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Old 01-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
Gutless Drunk
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Default Don't Be Afraid to Admit It: Refs Helped Ravens Beat Broncos in AFC Playoffs

Don't Be Afraid to Admit It: Refs Helped Ravens Beat Broncos in AFC Playoffs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-ki...b_2492147.html


"There's a lot to say about the dramatic, emotional Baltimore Ravens' 38-35 double overtime win over the Denver Broncos in the AFC Playoffs on Saturday.

Did it rank among the best playoff games in NFL history? One cannot say the game lacked drama as both teams punched back and forth into double overtime. But it also was one of the ugliest postseason games ever, and referee Bill Vinovich and his officiating crew decidedly influenced the game in Baltimore's favor.

Mike Pereira, the Rules Analyst at FOX Sports and former Vice President of Officiating in the National Football League, defended the officials in his piece for Fox Sports.

"You could say the officiating crew got a frigid review from my Twitter followers, many indicating that the game was not called very well," Pereira notes. "I disagree."

He begins his apologia by reminding us:

"Baltimore-Denver was a tough game to officiate. There were a lot of points scored (73), a lot of passes thrown (77) and as I mentioned, it was cold."

Apparently, games in cold weather featuring lots of points and passes are more difficult to officiate. Perhaps the NFL should institute rules to encourage more use of the ground game and move postseason games to neutral sites in Florida and Arizona.

Well, okay, the game was cold -- the coldest postseason game in Denver Broncos history. I'm glad I wasn't out there on the field as the sun set behind the Rockies and the temperature dropped into single digits. As the game went into double overtime, it also became the longest playoff game in Denver history.

Nevertheless, in a game that had followers lighting up Twitter with comments on the officiating throughout the game, Mike Pereira choses to zero in on just two plays as a basis for his defense. And I don't think either helps him make his case.

The first is Peyton Manning's third quarter fumble (or as it was so ruled) that invoked interpretations of the so-called "tuck rule." Pereira:

The tuck rule states that if a player loses possession after he tucks the ball back into his body, it is a fumble. And that was the key. Manning did get the ball all the way back to his body before it was knocked out. If the ball would have come loose when Manning was tucking it back towards his body, then it would have been an incomplete pass. But since he had tucked it back to his body, it then became a fumble.

But as the replay showed, Manning seemed to lose control of the ball as his throwing hand came down. CBS announcer Dan Dierdorf broke it down as he watched the replay together with the viewers at home: "I think Peyton Manning starts to lose control of this football... Right there, it's coming out of his [hand] and he's not able to ever regain control of the football... he's attempting to tuck it and he loses control of the football."

Attempting is the key word here; he tried to tuck it back to his body but he lost control of it in the process. By rule, that's an incomplete pass, not a fumble. Instead, it was ruled a turnover, and on a shortened field, the Ravens tied the game with a Ray Rice touchdown five plays later. More on this in a bit.

The second play Pereira cherry picks is the disputed completion to Baltimore Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin with 12:30 left in overtime. If the catch had been ruled incomplete, the Ravens would have been forced to punt to Denver from their own 22-yard line in what had become a battle for field position.

Pereira:

The officials ruled that Boldin had made the catch. He did bobble the ball, but he regained possession with his right hand on his way to the ground. The ball hit the ground, but in order for the pass to be ruled incomplete, Boldin would have literally had to lose possession of the ball. Boldin's right hand stayed on the ball at all times. The ground was deemed not to have aided Boldin in completing the catch, since he had possession first before he hit the ground. If the ball touches the ground simultaneously with possession being gained, then the ground is deemed to have aided in the completion of the catch and the pass is incomplete. Again, Vinovich made the correct ruling.

Pereira's statement "in order for the pass to be ruled incomplete, Boldin would have literally had to lose possession of the ball" has me stumped, as it appeared in a replay close-up this is just what happened: Boldin hit the ground in the process of completing the catch, and he momentarily trapped the ball against the ground before regaining control of it. (It should be noted: You can lose possession of the ball even though you have your hand on it.) Another bad call, it seems to me, and one which aided the Ravens in an overtime period ultimately decided by field position and won by a field goal.

But let's move on from these two plays; it's at least possible to have different interpretations of the replays. But Pereira makes a blanket statement that the game was officiated well. In doing so, he seems to ignore some of his own in-game statements on Twitter.

The tone for a poorly officiated game was set in the first quarter when Peyton Manning threw to receiver Eric Decker. Ravens cornerback Chykie Brown (who would rightly be flagged for launching himself at a defenseless receiver later in the game) prevented Decker from making the catch by wrapping up Decker's left arm before the ball arrived--a clear example of pass interference. The ball was tipped, and Ravens' Corey Graham made the interception and returned it for a touchdown.

Watching the replay, Dierdorf noted: "Now there was some contact early. There's no question that the Ravens got away with a little something there."

In Pereira's own words on Twitter at the time: "In my opinion he made contact as he was turning around and was not making a legitimate play on the ball when the contact first occurred."

But interference was not called, and so instead of a first down for the Broncos near midfield with the score tied, the Ravens now led 14-7.

As they old adage goes, "As long as you call that both ways..." But in this game, it wasn't...

Read more (and please refrain from having a political feak-out because is is on huffingon) at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-ki...b_2492147.html

Last edited by Gutless Drunk; 01-18-2013 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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win 1 for the gipper. or something like that
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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The biggest play of the game was the missed PI in the first half that resulted in an INT and a return for a TD. That was a free 7 points in a game that went to double OT. What was bad about this is that during the course of the game, Dierdorf would get worked up about how the referees spotted the ball various times when Harbaugh was upset. Sorry but this doesn't come close to the missed PI that resulted in 7 points.

But I agree with the criticism of Perreira here. That guys is a worhless piece of ****. He's everything that's wrong about the NFL now.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
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I especially like the long TD attempt to Demaryious Thomas, where Cary Williams? threw his legs out as DT was flying by to disrupt the play...no PI called.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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I especially like the long TD attempt to Demaryious Thomas, where Cary Williams? threw his legs out as DT was flying by to disrupt the play...no PI called.
Yeah, the 3rd down PI on Carter (right before the bomb where Champ got beat and right after/before the PI on Decker that was missed resulting in a pick 6).

Denver got some calls but its not as if it evened out.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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I like the Pereria mocking. You are trying to defend the refereeing and you say "It was also cold" ?!?

"Pereira's defense of his former zebra brethren is simply par for the course after such games. As quick as people are to criticize referees for controversial calls, after any game that's been marred by bad calls, invariably there are fans and commentators who rush to say that's not really what decided the game. They shrug off the results of bad officiating decisions even for the most game-changing of plays. Both teams benefit from bad calls, they say. Referees don't decide games. Repeat after me: Referees don't decide games.

Such statements are statements of religious faith. They're based only on what people want to believe to avoid confronting uncomfortable realities.

But let's also not pretend Baltimore won this game because they made all the plays and Denver didn't. The Broncos converted just as many third downs (7) as did the Ravens and were 3 for 3 in the red zone, all on Manning touchdown passes. And despite a series of game-altering calls that went against them, the Broncos had overcome them to lead by a touchdown heading into the final minute of the game. Meanwhile, the Ravens were not without their own mistakes--including having to burn a precious timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty in the waning moments of regulation, which nearly doomed them -- or, at times, unimaginative play calling. And any team that gives up a 90-yard punt return and a 104-yard kickoff return for touchdowns in the same game must've blown a coverage or two somewhere.

Ultimately, underneath all the clichés and apologies, it is hard to argue the Baltimore Ravens would not have lost the game long before overtime without several game-changing assists from the officiating crew. I'm assuming Vinovich and his crew are highly rated official if they were selected by the league to do this playoff game. His coming back to field duty after missing a number years on medical leave is a nice story. Nevertheless, these officials tilted the playing field for this game, and Pereira's apologies cannot erase or diminish that. Nor should it stop the NFL from re-visiting how they put together officiating crews for postseason contests.

Especially if those game will be played outdoors in winter and might have two quarterbacks who like to pass"
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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Pereira's comments are nothing more than "damage control" as football fans are commenting in cyberspace about what they saw with their own eyes. He's trying to tell us we didn't really see what we all saw. And it's not gonna work. The smell of horsecrap is too strong.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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Pereira's comments are nothing more than "damage control" as football fans are commenting in cyberspace about what they saw with their own eyes. He's trying to tell us we didn't really see what we all saw. And it's not gonna work. The smell of horsecrap is too strong.
It was just a freakin bad day all around
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:23 PM   #9
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It was just a freakin bad day all around
Yes, it was. And while officiating was not the reason why we lost (too many mistakes and missed opportunities was), it's still incorrect to say that officiating was good... or even just "ok"... 'cause it wasn't.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
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Yes, it was. And while officiating was not the reason why we lost (too many mistakes and missed opportunities was), it's still incorrect to say that officiating was good... or even just "ok"... 'cause it wasn't.
I agree
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:33 PM   #11
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Yes, it was. And while officiating was not the reason why we lost (too many mistakes and missed opportunities was), it's still incorrect to say that officiating was good... or even just "ok"... 'cause it wasn't.
How can anyone say this, especially after what she said before? Dumb. The game went into over time. Denver yielded 2 massive plays that swung the game and were both a result of bad calls. 1. They obviously missed that PI call against Decker. 2. They flubbed the call against Carter on the play before Champ got used the first time.

Yes, Denver got some calls but none of them resulted in points the same way they did for Baltimore. And this was a game that went to double OT mind you. It's laughable to try to make the claim that a disparity in bad calls didn't make a difference.

Having said that, I don't want to complain about this for the rest of my life. Because, quite simply, no one cares. It's over. What's done is done. But if Im going to be honest about it, yeah, there were some really bad calls that didn't come close to evening out. And, oh yeah, Pereira is a suck as cheesdick that has no business being on TV.

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Old 01-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #12
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Ultimately, underneath all the clichés and apologies, it is hard to argue the Baltimore Ravens would not have lost the game long before overtime without several game-changing assists from the officiating crew.
Glad to see somebody in the media noticed this...
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #13
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Go figure, my favorite quote from the article was:

Quote:
Such statements are statements of religious faith. They're based only on what people want to believe to avoid confronting uncomfortable realities.
So applicable both in the context of the game, and for every Sunday morning.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
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Because, quite simply, no one cares. It's over. What's done is done.
True, but having national articles like this does not hurt. If it becomes urban lore that we got screwed, then perhaps in the psyche of an official it may effect things if we are in the same situation next year. Who knows, we may even get some of those (gasp!) "home cookin" Patriot calls.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by OrangeSe7en View Post
How can anyone say this, especially after what she said before? Dumb. The game went into over time. Denver yielded 2 massive plays that swung the game and were both a result of bad calls. 1. They obviously missed that PI call against Decker. 2. They flubbed the call against Carter on the play before Champ got used the first time.

Yes, Denver got some calls but none of them resulted in points the same way they did for Baltimore. And this was a game that went to double OT mind you. It's laughable to try to make the claim that a disparity in bad calls didn't make a difference.

Having said that, I don't want to complain about this for the rest of my life. Because, quite simply, no one cares. It's over. What's done is done. But if Im going to be honest about it, yeah, there were some really bad calls that didn't come close to evening out. And, oh yeah, Pereira is a suck as cheesdick that has no business being on TV.
If our team had played well... at the level they needed to play in the playoffs... then the bad calls wouldn't have mattered, would they? Bad calls wouldn't have mattered if Prater had made a "clean" kick instead of taking an 18-inch divot out of the field... and that's just one example of something our guys could have done differently to change things. Another? If a young safety had not allowed the receiver to get past him... with no one left between the WR and the end zone... we wouldn't be talking about officiating.

That said... Pereira is doing damage control and trying to sweep the poor officiating under the rug and move on, minimizing just how much the bad calls did affect the game.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:15 PM   #16
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Moore knocks the ball down and its ballgame refs bad calls and all
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:16 PM   #17
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The zebras shortened our gameplan, it doesnt help when you have a QB that at this moment in time cant grasp the ball a 100%. ****me i hate this game and all its poison!!! Those umpires should never work again!
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:37 PM   #18
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Pereira is an a-hole. He can't even explain what happened when Peyton lost the ball! Nobody knocked it out. MY GOD where do they get these a-holes!

And what? Since when does a trapped ball have to be lost on possession after hitting the ground to be called an incomplete pass? WHAT A LOAD.

THIS GUY IS A FRAUD.

Former VP of officiating!!
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:39 PM   #19
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I especially like the long TD attempt to Demaryious Thomas, where Cary Williams? threw his legs out as DT was flying by to disrupt the play...no PI called.
Yes, as the clown was tumbling to the ground he stuck his left leg out and Tonya Harding-ed Thomas.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #20
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There's probably a few reason the Broncos lost this game, and we don't know exactly how things would have played out had the refs made the right calls, but common sense tells us the Broncos chances would have increased exponentially had the "tuck rule" play (or the dumb Kupe holding penalty) and deck PI gone our way. That's 14 points right there. And don't get me started on the overtime calls. Especially the Champ PI one.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #21
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By the way, where are the blowhards hating on the HuffPo, that liberal rag!
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:09 PM   #22
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By the way, where are the blowhards hating on the HuffPo, that liberal rag!
It IS a liberal rag, but they got one article on sports right. Congrats.

There is clearly an NFL coverup about this.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:09 PM   #23
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All the calls aside the pace of the refs slowed our O down to a stop with how long they would take to decide anything. Nothing is worse then letting a worn out aging D get extra rest when we are a uptempo team.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:54 PM   #24
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Well ya we got hosed. good teams usually can usually overcome. but. like the seahawks against the stealers in the SB. sometimes its Too much..the NFL pretty much came out and said the refs blew that SB.(why i never Ever want the drooling chin as our HC).
But, even after the R Moore f-up. the supposedly goat qb threw a stupid interception, in OT, on our side of the field.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:11 AM   #25
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Even with the bad calls, I felt like our guys lacked the intensity on defense to match the Ravens intensity on defense.

We need a team leading middle linebacker.
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