Wildcard Weekend Game Thread

PayrodsFirstClutchHit

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E5 Yaz said:
skatz23 Sharon Katz
Via ESPN Analytics:Lions win probability if pass interference call stands: 78%Lions win probability on 4th and 1 after flag picked up: 66%
 
They way the DPI call is being discussed you would think the win prob immediately went to zero.  It took Caldwell and Stafford to flush the remaining 66%.
 

crystalline

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No word from the officials yet? How long does it take to get together in a room and change your stories to the one that makes the league look best?
 

Ferm Sheller

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Tony C said:
 
Yep...that's indisputable and the essential point -- not sure how or why anyone would argue differently. Noise about Dez's penalty not affecting the play is idiotic -- can say that about a ton of penalties, has absolutely zero relevance.
 
 
But the refs could have said with both teams in mind: "This is crunch time in a big game.  We're not going to let trivial things like 'demonstration' that occur outside of gameplay help decide this game."  IOW, they would have ignored similar bad behavior by a Detroit player (had such behavior in fact occurred).
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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Yeah, people calling for Dez Bryant to have been penalized after protesting the strangest officiating snafu I can remember (in crunch time of a playoff game) is kinda like if people called for officials to throw more flags for excessive celebration after a touchdown.  i.e., Yeah, the rule is on the books in case players take it too far, but it's not meant to be a zero-tolerance kind of thing.
 

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What's important to remember is at least the NFL got it right and allowed Suh to play in this game.
 

Freddy Linn

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MentalDisabldLst said:
Yeah, people calling for Dez Bryant to have been penalized after protesting the strangest officiating snafu I can remember (in crunch time of a playoff game) is kinda like if people called for officials to throw more flags for excessive celebration after a touchdown.  i.e., Yeah, the rule is on the books in case players take it too far, but it's not meant to be a zero-tolerance kind of thing.
 
Removal of your helmet either during a celebration or during a confrontation with an official is an automatic penalty.  Leaving the sideline to do it notwithstanding.  I don't get why this is difficult to understand.  It isn't for "players who take it too far", and it is "a zero-tolerance kind of thing."
 

BigJimEd

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MentalDisabldLst said:
I didnt have a dog in that fight, and I saw a play where I didnt think PI should have been called. between the facemask grab by Pettigrew, and how the arm-swing looked to be just an attempt by the defender to get his own arm free and unentangled, I think no-call was the right call.

but there's no doubt that the "de-calling" was one of the shadiest things I've seen in the NFL since the days Bill Polian used to pipe crowd noise into Indy's stadium. if youre going to do that, you need a detailed, Hochuli-style explanation to the crowd and the coaches.
Yes, I didn't think it was DPI but was very surprised to see them pick it up.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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MentalDisabldLst said:
Yeah, people calling for Dez Bryant to have been penalized after protesting the strangest officiating snafu I can remember (in crunch time of a playoff game) is kinda like if people called for officials to throw more flags for excessive celebration after a touchdown.  i.e., Yeah, the rule is on the books in case players take it too far, but it's not meant to be a zero-tolerance kind of thing.
It wasn't the "strangest officiating snafu" when Bryant was protesting.  It was immediately after the PI call, which is the type of call you see all the time in the NFL.  It only rose to the level of "strangest" when the officials rescinded their decision, and Bryant certainly wasn't protesting that.
 

WayBackVazquez

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BigSoxFan said:
Agreed. I don't want subjectivity in penalties that result in 15 yards and an automatic first down. These kind of calls absolutely have to be black and white.
You have that subjectivity ALL THE TIME. Insulting or abusive language toward a ref gets you a 15-yard penalty. Who do you suppose decides what is insulting or abusive?
 

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I can't believe that weak-ass explanation of the non-call on the DPI.

I figured they were going to say that the receiver's incidental contact with the defender's face mask kept the defender from turning his head to look for the ball.

I'm not at all upset about the non-call on Dez. Rightly or not, officials are hesitant to call penalties like UC during the playoffs. It would've been shocking if they had flagged that in the 4th quarter of a playoff game -- I can't recall an instance of something like that happening.
 

WayBackVazquez

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Oil Can Dan said:
Your helmet is either on or its off though, no?
Well, if you want to be technical about it, it's removal of the helmet on the field of play during a confrontation with an official. So if it was off before, off the field of play, or before the confrontation, it's not so black or white.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I'd actually be thrilled if that was not DPI. So long as there is no contact (or as in the play in question, minimal contact) then who the fuck cares if the DB us "faceguarding". It is hard enough playing DB with the absurd rules the league has adopted, so long as you are not touching the receiver I fail to see why that should be a penalty. But, we see it called all of the fucking time and it should have been called there. When the defender doesn't look back for the ball on a play like that it is pretty much automatic. The explanation from the officials is weak sauce. I have no love for the Lions but they have every right to be livid.
 
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Philip Jeff Frye said:
It wasn't the "strangest officiating snafu" when Bryant was protesting.  It was immediately after the PI call, which is the type of call you see all the time in the NFL.  It only rose to the level of "strangest" when the officials rescinded their decision, and Bryant certainly wasn't protesting that.
 
Fair point.  But I'm still with WBV that this was a great spot for officials to exercise some restraint on extracurricular flags.
 
I mean, coaches come off the sideline to yell at officials.  By the letter of the law, they should get a 15-yard bench unsportsmanlike every time they do... but they don't, unless they absolutely throw a Bob Knight-level nutty and start throwing chairs or some shit.  Flags rarely fly for something that isn't demanded by a foul in the course of play, or by player safety (e.g. dead-ball sideline shoving matches gone too far), or something absolutely unconscionable (assistant coach tripping a player running by the sideline).  I'm thankful for that.
 

BigJimEd

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Ralphwiggum said:
I'd actually be thrilled if that was not DPI. So long as there is no contact (or as in the play in question, minimal contact) then who the fuck cares if the DB us "faceguarding". It is hard enough playing DB with the absurd rules the league has adopted, so long as you are not touching the receiver I fail to see why that should be a penalty. But, we see it called all of the fucking time and it should have been called there. When the defender doesn't look back for the ball on a play like that it is pretty much automatic. The explanation from the officials is weak sauce. I have no love for the Lions but they have every right to be livid.
Without contact? That's never been a penalty. Minimal contact gets called a lot but not always. There was more contact from the offense but OPI isn't called enough.
 

WayBackVazquez

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BigSoxFan said:
I was referring to taking off the helmet. Guys like Mike Florio have already stated that Dez should have been penalized.
"Guys like" Mike Florio? You said you don't want subjectivity in calling penalties that carry 15-yard auto first downs. But it's literally THE SAME penalty (unsportsmanlike conduct) for taking your helmet off during an argument and saying some undefined magic words to an official. Referees use their discretion for penalties all the time. Just like cops and prosecutors do.

When someone pops off because you made a call that ultimately you decided wasn't even a good call, it's an excellent time to exercise that discretion.
 

mostman

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Man. If I was a Detroit fan I would be enraged. That was theft.

Honestly trying to remember a flag being picked up AFTER the announcement and basically at the point where the offense was already back in the huddle. That's fucked.
 

WayBackVazquez

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mostman said:
Man. If I was a Detroit fan I would be enraged. That was theft.
Honestly trying to remember a flag being picked up AFTER the announcement and basically at the point where the offense was already back in the huddle. That's fucked.
Didn't Caldwell say it happened earlier this year against New Orleans?
 

DrewDawg

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maufman said:
I can't believe that weak-ass explanation of the non-call on the DPI.
 
Eh, the explanation makes sense because the fuck up was the ref seeing the flag and making the call before they all got together, because we've all seen flags thrown, a conference, and then an explanation "there is no foul for pass interference on the play". The ref fucked up.
 
I'm not sure what I think about whether or not it was PI though. Pettigrew had a hold of the defenders facemask.
 

mostman

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WayBackVazquez said:
Didn't Caldwell say it happened earlier this year against New Orleans?
I didn't hear that. I'm sure it's happened a few times. That's just the first time I've seen it or can recall it happening. It seems every single year in the NFL playoffs there is some profound fuck up that happens with the officiating. Not just a simple missed call, but things like this.
 

DrewDawg

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Ralphwiggum said:
I'd actually be thrilled if that was not DPI. So long as there is no contact (or as in the play in question, minimal contact) then who the fuck cares if the DB us "faceguarding". It is hard enough playing DB with the absurd rules the league has adopted, so long as you are not touching the receiver I fail to see why that should be a penalty. But, we see it called all of the fucking time and it should have been called there. When the defender doesn't look back for the ball on a play like that it is pretty much automatic. The explanation from the officials is weak sauce. I have no love for the Lions but they have every right to be livid.
 
What are your thoughts on Pettigrew grabbing the defender's facemask.
 

Oil Can Dan

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WayBackVazquez said:
"Guys like" Mike Florio? You said you don't want subjectivity in calling penalties that carry 15-yard auto first downs. But it's literally THE SAME penalty (unsportsmanlike conduct) for taking your helmet off during an argument and saying some undefined magic words to an official. Referees use their discretion for penalties all the time. Just like cops and prosecutors do.

When someone pops off because you made a call that ultimately you decided wasn't even a good call, it's an excellent time to exercise that discretion.
Clowns like me watching the game could see helmetless Dez charge the field. Clowns like me can't hear helmeted player calling a ref a motherfucker or whatever the magic word is. That fact alone (should) remove the flexibility the red in question has, otherwise clowns like me start to wonder why an obvious penalty is not being called.

And I disagree that coaches do what Dez did often. Complain to refs along the sideline or a yard or so into the field? Sure. That's part of their job description. Running 10+ yards onto the field with no helmet is much different than that to me.

I have a much bigger problem with the flag being picked up. And I too don't really want to see a league that's not-picky, but this was egregious IMO.
 

WayBackVazquez

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BigJimEd said:
Without contact? That's never been a penalty. Minimal contact gets called a lot but not always. There was more contact from the offense but OPI isn't called enough.
Not true that it has never been a penalty. It used to be a penalty.
 

Freddy Linn

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DrewDawg said:
 
What are your thoughts on Pettigrew grabbing the defender's facemask.
 
Or Hitchens for defensive holding prior to the DPI?  Pereira is all over that one.
 
I think all the other stuff is noise.  The crew made a call and announced it, and then reversed it without any explanation.  And then they ignored a pretty obvious unsportsmanlike conduct during the fog of war that they created.  
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Here is Pereira breaking down the play and why he thought it should've been ruled DPI.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdAKk42OzVw&feature=youtu.be
 

WayBackVazquez

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Oil Can Dan said:
Clowns like me watching the game could see helmetless Dez charge the field. Clowns like me can't hear helmeted player calling a ref a motherfucker or whatever the magic word is. That fact alone (should) remove the flexibility the red in question has, otherwise clowns like me start to wonder why an obvious penalty is not being called.
And I disagree that coaches do what Dez did often. Complain to refs along the sideline or a yard or so into the field? Sure. That's part of their job description. Running 10+ yards onto the field with no helmet is much different than that to me.
I have a much bigger problem with the flag being picked up. And I too don't really want to see a league that's not-picky, but this was egregious IMO.
But clowns like me and MDL (neither of whom had a rooting interest AFAIK) think it would be stupid to determine the outcome of a game calling a penalty that didn't need to be called in this situation. And if called, clowns like us would wonder why outcome determinative penalties are being called in playoff games over actions that were precipitated by official error, and did not prejudice either team.
 

snowmanny

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That was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty preceded by an obvious DPI (he had his hands on him and wasn't playing the ball) preceded by a less obvious but real OPI. They should have called them all.
 

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ThePrideofShiner said:
Here is Pereira breaking down the play and why he thought it should've been ruled DPI.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdAKk42OzVw&feature=youtu.be
 
I have a feeling the NFL is going to have some things to say to Fox after this piece.  Its pretty damning.
 

DrewDawg

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Well, the upshot is the officials will make sure to call a whole assload of DPIs next week.
 
Hey, don't we play Flacco? Sweet.
 

Oil Can Dan

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WayBackVazquez said:
But clowns like me and MDL (neither of whom had a rooting interest AFAIK) think it would be stupid to determine the outcome of a game calling a penalty that didn't need to be called in this situation. And if called, clowns like us would wonder why outcome determinative penalties are being called in playoff games over actions that were precipitated by official error, and did not prejudice either team.
Again. There is a rule that says if you are in the field of play without your helmet on then it's a 15 yard penalty. Period. So not sure why you think this penalty "didn't need to be called". The guy broke that rule. If your counterpoint is that rules get broken all the time and so whatever, well then I think that's weak and we can agree to disagree.
 

WayBackVazquez

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Oil Can Dan said:
Again. There is a rule that says if you are in the field of play without your helmet on then it's a 15 yard penalty. Period.
Actually, no it doesn't say that. It says you can't remove it in the field of play. And he didn't.

Honestly, since Dez was not on the field during the play, he was subject to rule 13, and not rule 12, anyway. Meaning he was subject to the exact same rules Jason Garrett was. So the helmet thing is a nom-starter. If you think Garrett would or should have been penalized there, then okay, I guess.
 

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ThePrideofShiner said:
Here is Pereira breaking down the play and why he thought it should've been ruled DPI.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdAKk42OzVw&feature=youtu.be
 
The other thing that is completely ridiculous about this situation is that the back judge is in perfect position to make this call.  In other replay angles (like here) you can actually see the back judge in the background in perfect position to see the contact and throw the flag immediately.  This is a textbook position where the back judge is supposed to make this call because he has the play coming toward him and has a good view of whatever the Cowboy player is doing with his arms.  In comparison, the head linesman (who overruled the decision apparently) isn't supposed to have as much responsibility for pass interference down the sideline because the players are moving away from him and contact is often obscured.  The guy is standing on the LOS at the 46, almost 20 yards upfield from where the players were when the ball arrived.  So basically you have the official that is supposed to be responsible for PI calls in this area of the field, and who threw a flag with zero hesitation, overruled by an official who is only supposed to be a supporting player in making those calls.
 

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"The contact was minimal" is an interesting defense for a penalty that is black or white on the issue. When a defender is not playing the ball, any contact whatsoever is PI.
 

Ed Hillel

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Also, on that holding penalty, the contact occurred in the middle of the field right at the LoS. Is that even a foul? Isn't a RB running between the tackles there fair game? For all a DT or LB knows, he's running the ball.

I thought the rule distinguished plays between and outside the tackles at the LoS.
 

Tony C

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DeJesus Built My Hotrod said:
 
I have a feeling the NFL is going to have some things to say to Fox after this piece.  Its pretty damning.
 
Geez, that is pretty definitive. I mean there is "agree to disagree" and then there is...wtf? I have no idea what the logic is of those defending the refs on this play -- they completely screwed the pooch (and the Lions). Insanely amateurish.
 

amarshal2

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Dez should have been flagged although I have no idea what his helmet has to do with anything as he was not playing before or after that down.

However, I agree (and it seems I'm in the minority) that the correct call was no call on the non-DPI. The contact WAS minimal. I don't care if he looked or not, it's not pass interference if you don't INTERFERE with the player's ability to catch the ball and in my opinion that call would have been ticky tacky at best if judged to have interfered with his ability to catch the ball. They were running in stride and there was typical contact you see on almost every play. The receiver never planted to go back to the ball. Face guarding is not a penalty in the NFL.

Edit: the timing sucked but I'll take the right call over style every day.

bottom line, DPI called or not should be reviewable. At least in the playoffs.
 

E5 Yaz

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amarshal2 said:
Dez should have been flagged although I have no idea what his helmet has to do with anything as he was not playing before or after that down.

However, I agree (and it seems I'm in the minority) that the correct call was no call on the non-DPI. The contact WAS minimal. I don't care if he looked or not, it's not pass interference if you don't INTERFERE with the player's ability to catch the ball and in my opinion that call would have been ticky tacky at best if judged to have interfered with his ability to catch the ball. They were running in stride and there was typical contact you see on almost every play. The receiver never planted to go back to the ball. Face guarding is not a penalty in the NFL.

Edit: bottom line, DPI called or not should be reviewable. At least in the playoffs.
 
The pull of the jersey has been called all season, particularly on Browner. The contact of the defender's left arm to the right shoulder of the receiver probably didn't prevent him from making a catch, but by not "playing the ball," that's another call that is called more often than not. 
 
If that's Gronk being defended by a Ravens DB next week, I suspect there won't be much of a difference of opinion here.
 

amarshal2

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E5 Yaz said:
 
The pull of the jersey has been called all season, particularly on Browner. The contact of the defender's left arm to the right shoulder of the receiver probably didn't prevent him from making a catch, but by not "playing the ball," that's another call that is called more often than not. 
 
If that's Gronk being defended by a Ravens DB next week, I suspect there won't be much of a difference of opinion here.
I'm in the camp that Browner has been called unfairly based on rep so I'm not sure I'll agree with you.

As for Gronk, the more bump and run contact they allow the better. He pushes off a lot. Obviously I hope they keep calling the holds he tends to draw.

Edit: now I think you're referring to the jersey tug before the ball was thrown. Yes, holding. Not PI, obviously.
 

E5 Yaz

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WayBackVazquez said:
And if called, clowns like us would wonder why outcome determinative penalties are being called in playoff games over actions that were precipitated by official error, and did not prejudice either team.
 
Bryant's actions were not precipitated by official error.  He argued the original call, before the officials changed their minds. What you're suggesting is that players should be allowed to go onto the field of play from the sidelines (regardless of helmet) and argue any call they disagree with, without fear of penalty ... just because that penalty might have a bearing on the outcome.
 

E5 Yaz

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amarshal2 said:
I'm in the camp that Browner has been called unfairly based on rep so I'm not sure I'll agree with you.
 
The rep isn't the point; it's the jersey grab
 
Pettigrew got a step on Hitchens, who grabbed the back of Pettigrew's jersey with his left hand in violation of the NFL's defensive holding rule. This was a point-of-emphasis penalty in 2014 and was called a league-record 347 times during the regular season. No penalty was called. 
 
 
http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/157504/inside-slant-referee-pete-morelli-had-four-potential-penalties-on-key-lions-cowboys-play
 

WayBackVazquez

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E5 Yaz said:
Bryant's actions were not precipitated by official error.  He argued the original call, before the officials changed their minds. What you're suggesting is that players should be allowed to go onto the field of play from the sidelines (regardless of helmet) and argue any call they disagree with, without fear of penalty ... just because that penalty might have a bearing on the outcome.
Yes, they were precipitated by error. He complained about a flag. A flag that was picked up because it was determined to be in error. If the flag had never been thrown, there is no argument, get it?

No, what I'm arguing is that the referees correctly used their discretion and declined to call an outcome-determinative and discretionary penalty on a player for arguing against a call that was wrong, and ultimately reversed. The helmet thing is a non-starter, he was a substitute, not a player, and didn't remove his helmet. You are arguing that the officials should have called an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty because a substitute left his designated area. I hope every time you see a coach doing the same without being flagged, you run to the board and get similarly riled.
 

WayBackVazquez

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By the way, I am throughly enjoying the supporting authority of Mike Florio and Peter King. I'm convinced!
 

E5 Yaz

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WayBackVazquez said:
Yes, they were precipitated by error. He complained about a flag. A flag that was picked up because it was determined to be in error. If the flag had never been thrown, there is no argument, get it?

No, what I'm arguing is that the referees correctly used their discretion and declined to call an outcome-determinative and discretionary penalty on a player for arguing against a call that was wrong, and ultimately reversed. The helmet thing is a non-starter, he was a substitute, not a player, and didn't remove his helmet. You are arguing that the officials should have called an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty because a substitute left his designated area. I hope every time you see a coach doing the same without being flagged, you run to the board and get similarly riled.
 
A substitute? Bryant was coming in on defense for the fourth down play? That's really stretching it.
 
As to the error argument, you can't say his action was correct when the "error" had yet to be determined when he went on the field. He crossed the line -- figuratively and literally -- before any determination of error was made. That it was subsequently made doesn't release him from responsibility for his actions before that determination.
 

WayBackVazquez

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E5 Yaz said:
A substitute? Bryant was coming in on defense for the fourth down play? That's really stretching it.
He's a substitute as defined in the NFL rule book, which is why rule 12 concerns players REMOVING their helmets and rule 13 concerns substitutes, coaches, and other team personnel. The helmet rule is quite obviously inapplicable.