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Shinma

10/18/15. Bears at Lions. Week 6. Fox, 1:00 pm.

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I went off of this. I think the rule is there to prevent defenders from pushing people in the back into the ball. In this case Fuller was still blocking right up to the moment he realized the ball was behind him. Then he tried to dive/fall out of the way. There's even a moment where you can see he's considering trying to grab the ball before he tries to lunge out of the way.

Well, I'll be... seems like they did call the play correctly then. I'd say stupid rule, but doesn't that seem to be true of many NFL rules these days?

I guess the idea behind the rule is that if a receiving team player touches the ball accidentally he doesn't get a pass just because he didn't know where the ball was. So presumably a receiving team player who is actively blocking shouldn't get a pass just because he doesn't know where the ball is and gets blocked into it.

One could argue in this case that Fuller did know where the ball was and at the last minute tried to stop blocking and avoid the ball and one could argue that he wasn't blocking for that last split second and therefore wasn't a blocker... but that's a judgement call I guess and far easier to see in slow-mo then in real-time.

So, if we follow NFL logic:

  1. When blocking you still need to be aware of where the ball is. Actively blocking does not excuse you from touching the ball.
  2. Deciding when or if a blocking player stops blocking and tries to avoid the ball is a judgement call (kinda like whether a player batted a ball or just inadvertently touched it). Judgement calls are not reviewable as they are split second decisions that need to be made at the moment and may involve stuff leading up to the act and/or require the reviewer to try to ascertain the intention of a player, which is very hard to do.
  3. Determining if a player did or didn't touch the ball is reviewable as this is just a yes or no question.

I guess the problem I have is with number 2, but I don't know if the correct solution is to allow judgement calls to be reviewable. In some case I think it's pretty easy to determine what the player was attempting (the batted ball in Seattle for example). While in other case it's much harder to determine what a player was thinking and, in a case like this, if he changes his action fast enough.

Still, I guess I'd go for reviewable rather than not. Just try to hold the same level of determining whether to change or not: Clear, indisputable evidence. The Seattle situation: Given that you can see the player look at the ball, and swing his hand towards it, and celebrate after the fact, it's pretty clear what his intention was. The Bears situation: Probably more murky... he may have tried to stop blocking, but if he did, it was very late. Not enough evidence to over turn the call on the field.

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I can't site stats but I will say with certainty that nobody has any idea what a catch is anymore. That's because of replay. The simplest concepts have been completely muddled.

At least as Lions fans, and much of the rest of the NFL world, traces the whole "What is a catch" question back to the infamous Calvin Johnson non-catch against the Bears, right?

Do you realize that that call was made on the field BEFORE it was reviewed? So... replay didn't figure into the officials decision to not call it a TD.

Replay on TV is a fact of life these days. Fans will see slow-mo replays on TV in game... fans in the stands will sometimes see them on the board or certainly later at home. The talking heads on TV will debate the questionable calls regardless of what's called on the field or reviewed and/or changed.

Allowing Instant Replay in the game is NOT was caused the "simplest concepts" to become muddled. Instant, slow-mo replay on TV is what caused that. We'd be having the same debates... TV shows would still be analyzing and breaking down, frame-by-frame, the calls if Instant Replay rules were removed from the NFL.

Officials aren't perfect of course, and mistakes happen. Replays aren't perfect either and errors can still be made, even with replay. But replay does correct a certain number of incorrect calls on the field.

The problems with rules and muddled understand of the "simplest concepts" (which aren't always that simple) is due to advances in video technology... NOT due to Replay review rules.

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Exactly. That is what was so asinine about the formation - it was very clearly / obviously illegal (and I am no rules hound by any means).

There was no pressure on the Pats to jump because:

a. the D-line was almost completely unblocked which means they had no reason to expect the ball to even be snapped, but

b. if it were, there is no risk to giving up a big play because a penalty would be called, and

c. there was a crazy good chance to simply sack the QB on even an objectively horrible jump after a snap.

It was so stupid on so many levels, it hurt my head. The Colts hurt my head.

They said their intent was to catch the Patriots with 12 men on the field, trying to sub guys in. Problem is, it wouldn't have mattered because the Colts were also illegal (1, for the right side of the line was off the line, and 2, for not having a receiver on each side of the ball) and the penalties would have offset. I could see trying to lure the Patriots into calling a timeout but that was the only positive outcome. Once they lined up illegally, extremely illegally, there's no way the "center" can snap that ball. Just dumb.

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I wonder how much they'll offer Jim Harbaugh.

I would think somewhere around $10 million/year.

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They said their intent was to catch the Patriots with 12 men on the field, trying to sub guys in. Problem is, it wouldn't have mattered because the Colts were also illegal (1, for the right side of the line was off the line, and 2, for not having a receiver on each side of the ball) and the penalties would have offset. I could see trying to lure the Patriots into calling a timeout but that was the only positive outcome. Once they lined up illegally, extremely illegally, there's no way the "center" can snap that ball. Just dumb.

NE felt no pressure to call timeout because they knew they couldn't be hurt by a penalty.

As you say, just dumb.

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Tim Twentyman ‏@ttwentyman 33m33 minutes ago

How about rookie G Laken Tomlinson playing all 81 snaps on offense Sun & earning the top @PFF grade on offense. His best game of season.

That's a good sign. Wonder if we might go to Tomlinson-Ramirez-Warford inside. Warford is such a difference maker btw

Edited by Nastradamus

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The Bears are terrible and it took an over time miracle to win it. I cannot get excited about the win, but a loss would have sucked pretty hard.

I like the sing someone had at the Pat game last night....

'We just assume you are cheating right now' loved it. That is how I feel about the Pats now. I have this theory that in 20 years we will find out what kind of crap they were pulling during this stretch run. Having people on their payroll working in other teams offices or coaching staff etc.

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I thought the Tate TD was an easy call fwiw

I agree. It looked like he caught and took a couple steps and was in the end zone. I'm not sure how much more a receiver can be expected to do after he has broken the plane of the endzone. But I don't know. Wouldn't have been surprised either way.

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Definitely not a win to get excited about. The OL did better than normal though and Stafford had a great game. Sucked seeing Cutler shred us.

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I agree. It looked like he caught and took a couple steps and was in the end zone. I'm not sure how much more a receiver can be expected to do after he has broken the plane of the endzone. But I don't know. Wouldn't have been surprised either way.

Everyone seemed to miss that the controversial rules are when you're going to the ground.

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Tomlinson having a good game is pretty big. Tomlinson and Warford staying healthy and effective would make me feel a lot better about the offense's future.

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The Bears are terrible and it took an over time miracle to win it. I cannot get excited about the win, but a loss would have sucked pretty hard.

I like the sing someone had at the Pat game last night....

'We just assume you are cheating right now' loved it. That is how I feel about the Pats now. I have this theory that in 20 years we will find out what kind of crap they were pulling during this stretch run. Having people on their payroll working in other teams offices or coaching staff etc.

This is such ridiculous nonsense.

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Tim Twentyman ‏@ttwentyman 33m33 minutes ago

How about rookie G Laken Tomlinson playing all 81 snaps on offense Sun & earning the top @PFF grade on offense. His best game of season.

That's a good sign. Wonder if we might go to Tomlinson-Ramirez-Warford inside. Warford is such a difference maker btw

Interesting. They had Warford with a positive grade, too. Also the fullback, for that matter. Good to see what the running game can accomplish behind two high-performing guards, despite the fact that Abdullah and Zenner both missed time, and Bell didn't play.

125 yards yesterday (minus the fake punt that Abdul-Quddus dialed up)... That might exceed their previous four weeks combined.

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Hope Zenner gets back out there soon. Love his running style contrasted against Abdullah and Riddick.

Also, love me some Riddick. Is he the new sproles?

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I agree. It looked like he caught and took a couple steps and was in the end zone. I'm not sure how much more a receiver can be expected to do after he has broken the plane of the endzone. But I don't know. Wouldn't have been surprised either way.

It hinged on if he was a runner or still a receiver when the ball came lose. I think it easily could have gone either way. It looked to me that he caught the ball, then stepped into the endzone, meaning he was a runner.

But if I was a Bear's fan I'd probably argue that he only stepped once with each foot... that's no different then coming down from a catch. Then the defender hit him, and he fell down and lost the ball in the process of going to the ground, meaning and incomplete pass (which was picked off by the Bears before he hit the ground).

Too me this highlights the absurdity of the process rule because if Tate caught that in the endzone everything else being equal, I think that goes as an incomplete-to-INT according to the rules. But I think that, again according to the rules, the TD call is right.

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Hope Zenner gets back out there soon. Love his running style contrasted against Abdullah and Riddick.

Also, love me some Riddick. Is he the new sproles?

I forgot about Zenner... I think the Lions really suffered late in the game without Zenner in some of those short yardage situations. Has anyone heard anything on him yet? Please let it NOT be a concussion.

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I forgot about Zenner... I think the Lions really suffered late in the game without Zenner in some of those short yardage situations. Has anyone heard anything on him yet? Please let it NOT be a concussion.

Answering my own question... reports are that it's a chest injury. Assuming that's true, that's much better news than a concussion.

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Yah, hoping a chest doesn't take too long to heal. Just a bruise I believe.

We definitely could have used him late in the game.

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I thought the Tate TD was an easy call fwiw

How so?

It's the inconsistency of the rule that is confusing everybody.

I get the Calvin Johnson rule where you need to control the ball through the whole process but why would they call back the Freeman TD for instance where he clearly made a football move and broke the plane of the goal line before losing it but then reward Tate for losing the ball after making a football move and breaking the plane.

Even if they considered that he caught the ball after breaking the plane, he would need to control the ball all the way through the process which he clearly didn't.

This was actually a worse call than BatGate against Seattle mainly because they reversed the correct ruling.

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