Did the officials miss a faulty whistle on a Bengals TD? Why the piece should have been blown dead.

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Your instincts were correct if you felt NFL officials threw more flags in 2021. Penalties ticked up to 13.88 per. 16.17) and 2018 (15.87).

That’s the long-term context when you look at this year’s off-season matches. It would be a surprise if we saw many matches filled with penalty kicks, and with a little luck we will spend the next four weeks talking about the performances of the players and coaches and not about the violations that were called (or unannounced) against them.

But there are many rule-based twists to consider beyond flags. In the 2020 AFC Championship Game, for example, then-NFL senior vice president Al Riveron allowed a review of a game that could not be reviewed. In the end, he turned over a call that should not have been looked at in the game that decided who was going to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

We will cover all your official needs in this post, which will be updated as needed with rule explanations, important context and other official trends. Join the trip. (The latest plays are at the top.)

end rule


Wandering whistle on Cincy touchdown

Raiders-Bengals wildcard game, 1:51 left in the second quarter

What happened: Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow scrambled to the right sideline on a third-down game from the Raiders’ 10-yard line. With the ball in the air, a whistle could be clearly heard in the NBC broadcast. Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd caught the pass for a touchdown.

Here’s how it was solved: After a lengthy discussion among the referees, led by referee Jerome Boger, the game was a touchdown.

Analysis: Unless the whistle came from the crowd or someone other than one of the seven judges on the court, this should not have been a touchdown. There are two options here. Either the whistle was intended to steer Burrow off the field, or it was an unintentional whistle. In either case, NFL rules require the game to be completed at the time of the whistle.

NFL Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (m) states: “[W]if a referee whistles incorrectly while the ball is still in play, the ball dies immediately. “In this case, the rule goes on to say:” If the ball is in player possession, the team in possession may choose to put the ball in play where it has been declared dead, or to play down again. “

So the touchdown should not have been counted and the game should have been replayed. It can not be reviewed. Players often stop playing when they hear a whistle, and it is inherently unfair to let actions after the whistle count.

A similar game took place during a 2015 game between the Patriots and Bills. In that case, referee Gene Steratore stopped the game correctly, even though Patriots receiver Danny Amendola ran up the field, but failed to place the ball in the place where Amendola was when the whistle blew.


The Raiders start running at the 2-yard line after the returner steps off the field

Raiders-Bengals wildcard game, 1:18 left in the first quarter

What happened: Raiders kickoff returner Peyton Barber grabbed the bouncing ball near the sideline and stepped off the field at the 2-yard line.

Here’s how it was solved: Barber was ruled down at 2, putting the Raiders in a terrible field position for their third possession of the game.

Analysis: Barber tried to take advantage of a little-known NFL rule in an attempt to get the ball marked on the 40-yard line. What he wanted to do was step off the field and then touch the ball. When a ball touches a player after he has established himself outside the court, the ball is ruled off the court at that time. Had Barber stepped out first, the Bengals would have been penalized for a kickoff off the field, and as a rule, referee Jerome Boger would have seen the ball the 40th. But because Barber grabbed the ball before that, he was sentenced to have run out. of bounds with ball possession.

Several teams have tried to take advantage of this rule in recent years by deliberately stepping off the field and then reaching for the ball, most notably the Green Bay Packers’ Randall Cobb in 2012.


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