Referee Ron Torbert says Tee Higgins did not “grab and twist” Jalen Ramsey’s facemask

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals
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The Rams got to see the other side of a non-call in a big game. Unlike the Saints in the NFC Championship Game in 2018, the Rams ended up with the win, though.

The Rams got to Super Bowl LII when officials failed to flag Nickell Robey-Coleman for an obvious pass interference penalty.

On Sunday, officials missed a possible offensive pass interference penalty on Tee Higgins and an obvious facemask penalty on him on the same play. Higgins grabbed Jalen Ramsey‘s facemask and turned the cornerback’s head before catching a 75-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

Referee Ron Torbert was asked in a pool report afterward why a penalty wasn’t called.

“The crew did not see any contact that warranted pass interference,” Tolbert said. “It was a contested catch, and the crew didn’t see any contact that rose to the level of pass interference.”

Torbert said his crew also didn’t see a “grab and twist” that would have resulted in a facemask penalty.

“Our rule is that if there is a grab and twist and turn, there’s enough for a foul,” Torbert said. “If there’s just a rake across the facemask, where there’s not a twist and turn, even if there’s a grab, there is no foul. The officials did not see any contact that rose to the level of a foul for a 15-yard facemask.”

Replay, though, showed otherwise as Higgins clearly turned Ramsey’s head. Officials missed a foul that should have negated the touchdown. Instead, the Bengals took a 17-13 lead, requiring a Rams’ comeback to win it.

49 responses to “Referee Ron Torbert says Tee Higgins did not “grab and twist” Jalen Ramsey’s facemask

  1. Was Torbert asked about the Logan Wilson holding call on the go-ahead drive? Replay showed no hold and would have set up fourth-and-goal.

  2. Plays like that are why more and more people believe the games are rigged. How is that not called. The back judge should have easily seen it. The need to be FT employees and take classes and learn to be more consistent during the offseasons.

  3. If I were Jalen Ramsey I’d send Torbert a Perle Vision gift certificate every year on his birthday.

  4. Honestly, what else is he supposed to say? Ramsay’s going to wake up tomorrow hung over, and with whiplash.

  5. Whether it was interference or not, and I think it was, Ramsey didn’t have the game you’d expect from “the best DB in the league.”

  6. We get to see it in slow motion. The ref doesn’t. Seems strange that we’d be allowed to see what happened, but the ref calling the game is forbidden to see.

  7. He didn’t have to worry about it, because they knew the Rams weren’t going to need it. Official waits 5 seconds after the play – when he realized it would mean 4th down – to throw that phantom defensive holding flag. It is crazy just how fixed the NFL has become.

  8. We have replay that magnifies the picture to determine if a toe is in bound, but no replay to determine the most obvious face mask penalty resulting in a 75-yard touchdown. Thankfully the Bengals lost and we didn’t end up with an illegitimate winner.

  9. The greater good of football would have been a Rams loss. Then, everyone would have this BLATANT foul as the top story.

    Instead we get the amazing drive to overcome adversity story (which is cool) as the top story. So now the penalty will be a no harm no foul story. Nothing to see here, move on.

    For the 1000000th time, the technology is there. Use it. Everything reviewable.

    Refs are lucky the Rams won.

    PS: Torbert should have reviewed it himself before he stuck his foot in his mouth.

  10. So, it’s confirmed that he needs glasses! Between that missed call and the slew of flags at the end of the game that’s obvious!

  11. I dunno, didn’t have a dog in the hunt with this game, but I guess if the player’s head doesn’t come off, it isn’t a foul? (And honestly, I would have preferred a Cincy win – so, yeah).

  12. The officials held their flags until the end then helped the Rams score their final TD. They set up that final Bengals drive to make the game exciting. They have been doing this for long time but it was obvious this season. Fitting that the super bowl mirrored the regular season and was heavily influenced by the referees.

  13. Didn’t see a grab & twist …… SERIOUSLY????

    That whole crew should be fired, then.

    Not a fan of either team, no dog in this fight, but that was an obvious call, a ref was right there and didn’t throw a flag!

  14. Well they did get a phantom interference call on third down. So you can’t say they didn’t get help. The refs could not find flags all day until the rams needed help. That was a clean play.

  15. Once again the zebras MISSED an important call in the Super Bowl. When is the NFL going to pay for PROFESSIONAL officials? It’s not like they don’t have enough BILLIONS of bucks to be able to afford it. What a horrible blown call in the biggest game of the year…AGAIN! Disgraceful. Come on, NFL. Don’t be so cheap! Do the right thing and pay for real officials!

  16. And they called a phantom holding on Bengals on the last drive. It goes both ways. Refs, overall, didn’t decide the game.

  17. Yeah, that was BS. These refs need to be held accountable, especially in big games like this. That could have easily of turned the momentum of the game and cost LA a SB Title.

  18. The old democrat playbook in use…. You didn’t see what you thought you saw. It was all a figment of your imagination… are you entertained.

  19. Then what was it that turned Ramsey’s head and forced his body to the ground, the gale force winds from the non-contact movement of Higgins’s hands whooshing by his face mask?

    Come on, man.

  20. Tee Higgins
    Tee Higgins Gets Away With Grabbing Jalen Ramsey’s Face Mask on Touchdown Play// Well, YES he did ….and I am not a RAMS fan, so that doesn’t play into it. I also am not a Jaylon Ramsey fan…he yanked him by his face mask, looked straight at him, and ran into the end zone for a touchdown that should have been called back. I see lots of talk on the internet today about how the Bengals got hosed. Of course they did. Or….they just lost. Bad calls, missed calls part of every game, even Superbowls. Either push the NFL to hire professional refs, or keep playing the way its gone for decades..bad calls and all.

  21. I didn’t realize you had to grab and twist when you threw someone to the ground via their facemask… some would call it pass interference

  22. The announcers were talking about how great the playoff games were this year. The reason was the Refs let the players play and didn’t throw flags all day. As long as they are consistent and let minor stuff go both ways it is fair and makes for better football. As a long time Bills fan, there were 2 ticky-tack penalties at the end of the game against KC. The Tyreek Hill taunting and on the winning touchdown KC was not set for a full second. The Refs let them both go which made for a classic game. We’re talking about what a great game we saw instead of questionable calls. Let’em play.

  23. I agree with all of that but I think Ramsey lost his balance and was going down anyway – while it was a penalty – the official did not have a clear view

    the holding call on the linebacker at game end – that was ridiculous – that’s an example of a official wanting to make a call – anticipating it and throwing the flag when it never happened – this was much more egregious and the official did have a clear view


  24. I understand that the refs have a tough job, but they will go from awful non-calls to ticky-tack micromanaging. This all looks bad for the game, especially now that the NFL is fully in bed with gambling.

    Calls will be missed and bad calls will be made, but the NFL doesn’t seem to do anything to minimize the ability of these things to impact the outcome of games.

  25. On Sunday, officials missed a possible offensive pass interference penalty on Tee Higgins and an obvious facemask penalty on him on the same play. Higgins grabbed Jalen Ramsey‘s facemask and turned the cornerback’s head before catching a 75-yard touchdown pass

    That’s OK because at least 6 times when Ramsey was on Chase he held the back of his jersey all the way down the field!

    And it was a great game right up until the last 2min when the refs had to get heavily involved and it started raining flags because they saw that NFL HQ wasn’t going to get the outcome they wanted without the refs help! Two flags in the first 58min against Cincy and 3 in 3 plays with under 2min and the DPI against Kupp should have been off-setting penalties because the Rams were offsides on the play but no call.

    Now let me make this perfectly clear, I didn’t have a dog in the fight and I’m just pointing out what everyone else saw also(except the Rams fans that is) and it’s all over the the comments on the sport sites. The NFL is looking like the WWE since they made gambling legal!

  26. Ramsey flopped. His NBA style dive gave them a TD. Good lesson here is keep playing, don’t flop

  27. I’m all for minor ticky tac infractions possible being missed ,but that facemask was pretty obvious….and like most folks ,I wanted the Bengals to win.

  28. It is laughable the commenters complaining about the missed Tee Higgens call, but shrugging their shoulders at the litany of horrible flags on the winning drive. Sad, even the announcers commented on the notoriety of the refereeing crew as one that “let the players play” and did so right up till the end. Now, instead of talking about a great game, we are talking about controversy and how it actually would have gone were the game officiated consistently.

  29. I was rooting for the Rams. Watching it live I didn’t think it was as bad as the replay showed. I thought Ramsey lost his footing and was whining because he got beat. Replay clearly showed OFFENSIVE pass Interference.

  30. That is great… while millions of people disagree. I just suppose he is either ignorant, being told what to say, has poor eyesight or downright old fashioned stupid. IT WAS BLANTENT AND OBVIOUS.

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