2017 NFL Playoffs – Detroit vs Seattle

Ah, the rematch of last year’s Monday Night Football ‘tip-gate’ game.  What a joke of a controversy that was.  Granted, I’m a Seahawks fan, but the hypocrisy of the media is what gets me.  We hear too often from these talking heads that the officials don’t let the players play, well, last year on Monday Night Football when the Detroit Lions visited the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, they did just that.  (Only ESPN loves to fuel the fire with Monday Night Football games here in Seattle.)

The Seahawks were leading 13-10,  when Lions wide out, Calvin Johnson, had caught a pass and was getting ready to score.  Seahawk Safety, Kam Chancellor knocked the ball out before Johnson crossed the goal line.  The ball was bouncing to the back of the endzone when Seahawk Linebacker, KJ Wright, went to grab it only instead he tipped it out of bounds.

kjwright

In real time, with the back of the end zone camera it looks like he’s making an attempt at grabbing for the ball only he misses and it goes out of bounds.  The birds eye view camera in real time shows the play from Wright’s back and from the angle it looks like an obvious bat of the ball.

What did the official say when asked about it?

“I felt it wasn’t an intentional act, that it was inadvertent.’

Later, KJ Wright admitted he batted the ball out of bounds on purpose but I contend that it wasn’t a clear swipe at the ball where the official standing only two yards away thought it was.

So what is the rule exactly?

nflrules

If I’m an official, and I see a player with his elbow tucked in reaching for the ball that comes off his fingers, causing the ball to bounce out of bounds, I don’t consider that a violation of the above rule.

‘But he pushed it out of bounds!’  We know that now, but during the heat of the moment, with everything going on, you have to make a decision.  Watch the movie Sully.

Can you imagine if an official made a call like that when it wasn’t a full on swipe or bat of the ball out of bounds?  Officials cannot officiate on player intent (hello, Suh), they (we, actually, since I officiate from time to time) have to make the call based on what we see.  Even if another official sees it from his view, he is out of position, he has to swallow his whistle and opinion and go with his teammate who was positioned in the right area.

I digress, mainly because, like the earlier game, this one is going to end with Boykin and the Seahawks winning by more than 10.   Gotta create drama somewhere.

Seattle Seahawks: 31  Detroit Lions: 20 

 

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