Why do some of you guys even watch football? All you do is cry about it. Week after week, it’s the same sad song and dance. “Oh boohoo, my team got cheated. Everybody’s against us. It’s not fair. Everybody else gets away with everything.”

  11. Tommy’s an expert on holding he sees it every week right in front of them from his own offensive line. How do you have a line made up of no bodies in their first game and they don’t get one holding call?

  12. They just needed those flags to make sure the Packers got the win. They really want the Packers to do something this year for the big anniversary.

  13. Trying to see if people have a problem with Brady calling this out on Thursday or are okay with it. What he did was good for the game. If people have a problem with that, then you just must hate him.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.