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NFL Network - Official Review - Sellers Fumble


BurgGold75

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The conspiracy theorist inside of me says that this type of rule is set up so the refs can influence a game easier. A rule like this is in place so that in these close-call situations, the call can go either way.

You can say "the whistle was blown dead, so the Skins keep the ball" or "players must play through the whistle, so the Saints get the ball."

This rule gives the refs more power to influence games as they like.

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That was my beef with the call. But, according to what he just said, in 2006, they changed the rule to where they will review "down by contact" calls.

They couldn't review down by contact calls until 2007. But then, a change of possession could not occur if they determined there was a fumble.

The rule change last year, due to the Ed Hochuli debacle, was that you can have a change of possession if it was deemed a fumble and down by contact was called.

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the rule is bad. Even last year when the rule was changed and didn't effect the Skins I argued with a co-worked that the rule was bad.

A fumble is going to happen and a whistile is blown. But then a player will reach for the ball and a player from another team will hit him....hard.....

In fact -You almost HAVE to coach that! And then what? Are you going give a 15 yeard penelty? Are you going to allow it?

What happens when 1 player goes to casually pick up the ball with his guard down and a player from the other team LAYS into him, (He almost has to, just in case the play is reviewed) and a player gets hurt. Then what?

Look - Refs simply need to be told NOT to blow the whistile if there is ANY doubt about it being a fumble or not. but once the whilstile blows, it's dead.

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A fumble is going to happen and a whistile is blown. But then a player will reach for the ball and a player from another team will hit him....hard.....In fact -You almost HAVE to coach that! And then what? Are you going give a 15 yeard penelty? Are you going to allow it?

What happens when 1 player goes to casually pick up the ball with his guard down and a player from the other team LAYS into him, (He almost has to, just in case the play is reviewed) and a player gets hurt. Then what?

This is not the rule. The play is still dead at the whistle. The opposing team does not even have to pick it up for a recovery. The refs just got it wrong on Sunday.
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The idea behind the rule makes sense but I think its application needs to be honed some. I think it should only be applied if the recovery occurred in a pile with guys clearly fighting for the ball not someone nonchalantly picking up the ball after the whistle was blown. Besides that, there needs to be some kind of check for the refs when early whistles are blown.

On this play though, I still think they were wrong to overturn the call on the field. I have seen them not overturn a call many times with more evidence than this because they said it wasn't clear. They have been even more strict this year on requiring clear visual evidence to overturn calls but that didnt happen here. I dont think its a league conspiracy like some do but I do think the Saints being the team to benefit influenced the call. It may have only been subconsciously but you could tell the refs wanted to see an undefeated team.

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One angle shows he's clearly down, one angle shows a clear fumble, the call on the field should stand, Redskins ball.

I kind of agree.

First of all, I think that Sellers was losing control of the ball prior to his elbow being down. So, if a gun was held to my head and I had to say whether this play was a fumble or not, I'd say yes.

However, given the replay rules, there really is no way they should have overturned the call on the field. His arm was "rolling" in a way that his elbow gradually touched the ground. it started with his hand, then wrist, then forearm, etc. What constitutes an elbow? Also, since it wasn't blatantly obvious that the ball was coming out before the elbow, you have to keep the call on the field. Lastly, I think it's pretty obvious that both Sellers and the guy who tackled him stopped attempting to recover the fumble (presumably due to the whistle) before the Saint DB scooped it up. That would have been the icing on the cake for me.

So, in summary, had they called this a fumble on the field I would have been fine with everything. I think the result of the play was indeed a fumble. However, with the ruling on the field being down by contact, there is no way this play should have been overturned.

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This season has been the worst. I mean this call was clearly inconclusive unless the Ref’s had some angle that we couldn’t see. But this has been our luck all year.

Thats the way Zorn Coaches

Always allow one play to beat us ...Just check his descion making in every single Loss we have...Its the same thing !

FIRE CORN NOW PLZ!

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The call IMO was B.S., but I wonder if the Skins had been in a battle for a wildcard spot would the call have been different? If the Saints were not 12-0 would it have made a difference; if the replay official didn't hate the Skins so much would it have been different...

Both sides of the issue have good points. do you continue to play through the whistle? you know at some point again during a Skins game there will be another fumble by either team, and then what happens when they continue to fight for the ball do they get flagged?

As stated, if Mike had come out and said "we made a bad error in judgement on this call", I would have felt better, being playoffs were not an issue.

Just go kick some Raider butt sunday and lets move on...

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I can see them calling it a fumble, calls like that happen. My problem is what kind of time limit do you have after the whistle blows to recover a loose ball? 2 seconds? 5 seconds? The ball was loose for more than three seconds before a Saints player "recovered" it. Then he promptly handed it to the ref. WTF.

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You would be correct, except that is no longer the rule.

http://profootball.scout.com/2/556118.html

Sorry, I just can't argue there needs to be a rule change every time a call goes against us.

By the way, I was incorrect in saying this was the Hochuli rule. That rule, which is new this year, allows the refs to apply this same rule to plays that were originally ruled an incomplete pass.

So everytime a ball is loose, and the whistle blows the play dead, should people still run and fight for the ball??? So blowing the whistle doesn't kill the play dead??

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The call IMO was B.S., but I wonder if the Skins had been in a battle for a wildcard spot would the call have been different? If the Saints were not 12-0 would it have made a difference; if the replay official didn't hate the Skins so much would it have been different...

Both sides of the issue have good points. do you continue to play through the whistle? you know at some point again during a Skins game there will be another fumble by either team, and then what happens when they continue to fight for the ball do they get flagged?

As stated, if Mike had come out and said "we made a bad error in judgement on this call", I would have felt better, being playoffs were not an issue.

Just go kick some Raider butt sunday and lets move on...

I'm surprised the 72 Dolphins haven't come to the Skins defense on this yet.

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I am still wondering how it is you can call a time out after the next play had already begun.

Also, what in the blue **** are they doing giving Sean Payton his time out BACK after a booth review?

Also, even though he did fumble, and a Saint did pick it up, what is to say a Skins player might not have tackled and stripped him of the ball had everyone on the field felt to play past the whistle? There was no contest for the ball once the Saint's player casually picked up the ball and went to hand it off. Does this mean that Sellers could have slapped the ball out of the Saints players hand as he was handing it to the ref and then took possession?

What kind of half baked bull**** ruling is going on in the NFL these days?

I still felt like that time out was called well after the next play had already begun.

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They will be able to rationalize this as how they couldn't hear the whistle on the video and it would be tough to tell and all that stuff which is just crazy. You should be able to hear a whistle when the home team has the ball because that is when the crowd noise is far less. Of course the NFL is just CYA again with an explanation of something that was overturned, but there no conclusive evidence that he was fumbling the ball before that left forearm hit the ground. Between the sellers call and the Karim Moore INT which may not have been an INT to begin with, the Refs really missed two big calls that swung momentum for certain in the game.

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Pause the video at 42 seconds in and tell me that's not a fumble. Also, as for the playing through the whistle thing, the only players who had a chance to pick up the ball if there was no whistle were Saints players. Sorry, still can't agree with you guys that it wasn't a fumble. I think the side angle shows it's clearly coming out before any part of his arms hit the ground. I know this is an unpopular opinion on here, but imo the officials got it right.

Both Sellers and the guy who tackled him lunged right for the ball and knocked it away. The only person who had a chance to get it at that point was the guy who ended up recovering. He didn't run anywhere because the whistle was already blown. It was the correct call based on the Hochuli rule.

You know, given the fact that we had an interception stripped and returned for a touchdown solidly demonstrates the idea that you cannot ever call a play over until it's over. The ball was either dead, or it was not. If it was not, then no whistle should have blown. In this case, the whistle blew and no one but the player that casually picked it up made a play on the ball. Who's to say the recoverer wouldn't have been stripped of the ball himself? This was an out and out screw job. Not only do they over turn the play, they award the ball to the other team. Completely bogus.

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I said it in the chat that they looked at the replay when the ball was stripped and not when he actually made the INT as he was down and got up and started running.

Why the HELL didn't Zorn counter challenge - unless you can't do that.

Was a booth review situation in the last 2 minutes--he couldn't challenge it.

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Pause the video at 42 seconds in and tell me that's not a fumble. Also, as for the playing through the whistle thing, the only players who had a chance to pick up the ball if there was no whistle were Saints players. Sorry, still can't agree with you guys that it wasn't a fumble. I think the side angle shows it's clearly coming out before any part of his arms hit the ground. I know this is an unpopular opinion on here, but imo the officials got it right.

Both Sellers and the guy who tackled him lunged right for the ball and knocked it away. The only person who had a chance to get it at that point was the guy who ended up recovering. He didn't run anywhere because the whistle was already blown. It was the correct call based on the Hochuli rule.

Ok say you are correct in it was a fumble. I have not feeling one way or the other but what do you say about them reviewing a down by contact call(Which by the way is not a reviewable play).

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I'm in agreement with everybody who's saying the whistle should end it. From age 4 until you retire, you are taught to play TO the whistle, not THROUGH the whistle. In fact, playing through to whistle will get you 15 yards.

Let's say something simlar to this were to happen next week to us on offense. Ganther gains 5 yards, whistle blows, the ball is on the ground and nobody's sure if it's a fumble or not but it's close. Big Mike, rememberw this game, decides he doesn't want the guy standing 2 yards away (who is picking up the ball to hand it to the ref) to "recover" the dead ball, and knocks him out of the way to get it. Let's say this all unfolds in about 2 seconds

Is that a 15-yard late hit call? Is Sellers making sure the Redskins keep the ball just in case? If the opposing coach decides to challenge the fumble, should the penalty just be automatically erased since somebody deems it close enough to challenge?

My problems is simply that by saying "The play doesn't always necessarily end at the whistle 100% of the time" you're setting up players for injuries, penalties (and fines), fights, etc. Either the whistle is final, or it's not. Either players have to stop at the whistle, or you HAVE to grant a 3-5 second window afterward that players are allowed to hit each other and fight for the ball without repercussion.

In some ways it's like the out-of-bounds hit Landry had on Ryan a few weeks ago. Sure he wasn't really, technically out of bounds when Landry hit him, but he was on his way there, so it counts. All it take is 1 QB (Vince Young, Peyton Manning, I don't care who it is) darting for the sideline, then turning up field when the D lets off for fear of a penalty. You have to draw a line in the sand, and it has to matter.

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Peter King disagrees with the NFL. Here is his direct quote from his column this week:

"Now, overnight, I watched this replay seven times. I believe it does not meet the most important criterion for being overturned--namely, that it requires indisputable visual evidence to change the call on the field. The one angle where you see Sellers upside down, with his elbow either touching the ground or very close to touching the grand, the ball has just been dislodged. It's very very close. Refereee Carl Cheffers called for a reversal. I wouldn't have. But you watch the play a few times and let me know what you think....So the replay reversal didn't win the game. But it was a very big factor."

We get this over here with referrals in Rugby. It drives me nuts. If you have to watch a replay many, many times over a 'long' period of time, the evidence just has to be inconclusive.

Give them a couple of replays from each angle. Then give them a third & final look from the 'best' couple of angles then decide. If you are still not sure at that point, let the call stand.

The mind starts to play tricks on you if you look for too long. I'm sure it does :)

Now I haven't read through all of the posts on this, but has anyone else actually held Sellers accountable for fumbling the ball in the first place? If he had just held on to it none of this would be an issue. We held Suisham accountable for missing crucial, crunch-time kicks but Sellers has made plenty of mistakes this season as well, and remember his fumble in the Bengals game last year. Bottom line is if we're going to have "screw Suisham" rants, then what about Sellers?

I agree with this. Same goes for Moore. Keep hold of the ball & there is nothing to discuss. I'd also add on the Moore int, Brees should have been sacked, quite easily on a play that was about 3rd & 26. I agree the calls are debatable. We'd be better off not putting ourselves in the positon to start off with.

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I'm not so sure about this. Seems kinda fishy, especially the part where it shows that the Saints called a TO to stop the Redskins from running the play. The call to review the play is made by the officials in OT. If they were reviewing it wouldn't they have just stopped the play rather than a TO by NO instead?

So basically the Saints challenged the call without their being a challenge for them to make IMO. Then the part where the whistle is disregarded. I understand reviewing a fumble but no where in the rule does it mention that the review overrides the whistle too. I can understand that if the ball pops out before the whistle but they still call it down by contact and then the review shows otherwise but this isn't what happened and the NFL really loves having 2 undefeated teams atm.

Also, isn't the fact that Sellers knee is on the back of the Saints on the defended what they should be calling down, not his forearm? If that's not down then I could imagine a lot of plays where the player could get away with running for a score after landing on top of a defender or crawling on top of a defender into the endzone.

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