Facts Disobey the NFL 18 Game Rules

Our eyes told us that Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught a pass, juggled it upon contact with New England Patriots defensive backs Malcolm Butler and Duron Harmon, and then regained control while barreling into the corner of the end zone. We saw down judge Patrick Turner, standing inches away from the play, confidently raise both arms to signal a touchdown.

The NFL’s replay review philosophy is to stay with the call on the field unless a video angle shows, without a doubt, that a mistake was made. In this case, I didn’t see a replay that confirmed it. Perhaps another angle exists that confirms a mistake was made in the touchdown call. Regardless, there is no time limit for the NFL review process. There should never be mistakes. Clearly, Riveron and his crew saw something that we didn’t to prompt his decision.


Next, we saw an attempt to apply rules developed in a sterile environment that can't always anticipate unusual circumstances. That's where it got incontrovertibly sticky.


Is that really what happened?

Referee Tony Corrente, who participated in the review via a sideline tablet, told a pool reporter that a replay angle popped up at the end of the review to confirm the reversal. Seferian-Jenkins lost control of the ball a second time, according to Corrente, and he recovered only after his knee landed out of bounds. "It was pretty obvious," Corrente said.


I never saw a replay nearly that obvious. Maybe I missed it. The NFL can only use replays supplied by the broadcaster, but that doesn't mean the broadcaster has to televise all of the angles to the public.


Riveron has kept a low profile since taking over the league’s top officiating job from Dean Blandino. Even after Corrente's interview, this is one instance where a definitive explanation is merited from the executive in charge. The sooner the better.


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