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Yesterday, every concern I raised about the rules/officiating came true

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Ice_Ice_Brady

High Priest at Team Bill's Temple
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Okay, so let's just start with this: I believe the better, and more worthy team, won both games. The Bucs were extremely lucky to even be in the game with FOUR fumble recoveries. The Chiefs are just one of those teams that always seems to find a way. But the games were marred in my opinion. Not the results, but the actual officiating processes and rules were a goddamned disaster once again. All year, I've made the same points over and over again, whether the Patriots, Bucs, or some other teams were playing:
  • Taunting Penalties are incredibly stupid because they're draconian, almost equaling a turnover in many cases, and mostly because the officials will never enforce them consistently, making the games even more random and based on bad calls. It's okay that bad calls happen for actual football plays, and that's hard enough to get right; now you're adding an impossible task of also interpreting dumbass trash talk that crosses an arbitrary line.
  • QB helmet to helmet hits should be reviewable, since they're also equal to a turnover when they're called. These are huge penalties, and to enforce them arbitrarily is the same as awarding turnovers arbitrarily. Why not be able to review a helmet to helmet on a QB, considering it's an automatic penalty (black and white, intent is irrelevant.) There was a Bears-Ravens game this year that was an absolute clinic in ridiculously bad, inconsistent applications of this rule.
So yesterday, let's run through what happened in the games, starting with the absolute worst, but one that we should have all seen coming:

1. After an entire season of watching stupid taunting penalties decide games, the player who was a main reason for the rule, Tyreek Hill, blatantly taunts in front of everyone, but the refs decide that isn't taunting, due to their arbitrary standards.

Tyreek Hill's "deuces" sign was arguably the biggest impetus for the rule. After Hill got leveled in SB55, Antoine Winfield, Jr. gave him the deuces and got a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The competition committee then passed the rule. If you Google the taunting rule, an actual photo of either Hill or Winfield is often displayed as the example, with headlines sometimes saying things like "no more deuces." Now, all year I've *****ed and moaned that taunting won't be enforced fairly because sometimes refs will just take the attitude of "oh chill, man, it's fun" and other times will blow the whistle which can be extremely costly.

So with a minute left in the AFCDG, Tyreek Hill takes off for the endzone and he's going to make it. This is a guy who has been warned repeatedly about the deuces. The entire league knows about it, and that it's now illegal. And what does he do? He does, apparently, the exact type of defiance, from a repeat offender, who would have zero surprise that his transgression will result in a penalty. And the refs do nothing. Nothing.

You've gotta be kidding me. All year, we've heard, "letter of the law" and been told taunting is serious business and it's important to enforce the rule every time. By the way (as you'll see from the Mike Evans example), the penalty should have happened during the play and not after it. A taunting penalty should have backed the Chiefs up to the 30 yard line.


2. After the officials failed to call a blatant, textbook penalty on Von Miller against Tom Brady, Brady lost his ****...but Shawn Hochuli was bigger than the game and swearing is serious business, so Brady got a 15 yard penalty.

Shawn Hochuli is a ****sucker. We all know this. After the game, he claimed that the hit "didn't rise to the level of roughing the passer" despite blood literally being drawn on an automatic helmet to helmet penalty. In fact, it arguably violated three penalties: hitting the quarterback in helmet at all, helmet to helmet, and roughing the passer.

Now again, refs miss calls. That's going to happen. But, why the hell shouldn't this play be reviewable? A 15-yard penalty is huge in the NFL. Instead, Hochuli gave Brady the 15-yard personal foul in what, I really hope, was worth it and I hope we'll one day hear about the specific wordage Brady hurled at him. I'm not excusing Brady because he should have kept his cool, but again, look at the crappy rules/process here. A major, game changing penalty that's supposed to be black and white gets doesn't get called; the team has no recourse; and then, the official just can't let it go when a player loses it.

The result was a 30-yard swing. The Bucs did get a first down but missed the field goal due to that major field position swing.



3. Matthew Stafford blatantly kicks Nkamondong Suh in the balls. Suh gets a 15 yard penalty for "language" or something.

Here we go again with this officiating crew. Forget who Suh is...I get it...he's a dirty player. But NFL rules aren't supposed to base calls on a player's past, are they? Now, just simply watch the play taking the actual player name out of it. What do you see?

Yep...Stafford gave Suh a cheap shot. And you know what? **** happens. But then, after Suh said something back, he got hit with a 15 yard penalty. **** happens back. Once again, the penalty is game changing, and if the correct call had actually been made, it's another 30-yard swing.




4. Mike Evans gets a vicious helmet to helmet hit, but a technicality means the Bucs don't keep possession.

I'm not going to argue with the application of this rule, but it's clearly a stupid rule and needs to be fixed. On fourth down, Evans was targeted down the leftt sideline and was subject to a blatant, illegal hit. Now, it was incredibly obvious that the hit was part of the play. On a roughing the passer call, the team with the ball would retain possession regardless of where the ball landed or when it landed. However, since the ball technically hit the ground first, the Rams got the ball back and the 15 yard penalty was assessed. I would even argue that the illegal act of launching began before the ball hit the ground, even if the helmet wasn't actually hit yet.

Regardless, it seems like yet another stupid application of the rules.


SUGGESTIONS

I'm going to just keep beating this drum because it's getting so hard to watch these games:

1. If you must have a stupid taunting penalty, hedge the errors of applying it randomly, and make it less draconian. If taunting is really a concern, make it a 5 yard penalty and no automatic first down. In addition, give the player a warning, with the next one resulting in ejection. Problem solved, and the games will actually be decided by football and not refs incomplete understanding of the exchange and their ever changing sensitivity levels.

2. In addition, stop the 15 yard, automatic first down for any penalty that doesn't effect the game and doesn't pose a safety threat. Taunting has made all of this worse, but penalties are stupid in general with 15 yards awarded for things that don't actually have an impact on the game. The only 15 yard penalties should be for serious injury risk plays. A hand grazing a QB's helmet or a late push should be five yards; a blatant helmet to helmet should be 15 with the first down.

3. Make every play reviewable if the determination is based on a clear, unambiguous event. I don't think every play should be reviewable because the fact is, there's always going to be some intent-based calls, "know it when you see it" calls, context calls, etc. We saw how this was a disaster with the pass interference replay attempt. However, any play where the call is based on video evidence only should be reviewable. If a helmet to helmet hit occurs, it's a penalty and should be reviewable. If the defender hit the player's chest, it should be reversible. When a quarterback gets hit in the head, it's reviewable. When the defender actually didn't hit the head, it should be reversible. When a QB is out of bounds and gets hit, it should be a penalty. When the QB was not out of bounds first (like this year with Allen on the sidelines) a penalty should be reversible.
 
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FCB02062

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
My rules changes:

Touchback on kickoff to the 20
Kickoff from 30
Every play reviewable
Narrow the goal posts

Most of these suggestions are to make it more difficult in game tying/winning FG situations at the end of games. When teams start at the 25, even with a minute left - especially if they have even just 1 timeout - it is WAY TOO EASY to move the ball to the opponents' 35 or 40 to make what is not just about a routine kick for half the league's kickers not named Folk. When you know you have 4 downs to move 35-40 yards it is very easy for more than half the teams in the NFL when you consider how hard it is to play defense in today's nfl.

Make kickoffs matter again - kickoffs used to be a great time for the kicking team to cause a fumble and get the ball back in days of yore...
 

XLIX

Pro Bowl Player
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You've gotta be kidding me. All year, we've heard, "letter of the law" and been told taunting is serious business and it's important to enforce the rule every time. By the way (as you'll see from the Mike Evans example), the penalty should have happened during the play and not after it. A taunting penalty should have backed the Chiefs up to the 30 yard line.
In the NFL, taunting that takes place during a play is treated as a dead ball foul. The outcome of the play counts. Now, a 15 yard penalty on the subsequent XP may have made a difference, but the TD still would have counted.
 

Palm Beach Pats Fan

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.

4. Mike Evans gets a vicious helmet to helmet hit, but a technicality means the Bucs don't keep possession.

I'm not going to argue with the application of this rule, but it's clearly a stupid rule and needs to be fixed. On fourth down, Evans was targeted down the leftt sideline and was subject to a blatant, illegal hit. Now, it was incredibly obvious that the hit was part of the play. On a roughing the passer call, the team with the ball would retain possession regardless of where the ball landed or when it landed. However, since the ball technically hit the ground first, the Rams got the ball back and the 15 yard penalty was assessed. I would even argue that the illegal act of launching began before the ball hit the ground, even if the helmet wasn't actually hit yet.
The bolded part, I'm not sure about. If the QB has thrown the ball away and it's already landed incomplete, I'd also think the roughing would be a dead ball personal foul, after the play.

problem is, if the ball's already landed incomplete, then it is a hit far, far too late to be associated with a rush on the QB, and that would pretty much never happen (other than say a blindside block after an INT)
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
Agree about the Mike Evans hit. Personal fouls committed in the continuation of the play should be treated the same as happening before the end of the play. I understand that when the play is long over then it's a dead ball foul, but the phrase dead ball should be done away with. Even if the ref's whistle is what kills the play, that hit would have come before a whistle.

I too am done with the taunting penalties.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

High Priest at Team Bill's Temple
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In the NFL, taunting that takes place during a play is treated as a dead ball foul. The outcome of the play counts. Now, a 15 yard penalty on the subsequent XP may have made a difference, but the TD still would have counted.

Thanks...didn't know that. I think they should enforce it during the play because protecting the feelings of other players is critical.
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
One more thing: we may need to bring back a limited form of PI review. The hold on that 2nd drive for the Rams was called a PI, but the replay showed CLEARLY that the hold came before Stafford threw it. That should be reviewable. It resulted in 21 extra yards for the Rams, and combined with Suh's 15 yards, it was more than half the field for the Rams 2nd TD
 

Palm Beach Pats Fan

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Just thinking about the dead ball call...

When a defender blasts a player out of bounds, the play is technically over once the player went out of bounds. Is that treated as a dead ball penalty, after the end of the play, or that that penalized as part of the play? I assume it's also a dead ball PF.
 

Ring 6

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Miller’s hit on Brady looks fine to me. It’s not late and the initial contact is to the chest/shoulder.
Im not sure how allowing players to get in a refs face and scream at him about a call will make the game better.
 
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TB12TheGoat

In the Starting Line-Up
refs should be able to handle getting blasted by players if they make terrible calls

imagine being a grown man, being on a field full of other grown men, and getting upset because a player sweared at you for making a terrible call/no call. if you get upset over that you’re a ****y who needs to find a new line of work
 

BTTA

He/Him
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Miller’s bit on Brady looks fine to me. It’s not late and the initial contact is to the chest/shoulder.
Im not sure how allowing players to get in a refs face and scream at him about a call will make the game better.

Yeah, but its Brady. His "head area" extends farther than others.
 

Ring 6

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refs should be able to handle getting blasted by players if they make terrible calls

imagine being a grown man, being on a field full of other grown men, and getting upset because a player sweared at you for making a terrible call/no call. if you get upset over that you’re a ****y who needs to find a new line of work
Think about that for a minute. Do you really want a Billy Martin/Earl Weaver type argument on the football forks every time a player thinks their should have been a flag.
Many times every game Wrs think they should get a flat and dbs think the flag was wrong.
Do you really think getting in the refs face and screaming at him in those cases improves the game?
 

Palm Beach Pats Fan

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Miller’s bit on Brady looks fine to me. It’s not late and the initial contact is to the chest/shoulder.
Is the point of inital contact relevant? I don't think so.

You are not allowed to make forcible contact to the head and neck area. Period.
 

Ring 6

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Is the point of inital contact relevant? I don't think so.

You are not allowed to make forcible contact to the head and neck area. Period.
Yes, I believe it is.
The forcible contact was to the shoulder, the incidental contact was to the chin.
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
Just thinking about the dead ball call...

When a defender blasts a player out of bounds, the play is technically over once the player went out of bounds. Is that treated as a dead ball penalty, after the end of the play, or that that penalized as part of the play? I assume it's also a dead ball PF.
Great point. It's 4th down, the player didn't make the 1st down, he's hit, they tack on the 1st down.
 

PATSYLICIOUS

Pro Bowl Player
There should be an additional ref watching upstairs with access to quick replay and can call down to the refs on the field instantly if something is blatantly wrong. This would essentially make everything to the obvious eye reviewable and also prevent teams from worrying about wasting a challenge on something so obvious.

It might be hard to review missed helmet to helmets… so many shots up in the chest area that could be interpreted as ‘close ones” id think. Maybe just the obvious ones. The ones CALLED i think should be challengeable. I remember in 2014 a great hit by browner led to a pick and big return but they called a phantom helmet to helmet which could have easily been overturned.

And absolutely on taunting. They need more consistency there or else get rid if it.
 

Bill Lee

What, me worry?
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My rules changes:

Touchback on kickoff to the 20
Kickoff from 30
Every play reviewable
Narrow the goal posts

Most of these suggestions are to make it more difficult in game tying/winning FG situations at the end of games. When teams start at the 25, even with a minute left - especially if they have even just 1 timeout - it is WAY TOO EASY to move the ball to the opponents' 35 or 40 to make what is not just about a routine kick for half the league's kickers not named Folk. When you know you have 4 downs to move 35-40 yards it is very easy for more than half the teams in the NFL when you consider how hard it is to play defense in today's nfl.

Make kickoffs matter again - kickoffs used to be a great time for the kicking team to cause a fumble and get the ball back in days of yore...
Totally agree.

Making everything reviewable does have issues with ticky-tack holding plays. Team A could throw a beautiful TD just before the 2 minute mark, Team B almost certainly will throw a challenge flag hoping to find something on the OL because it does happen on every play, so it seems. It could become a major debbie downer kind of thing. So, so maybe say trench warfare penalties need to be "blatant"? Yet we had the "clear and obvious" standard yet the refs treat every replay as the Zapruder (sp?) film. Maybe say reviews of trench warfare plays need to have two timeouts as a penalty for getting it wrong?

I watched all four games this weekend on my DVR after the games were over. I totally love being able to fast forward through all the bullshyte, but in particular the reviews. They are really a drag on the game. I know having NY do all the calls has a huge risk factor, but jeezus, why do we see a great play on the field and then it seems like there are court proceedings just to determine if we saw what we all just saw? Definitely put a ****ing time limit on replays. If you can't figure it out in fifteen seconds of real-time video, it sure as **** is not "clear and obvious".

Basically, slow replays are the officials doing their best to avoid being blamed and protect their career prospects. It's CYA mostly for their benefit, not ours! They are going to study every bleeping play multiple times frame by frame if you let them. Make them shyte or get off the pot! If they can't cope, find refs that can. If it ain't clear and obvious in fifteen seconds, it ain't clear and obvious! Just say the play stands as called and move the **** on!
 

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