Introducing “After Further Review,” Week 10 2021 edition

Houston Texans v Philadelphia Eagles
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On Wednesday after, the NFL posted an 80-second video containing some bared-bones explanations of calls that the officials got right during the Week 10 games. While that’s better than nothing at all (but not much), it addresses none of the various mistakes made in Week 10, including most notably the horrendous roughing the passer call that wiped out an end-zone interception by the Saints and gave the Titans a chance to score a touchdown that broke a 6-6 tie late in the first half.

On Wednesday morning, we unveiled on PFT Live a new feature that specifically identifies and discusses the clearly bad calls. We’re calling it “After Further Review,” a title far more diplomatic than my original suggestion, “Horse Crap Calls.”

You can check out the attached video for the full discussion. The list of the clearly bad calls we identified appears below.

1. The roughing the passer call on Saints linebacker Kaden Ellis, as mentioned above, wiped out a Marcus Williams interception. It gave the Titans a first down inside the five, and four players the Titans scored.

2. In Ravens-Dolphins, Miami defensive back Jevon Holland drew a roughing flag for a hit to Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson that included contact with Jackson’s helmet. The contact was in no way “forcible.” It happened with the Dolphins leading 15-3 in the fourth quarter. It gave the Ravens 15 extra yards on a drive that ended with a touchdown that made the score 15-10.

3. In Jaguars-Colts, Jacksonville pass rusher Josh Allen was penalized for roughing Indianapolis quarterback Carson Wentz. The hit was not late, it did not involve Wentz’s head or neck area, and Allen did not strike Wentz with Allen’s helmet. The force of the shove from Allen knocked Wentz to the ground, but that in and of itself doesn’t constitute roughing. On the broadcast, the announcers observed that “two steps has become point-five steps.” The penalty gave the Colts possession inside the Jaguars 20. Five plays later, Indy kicked a field goal to extend its lead from 17-6 to 20-6.

4. On Monday night in Santa Clara, 49ers defensive tackle Kentavius Street fell into the lower legs of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. Moreover, the hit to Stafford’s legs was not “forcible,” a requirement for a roughing foul based on a hit in the knee area or below. The play happened with the 49ers leading 31-7 with 4:15 to play. It gave the Rams a first and goal. Four plays later, they kicked a field goal that cut the San Francisco lead to 31-10.

5. In Green Bay, a bull rush put Seahawks guard Damien Lewis on his butt. The Packers defender fell over Lewis. Lewis inexplicably was called for holding. Even though there was NO HOLDING OF ANY KIND. Apparently, the falling of the defender created the illusion that he was held. He definitely was not. At the time, Seattle trailed 3-0 with eight seconds left in the second quarter. The foul moved the ball to the Green Bay 45, forcing a failed Hail Mary to end the half.

6. We placed this last one into the category of “reasonable minds may differ,” although that’s a stretch. At Lambeau Field, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers fumbled a snap with 4:06 to play in the half. He dove for the ball, but a Seahawks player got there first, and ended up with more clear possession of it during the scrum with Rodgers. The officials awarded the ball to the Packers, and the ruling was upheld via replay view. The drive ended with a failed fourth and two by the Packers from the Seattle 35, five plays later.

Thanks to PFT Live producer Pete Damilatis for tracking these down and sifting through the close calls and selecting the ones that we agreed were bad calls. We plan to do this every week, in the hopes that the NFL will take its officiating issues seriously. Hopefully, external scrutiny and internal pressure will combine to get the league to make changes aimed at ironing out these mistakes.

45 responses to “Introducing “After Further Review,” Week 10 2021 edition

  1. 1. The roughing the passer call on Saints linebacker Kaden Ellis, as mentioned above, wiped out a Marcus Williams interception. It gave the Titans a first down inside the five, and four players the Titans scored.

    The very very very weak roughing the passer call against the Bucs vs the saints a few weeks ago took away an interception in the end zone the saints got the ball back and scored.

    Saints fans didn’t complain about that one

  2. This is well needed! Kudos for making bad calls more visible. The NFL needs some pressure to be better. Its sad they would rather pretend it doesn’t happen than taking a proactive approach.

  3. Great concept. It’s things like this that shine a light on the growing problem with officiating that ultimately will make the NFL have to face the realities of what is currently happening. As players and coaches are largely muzzled in regards to criticizing horrible officiating.

  4. Love this. If the nfl won’t take accountability, keep publicizing their mistakes until it’s unavoidable

  5. I’m interested in the count of bad calls that lead to points/move a team outside of scoring position relative to the total amount of bad calls.

    Do bad calls lead to a higher scoring chance? Do bad calls truly impact the game or are the impacts marginal?

  6. just for your info: there is an ESPN affiliate in Baton Rouge,La called “after further review” on ESPN 1450…

  7. You may have left out the penalty against Derek Barnett in the Eagles/Broncos game. Barnett was fully launched into the tackle when the ball was released, did not strike with the helmet and was in the proper strike zone. He didn’t land on the QB. Roughing was called. May be a little more controversial than some others you noted, but seemed to many that there was nothing else Barnett could have done differently in carrying out his job.

  8. It’s all “haha the refs suck” until an unbelievably idiotic roughing the passer / pass interference / taunting penalty is called in the fourth quarter of the super bowl. I know the league really doesn’t care about this because the money train keeps chugging along but they’re going to have to put in a sky judge and hire professional referees sooner than later before the golden goose is tarred and feathered.

  9. Maybe if they would just stop with this point of emphasis crap each year there would be less bad calls. Those are the ones that annoy me, where they error on the side of making sure they are emphasizing a certain penalty. And then seeing another crew not call an even worse foul in another game. There are too many gray areas in the rules that leave it open to individual interpretation. I wish there would be a point of emphasis for the officials to be as invisible as possible during the game. Bad calls are a part of the game but it is out of hand and has been for a while.

  10. Refreshing to see “further review” used correctly. About a decade plus ago, college referees began telling fans that the “previous play is under further review.” In the ensuing years, it has seemed like an ever-increasing number of NFL referees have done the same. There’s an obvious step that precedes “further review” – “review”, as in, “the previous play is under review.” I do recognize that in a game where players can run “downhill” on a field that’s flatter than a pancake,I’m probably taking a bit of a deep dive into language and logic .

  11. Check number 5 closer. It’s even worse. The Packer had his hand on the face. Packers should actually been penalized 15 yds.

  12. Any connection between today’s feature of “horse crap calls” and a recent spate of responsible gambling ads?

  13. I actually thought Rodgers had the ball first on his fumble, and Seattle knows all about iffy ties going to the offense. OTOH, the holding call was definitely wrong.

  14. You forgot to mention all the holding by the Chiefs OL vs Raiders but I’m pretty sure they will get flagged this again just like the 3 previous games before the Raiders game.

  15. It’s finally full circle. During the Referee lockout, every call by the replacement refs during the lockout was shouted from the rafters and there was no acknowledgement that the regular refs have ever in their lives made an obvious mistake.

    It was solidarity with the refs/screw the scabs and now you are on board with what the league tried to do back then.

  16. After further review, I think it would be prudent to also keep track of which teams and players the calls go for or against. By watching the totals, we will clearly see if there is bias for or against anyone. I know the answer to this, but let’s get some indisputable count totals.

  17. #5 happened to Ross Dwelley on mnf where a good pancake block on kickoff turned into a hold call. Announcers summoned former ref Parry on air, “want to take this one?”
    “Nope.” Parry quickly shut it down.

    That said MNF was reffed about 50 times better than any niners game I’ve seen since the Debartolo ownership. The refs didn’t look like they had money on SF’s opponent for a change.

  18. Ticky-tack roughing the passer calls are the ones that need to be weeded out. They destroy the game, and wipe out the entire series of plays with a free first down. They need to be OBVIOUS, egregious plays for a flag to be dropped. Period. Completely ruining football and fans are tuning out.

  19. So nothing about the two ticky-tack calls against the Steelers back to back in overtime, one for defensive holding that wiped out an interception immediately followed by a roughing the passer call that meets the same definition as described in item number 4 in the post?

    The announcers exact comments were, “Gotta be a forcible blow, that was kind of a desperation lunge.”, “Yeah, that did not look forcible”.

    Those two penalties took away the a Steeler chance to win the game followed by giving the Lions a chance to win though they’d miss the FG attempt that ensued.

    Watch the two roughing calls side by side and try to tell the difference.

  20. That’s great that you are calling out these bad plays. You might want to add to this list the insane amount of snaps that Maxx Crosby was egregiously held against the Chiefs. As a Raiders fan, I’m not salty about the loss, we were outplayed, and deserved to lose. But to see soo many obvious no calls is alarming, and gives the impression that the game was tilted in the Chiefs favor. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt this change’s the outcome of the game, but I doubt it would have been so lop-sided.

    At one point, I saw 4 plays in a row where Crosby was either hooked, bear hugged (from behind) or held by his jersey. Very few they showed a replay of, but one in fact they did show a replay of, and the announcers didn’t even acknowledge it, and it was among one of the worst holds. The officiating in the NFL get’s worse all of the time, and it clearly affects the outcome of games. (Again, probably not this one.)

    It’s absurd that they call the penalty’s so different, game to game, team to team. Certain teams get away with blatant fouls repeatedly, other’s get phantom/bad calls more than others. It’s ridiculous, and in my mind is ruining the game. I’m not sure if it’s the gambling aspect, but the league seems to not even care about being openly biased anymore. I sure hope something changes. I absolutely love football, but it is becoming increasingly hard to enjoy with so many bad calls. I don’t just say this as a Raiders fan, I watch as much football as I can, and I see it league wide. The NFL needs to get it’s act together.

  21. Every call should be reviewed… 30-second maximum. That way at least the obviously bad ones will be corrected. Having said that, there should be less calls overall, relaxed rules… let ’em play. (Yeah, I know… I’m dreaming.)

  22. This reminds me of something I once told my now ex-wife. You’re like an NFL ref; you’re not always right but, by god, you’re never wrong.

  23. Roughing the passer and helmet to helmet contact need to be modified and reviewable, see a lot of questionable calls and no calls. As has been stated in the past, perhaps the NFL needs to hire full time refs that do nothing but get schooling and watch tape.

  24. Also PI needs to be reviewable, a receiver can get mugged and nothing is called or a DB brushes a receiver and gets called. The refs whether PT or FT need training and be on the same page.

  25. flash1224 says:
    November 17, 2021 at 7:24 pm
    1. The roughing the passer call on Saints linebacker Kaden Ellis, as mentioned above, wiped out a Marcus Williams interception. It gave the Titans a first down inside the five, and four players the Titans scored.

    The very very very weak roughing the passer call against the Bucs vs the saints a few weeks ago took away an interception in the end zone the saints got the ball back and scored.

    Saints fans didn’t complain about that one

    ========================================================================

    Probably because very few people regardless of who they were pulling for thought the call was wrong. This particular call has been brought up on pretty much every show more than once.

  26. I want to see ratios of what teams get the good/bad calls. We all know that is skewed big time!

  27. All in the eyes of the beholder…what is interference today,,,why is it not called except the game would take six hours,

  28. Cam we put special emphasis on calls that result in changes impacting point spreads or over/unders? Monday Night Football is particularly notorious for this sort of thing.

  29. I’d like to see an analysis of these calls and how they had an effect on the point spread and/or over-under. With the NFL warmly embracing betting on games, there’s a lot of tempting money out there. Who knows – a ref with financial problems, messy divorce, skeletons, etc.???

  30. So if I understand the concept, the “fix is in” against the Ravens, 49ers, Seahawks, Jacksonville (sheesh–why bother) and the Saints (a “fix” in the 2nd quarter?).

    Which teams are fixes FOR?

  31. Arguably the richest sport on the planet (Don’t have the figures to confirm) and the refs aren’t professional.

    i.e. That’s their only job, paid for 12months, if they’re not on the field then they should be in the film room, looking at plays that highlight specific rules or being reviewed and looking at bad calls. If they’re not in the film room they’re in the gym so they can keep up wit the gladiators. If they’re not in the film room or the gym they’re at the teams for specifically arranged practices so they can get used to being on the field before the season and the teams can see how things are gonna be called and can adjust.

    Plus the level of technology is pitiful, for a sport know for video review, why there isn’t a video official, sitting in a booth with all the camera angles that Dave at home with his 6 pack and burger and 60in flat screen can see advising the on field refs, not every play but the obvious wrong uns.

    What’s obvious? Simple if it does illicit a WTF then it’s not that obvious, obviously.

    What’s the point of the challenge flag then?
    The challenge flag is for the 50:50’s advised to the HC from a bloke in a booth with all the angles Dave at home has got.

    The HC has it, why not the refs.

  32. Love this new segment…sorely needed on a weekly basis. I used to be an avid NBA fan but when terrible officiating began changing the outcome of tightly contested playoff games, I abandoned the game (Game 7, 2000 Western Conference Finals, Lakers-Blazers was the final straw). It’ll take a lot to get me to quit watching the NFL but the officiating seems to get worse every week lately.

  33. As a Seahawks fan, I’m happy with giving Rodgers the fumble recovery on #6, provided that Green Bay fans admit that simultaneous possession goes to the offense, and therefore the so-called Fail Mary pass was rightly ruled a completion and TD.

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