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I can envision the NFL going “halfway” on the rule change..if they don’t table it altogether. Not certain what hybrid form of this could be created…but whether watered down or full-strength, this would be one that would be impossible to regulate adequately 

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2 hours ago, Mikeslumina said:

What a cluster

On Officiating

Over the years, I’ve heard NFL game officials, from referees to back judges, say, “Officiating is about doing the little things right.” Ref Ron Torbert’s crews lost track of that in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game. There were things to be concerned about with mistakes made by the officiating crew, I believe—and the mistakes say something significant about the state of officiating.

We can debate if full-time officials or employing sky judges or eliminating all-star officiating crews will help improve the game. But I’m not sure what can be done, other than paying attention to the game more closely, that would have eliminated the debacle that happened with 10 minutes left in the Cincinnati-Kansas City game. The fiasco forced the Bengals’ defense to be on the field for four plays it never should have had to play, and forced Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor to waste (and I mean waste) a timeout he might have needed in the final two minutes of the game.

What’s amazing about the mistakes is how one seemingly minor error built on another, and then another, and then two more.

I understand the game is eight days old, and you’ve probably moved on to the Super Bowl by now, but in a jam-packed news week like this, you should make time for this if you care about football, and if you were screaming about the officiating last week.

How it began

After a Kansas City incomplete pass, stopping the clock with 10:29 left in the fourth quarter, it was third-and-nine at the KC 34-yard line.

Mistake 1: The ref, Torbert, spotted the ball a half-yard shy of the previous spot. The play clock ticked down. Keep in mind that the New York officiating command center should have been watching this and ensuring the spot of the ball was correct, and the replay official upstairs should have been monitoring this too. In addition, there were alternate officials at the game site who, theoretically, were watching for errors.

With nine seconds left on the play clock, Patrick Mahomes was at the line starting to call signals. From the left of the formation, down judge Kent Payne, with no urgency, began to wave his arms and jogged into the middle of the formation. He moved the ball up half-a-yard.


How it got worse

Mistake 2: Torbert turned on his mic and said, “Reset the play clock to 10 seconds, please. Play clock and game clock will start on my signal.”

Incorrect ruling by Torbert. The play clock should have started on his signal here, but not the game clock, because this play followed an incomplete pass.

Mistake 3: No one, in the next 12 seconds of real time, corrected the mistake; if anyone did, it was not communicated into Torbert’s ear.

Mahomes snapped the ball and completed a four-yard pass to Travis Kelce. Now it was fourth-and-five, and Kansas City sent its punt team onto the field. But hold on. Field judge Tom Hill, from the defensive backfield, had run in as the play was ongoing, waving his arms. No one saw it till the play was over. There was a crew conference. With the KC and Cincinnati punt teams in formation, Torbert got on his mic and ruled the play was “shut down” and the snap should not have counted. “The game clock should not have started,” Torbert said. Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor flew into orbit. No one heard a whistle, no one saw the play stopped. How was the play shut down?

Mistake 4: This is arguable, and it’s a technicality. But former NFL officiating czar Dean Blandino, now a FOX rules analyst, said on my podcast this weekthat the play should not have been stopped so late in the process. “Five or six seconds is important,” Blandino said. “When a team is up on the ball and ready to snap it, is that five or six seconds that we just lost with still a good chunk of time left in the fourth quarter, is that more impactful than coming in late in the process, trying to shut down the play? That’s a loud stadium. To me, that five or six seconds is not as critical as ultimately what happened. Tom Hill is an excellent official. I think if you asked him again, he’d probably say, ‘I should have just let it go.’”

Mistake 5: Torbert said on his mic, “Please reset the game clock to 10 minutes 24 seconds.” Nope. He should have said “10:29.” By now he’s so discombobulated by the play that he didn’t get the time right on the first try.

A few seconds later, Torbert corrected it to 10:29.

On CBS, Gene Steratore said, “We’re basically gonna have a do-over here.” And Tony Romo said, “How did no [official] come flying in? This is huge!”

The Kelce play should have counted as the third-down snap, and Kansas City should have punted on the next snap.


The upshot

First wasted snap: On third-and-nine from the KC 34-, Mahomes got snowed under and sacked. Flag. Cornerback Eli Apple was called for holding. Automatic first down.

Three more snaps, and one charged Cincinnati timeout that shouldn’t have happened, result in a net gain of one yard. Kansas City punts to the Cincinnati 18-yard line.

The NFL, and Torbert, got lucky. Mahomes didn’t make a big play on any of the four extraneous snaps. The Bengals got the ball back with 9:18 left instead of, say, 10:15 left if the four snaps hadn’t been run. The loss of time mattered, and no one knows how the loss of a minute in clock time might have affected the outcome.

The whole thing is incredibly sloppy. It would have helped to see Payne and Hill sprinting into the play, and coming in earlier than they did. But as it happened, it was a terrible look. It would have been lousy for a Texans-Jets game at 1 p.m. in week four, but in one of the three biggest games of the year? A minimum of three mistakes and max of five mistakes, depending how you judge each one, on the same series, is inexcusable.

The last thing the NFL needs coming out of championship weekend is for a cadre of fans to think things like, The fix is in, or The league wanted Mahomes to win. Look at social media a week ago. That’s precisely what fans all over the country were saying.

Now for the officiating issues raised by the Cincinnati-KC game.

All-star crews: I get the argument both ways. It’d be great to have the second- and third-highest-rated crews from the regular season in the two title games, but suppose the back judge and down judge on one crew have had poor years, and two officials on another crew have graded poorly. If you can plug in the best at those positions, why not do it? Said Blandino: “I like crew continuity throughout the season. I like that communication  But I also understand not wanting your best officials sitting at home in your biggest games, just because their crew didn’t grade out as well through no fault of their own. I think the league is in a good place.” I’d probably agree with Blandino.

Sky judge: This would be the ninth official on a crew (seven on the field, replay official upstairs, sky judge upstairs), with the ability to throw a flag if he/she sees a penalty on the field, and also the ability to communicate with the ref in real time. I don’t see the need for it. “We have a version of the sky judge right now,” Blandino said. The replay-assist program, in its seventh year, allows the officiating command center in New York, plus the replay official, to communicate into the on-field referee’s ear. Now the league would add a third voice in the ear of the ref? It’s duplication of duties.

Full-time officials. It could improve officiating. It’s probably worth a try. With one proviso: It’s not going to make the game perfect, and it’s not likely to get it close to perfect. “Anytime you can spend more time looking at video and honing your craft, I think that’s a positive,” Blandino said. “I just don’t know how much full-time officials are gonna move the needle.”

I wonder, deep down, if Torbert isn’t concentrating as much as he should on ball-spotting—or a myriad of other little officiating issues during a game—because he knows he’s got so many insurance policies in place to correct him if he’s wrong. Whatever, when the officiating department gets officials in place for seminars this off-season, the fourth-quarter Nightmare at Arrowhead should be a two-hour class. Officiating is about the little things, and in this case, the little things turned into a big mess.


I like how some faceless entity referred to only as "New York" is now the ultimate authority during games.


Seems legit!  👍



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I noticed Ossia wasn’t fined for late hit. I thought I saw a video on Twitter showed him making contact before he went out of bounds which makes it not a penalty. That vs kc hitting joe 4 steps after a throw and last play where Chris jones put his entire body weight on him . Just got back to the way football used to be played. Kc won but there are gonna get stern rolled by Philly. At least cincy said if we ain’t winning neither are you. Hardman on injured reserve now. Their receivers are all banged up. Please keep this team together they are not most talented all pro team but together are a piece of iron that builds a pretty strong foundation. 

I hear New York but  I hear vegas. 

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3 hours ago, Jungletiger said:

It probably is.  These guys who mouth off all the time are not the norm.  Most of these guys know they are playing a game for money and risking their health to do it.  Yes, they want to win and win it all, but they respect members of the other team unless they step over the line. 


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On 2/10/2023 at 2:23 PM, Montana Bengal said:



Definitely a QB rivalry as we've seen in the past. from other greats..


 I rank the top gunslingers of today 

by who would trade for among them.


Mahomes and Burrow are locked in to their teams.

Neither Cincinnati or KC would trade up for each other.

The next 4 or 5 would be traded for the top 2..

Herbert and Allen would be even up... stalemate.

Hurts and Lawrence would be next..

Another 1/2 dozen good ones but that's how I see the current rank for them now..















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33 minutes ago, Jungletiger said:

Still remember when Vonn Bell laid him out ..he was shell shocked by that hit .


That play helped set the tone that the Bengals were now the big dogs and the new bullies in the division..



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13 hours ago, Jungletiger said:


TJ bringing the truth. 

And what the holy fuck would Joe Burrow be able to do with two tackles who could allow him a 7-step drop. Holy shit…


Great video, thanks for sharing. 

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57 minutes ago, Griever said:

Does Joe stay local through the offseason now? I could be wrong but I thought he had a place in L.A. Now that I think about it he can probably afford many nice places lol

Pretty sure he is here most of the off-season and I am reasonably sure he doesn’t have a place in LA.





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17 minutes ago, Montana Bengal said:

Pretty sure he is here most of the off-season and I am reasonably sure he doesn’t have a place in LA.





Ah gotcha, mustve just done his knee rehab there or something

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