Under preseason replay standard, Kyle Rudolph touchdown likely would have been wiped out

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The Vikings’ unlikely win over the Saints was delayed by a full-blown replay review of the game-winning touchdown catch by veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph. NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron upheld the ruling on the field of no offensive pass interference.

That’s consistent with the standard that Riveron has used for most of the season. Although, techically, the flag should be thrown if there’s clear and obvious evidence of Rudolph pushing the defender to gain separation, Riveron has been relying on something more egregious before dropping a flag when no flag was thrown.

Based on the manner in which Riveron was explaining the new procedure before the season began, Rudolph’s one-armed shove likely would have been enough to trigger a penalty via replay review. When meeting with employees of NFL Media in June regarding the new replay process, Riveron said that a Week 15 Chargers-Chiefs game that saw defensive pass interference called on what became the game winning touchdown drive for L.A. would have resulted in offsetting fouls, because replay showed receiver Mike Williams engaged in a one-armed push off.

Rudolph’s maneuver didn’t look much different than Williams’. Which makes the Saints’ decision not to gripe about the decision by Riveron a bit surprising.

Regardless, the apparent message for the balance of the playoffs is this: The ruling on the field won’t be overturned unless it’s more egregious than what Williams did in Week 15 of 2018, even though as of June 2019 that would have been enough to draw a flag.

50 responses to “Under preseason replay standard, Kyle Rudolph touchdown likely would have been wiped out

  1. There was clear and obvious evidence of defensive pass interference on two levels:

    1. Defender never looked for the ball;
    2. Defender grabbed the arm of the receiver trying to prevent him from catching the ball:

    At WORST, the fabrication of offensive pass interference would have been offset by the OBVIOUS TWO FOULS the defender made. The glee of cupcakes would have then been interrupted by another Viking touchdown which would have had some myth of complicity with the NFL to prevent Cupcakes from winning without using a fake kickoff to start a half.

    Oh cry me a river.

  2. The refs have allowed the pushing, tugging, and holding quite a while. The Sgt Schultz style of refereeing because the media,gamblers,and fans grumble we’re not here to see the refs. Since the NFL is all about PR they let it happen.

  3. The refs let them play today, there were a number of downfield holds, line holds, and iffy blocks on the Special teams on both teams.. The call was reviewed by everyone! It wouldn’t have made a difference anyway! The Vikings outplayed the Saints, just like the 2009 Bounty gate game the Vikings out played and out classed the cheating Saints.

    So what about that fishy Camera failure as the Vikings were catching fire on offense?? HMMM?

  4. Well just like the Pats-Eagles Super Bowl, the NFL is allowed to pick a different standard as they see fit in the games that matter most.

    Roger Goodell, a legacy of integrity.

  5. By the preseason standard if you gave the defender a funny look it was OPI. The preseason sandbox where new rules are overcalled to try them out is *not* playoff OT where you better make a freaking play.

  6. Just when it looked like the NFL was really going to crack down on pushing off to create separation.

    I guess Gronk retired for nothing.

  7. Well the media did nothing but complain about how ridiculous the preseason reviews were….. so which way do you guys want it? Can’t cherry pick when convenient

  8. It was offensive PI and anyone that says differently has an agenda. ANY NFL fan that knows anything about football KNOWS it was offensive PI.

  9. You play better to win, not rely on calls to win. In this case, Vikings played better and deserved the win, period. It’s over, move on.

  10. Would love to see the game – even if just a preseason experiment – where there was NO) pass interference or offensive holding. How great would it be to watch the O-Line be ABLE to hold – AND the D-backs able to contact the WRs.

    That might be a MUCH better game to watch (& play.) It sure would “feel” more like football than all this ticky tack ref controlled debate.. let them FIGHT it out!

  11. They need to put an asterisk in the record books next to this obvious tainted victory. Barney desperation in full regalia!

  12. lavenderlarrylosers says:
    January 5, 2020 at 6:29 pm
    They need to put an asterisk in the record books next to this obvious tainted victory. Barney desperation in full regalia!
    ___
    But just earlier you said you were wrong Waffle

  13. ozzman64 says:
    January 5, 2020 at 6:01 pm
    It was offensive PI and anyone that says differently has an agenda. ANY NFL fan that knows anything about football KNOWS it was offensive PI.
    ——

    The DB grabbed the TE after 5 yards From the line of scrimmage . That’s illegal contact . Anybody who knows anything about football knows that

  14. An embarrassing “blindside block” flag arguably decided the BUF/HOU game. Apparently Florio likes this sort of thing. But football fans don’t want ticky tack penalties on game deciding plays.

  15. Most defenders, as soon as a play is over, will immediately start yelling at the ref and gesturing for a flag. Look at the defender in this instance. No such body language like that. NO “He was pushing off ref!” “Pass interference ref!” No. He looked like a guy that knew he got beat, fair and square. We can ‘see’ contact but there’s no way to determine the force of any such contact. Rudolph’s hand on the defenders chest looked marginal and didn’t impact the play. Hence, why the defender knew it was fair and square.

  16. I would hate it if all passing plays were held to a standard of off PI, or Def PI to this level.
    Doesn’t everyone prefer that there is some contact in the game?

  17. codylaws says:
    January 5, 2020 at 6:06 pm
    You play better to win, not rely on calls to win. In this case, Vikings played better and deserved the win, period. It’s over, move on.
    __________

    Remember this when talking about the Packers game too….

  18. Conor, you know how I know it was OPI? Because the defender’s head snapped back and because PFT has already written two articles about the play. Hilarious that the people who have been crying all season about the Packers getting help from the refs turned out to be huge hypocrites after it benefited their team.

  19. All this stupid talk about one play.
    The real conversation should be about how well Cook played again, along with the Viking defense keeping Brees & that verry potent Saints offense to that few of points! And also Taysom Hill played outstanding.
    I have spoken.

  20. It’s the playoffs and you’re talking PRE season? Not sorry cheating Saints. Not one bit. You’re head coach should have been fired years ago or banned from coaching in the NFL all together. Cheating Sean and your team got exactly what is owed them but go ahead and cry how you got screwed. I don’t care!

    Bounty Gate. Never Forget.

  21. It was OPI, but objectively, if the situation were reversed and Jared Cook were called for OPI I’d be annoyed. Yes, Williams had his hands on Rudolph but that is allowed if he doesn’t significantly hinder movement which he did not do until Rudolph pushed off. So yeah, it’s a penalty, but not some sort of egregious no call like last year. There were brutal calls throughout. No penalty for defensive holding by Williams on Rudolph was bad. That 40 yard change on the “blindside block” on the punt return was nothing short of comically bad. It’s a joke league wide.

  22. Man, some of you need to learn how to read! The story said he used the week 15 Chargers vs KC footage to show what P.I. Is. Preseason was when he talked about it.

  23. It was never about whether he pushed off. It was about whether the defender interfered first and Rudolph’s move was a reasonable effort to extricate himself.

    So I don’t agree the standard changed. They just (sensibly) didn’t look at the last brief part of the interaction only when deciding in the Vikings-Saints game.

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