Missed holding calls fueled Buccaneers’ comeback

Kansas City Chiefs v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Yes, Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith was called twice for holding during the late Tampa Bay touchdown drives. But he should have been called for holding more than that.

Smith was holding on pretty much every pass play down the stretch. Except, of course, when Brady got rid of the ball before Smith could actually do it.

On the game-winning touchdown, Smith got away with a hold. It wasn’t obvious, but it was a hold.

During the prior drive, he got away with one of the most blatant uncalled holds you’ll ever see.

With five minutes left, and with the Bucs facing first and 10 from their own 22, Smith performed a full-blown bear hug — from behind — of Saints defensive lineman Carl Granderson. It was so blatant that it was comical. And it wasn’t called. It wasn’t even mentioned during the broadcast. (We know that the guys in the booth can only see so much. But they have other eyes watching the action. And it didn’t take more than one marginally-functional eye to see that hold.)

The Saints still had plenty of chances to not go full-blown Falcons and blow the game to Brady and the Bucs. But it should have been first and 20 from the 12, with the Bucs down 16-3.

And that could have changed everything.

35 responses to “Missed holding calls fueled Buccaneers’ comeback

  1. Saints needed a TD to go up 3 scores. we have seen this movie plenty of times before…..just about every Marcia comeback the OL holds every play. I am surprised they actually called it twice.

  2. The play that costs the game for the Saints was 6:11 game, 2nd and 8, Ingram catches a pass and with no one around runs OB 1 yard short of the first down. Unfathomable he doesn’t get the 1st down there.

    That would have run clock down to under 4 min.
    Instead, 3rd -1 incomplete. 5:31 left punt.

    Comeback is on.

  3. holding in the nfl the way it is called is laughable – needs to be called by a non human, because it almost seems like the refs are getting paid by someone not to call it when it benefits…nfl marketing on line 1…Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik…Lizard person #3..etc, etc

  4. Wouldn’t have changed anything if the coaching staff was still on the sidelines. Very questionable moves in the last 6 minutes. Ingram goes out out bounds short of the first diwn which he makes easily if he slightly tries! 3rd and 1 you run a quick slant to your 5th receiver?? Second week in a row you don’t use Taysom Hill on 3rd and 1???

  5. I’ve heard it Saud for years that there is holding pretty much every play in football. Pretty much just gotta pick and choose when to call it.

  6. Watch isolated tape on Nick Bosa. He gets held almost every play. The refs know and see the holding on just about every play of every game and so they simply get tired of trying to enforce it. The OL players also know this and continue doing it. It’s comical and like a highway speed trap, meaning the refs can call it whenever they like, or not and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

  7. Even if that hold would have been called and it was first and 20 from the 12, it would have just made Brady’s comeback even more heroic.

    Living here in Tampa, we often see Tom Brady walking on water in Tampa Bay on his day off.

  8. The NFL got what they wanted
    It was probably one of the most boring games in awhile..
    And it would have stayed that way of the refs hadn’t missed those calls.
    Sure, they could have called holding every single play. But that wasn’t going to happen. People will now forget just how crappy the game was before all this

  9. Come on now, do you all really think that Brady isn’t getting favorable calls and non calls???
    That’s been going on for decades

  10. Yes, refs are awful. Probably wouldn’t have mattered though. Saints would’ve just dropped 10 yards further back in coverage. I’ll never understand why teams continuously go to a prevent defense. Saints D dominated for 55 minutes. But some dumb coach decided decades ago it’s better to stop playing D and give up chunks of yards rather than risk an over the top throw. You’re up 13 with a handful of minutes left, keep playing the same D that dominated all game. Brady isn’t throwing over the top of the D twice, but he will easily hit guys you leave open.

  11. I’m pretty confident we can find at least one bad or missed call in every NFL game ever played. If your expectation is infallible refereeing, there is a 100% chance you’ll be disappointed.

  12. Being a pass rusher in today’s NFL has to be the most frustrating thing. If you’re good you’re being held almost every play and if you’re really good you’re being chipped and then held. I see guys literally tackled to the ground every game in plain sight and no flag.

    This is why if I were a GM with a top 5 draft pick I’d really hesitate using it on an edge rusher, even Will Anderson. They are too easy to neutralize these days.

  13. Of course they did. Would you expect anything else when Brady is the QB? He and his teams have been the recipients of the most blind officiating that has ever existed in the NFL. Year in and year out.

  14. In my 50 years of watching football the one constant has been the officiating has been awful .

  15. If Smith was called for even a quarter of the holds he commits he would be out of the league.

  16. Yeah, because the Saints OL didn’t do it in all their plays, sure that was decisively what define who won the game.

  17. Another missed call? Say it isn’t so. What else is new? Despite the missed call the Saints still had multiple opportunities to stop them from scoring … twice. Not sure what else to say on this. Fans are so used to missed calls it’s hardly worth talking about any longer.

  18. i mean really – i have to laugh – offensive line holding no calls – have you watched a Vikings Home game?

  19. Referees have been giving advantages to TB12 for years. As a bills fan, I just included it in the calculus on trying to beat the pats. The NFL does that for whoever they consider the better team. For the first time in 20 years, the bills are actually receiving beneficial calls. I don’t see it changing.

  20. I’ve been saying it for years, the ONLY thing that’s going to change the NFL’s mind about the terrible reffing is for people to STOP going to games and NOT watch them, HIT THEM IN THE WALLET, it’s the ONLY thing they understand, if you continue to go or watch nothing will ever change because the NFL is getting your money so why would they change anything?

    And all the crying about it every week, week in and week out isn’t going to work or haven’t any of you figured that out yet? What do they call it when you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result?

    How’s it working out for ya?

  21. I love football but I always take every game with a grain of salt and know sometimes the team with the winning score shudnt have won. During the Chiefs and Niners super bowl the refs pretty much refused to call holding on the Chiefs in the second half, then they came back after they realized that. There was no way they wud have gotten that Chip Wasp play off without the guard having his guy in a bear hug. I thought Donovan Smith was pretty good tackle but he was holding pretty hard for not going up against a upper echelon team in the league. Idk since the Bucs defense duznt have JPP and Barrett anymore i just thing they are second tier now even tho i still respect Tom’s ability to navigate any game. My biggest issue watching the Bucs is I’m just sitting there thinking that I wish Tom had retired and was still with his family.

  22. Time and time again We see the same trick over and over.

    The outcome is decided in advance. The Flags thrown or missed are just tools to facilitate the job. I miss old time football before the big money ruined the sport. Its as bad as big time wrestling. 50 yard pass interference calls in the last few moments of a game are rediculous. Flacco won a superbowl with last second jumpballs and favorable flags.

  23. Anyone really think Tammy Brady would still be playing without the refs in his back pocket. He’s been getting “referee specials” for over a decade.

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