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.