Referees Invent a New Down by Contact rule to screw the Dolphins

I’m gonna lay off the Dolphins today and instead concentrate on what I feel is one of the worst blown calls in memory.

The safety that wasn’t called continues to baffle me. I studied the play a hundred times and consulted the rule books and every possiible scenario. I cannot grasp a way in which the Dolphins don’t end up with two points there.

Making matters worse is the fact that it wasn’t a single human forced to make a real-time decision. Instead, it’s a group of “experts” in NY who take their time to review things carefully. Or so we thought.

The end result is this: The referees said that the play was over the moment Ryan Fitzpatrick made contact with his own man. I have to emphasize that again, because it’s the crux of this blown call. They claim the play was over the moment the QB touched his own player.

Now let’s look at a dozens of other plays in which a player touches his own player.

Look at a standard QB sneak. (I know Adam Gase sure as hell doesn’t know what that play is, but fans do). The QB takes the ball from center, and immediately rams into his own linemen. According the the Tampa refs: Play is Over.

The concept of “second effort” and not giving up on the play is irrelevant, because once you’re stopped, the play is instantaneously over. That’s what was ruled yesterday.

What about someone who is running in the wide open field and stops all by himself? His forward progress has stopped. Play is Over.

What about a running back who gets stopped in a pile, but then bounces it outside for an electirc run and then… I have to stop you there. Bouncing a run outside is illegal now, because once you are touched, you’re down.

Doesn’t matter if your own team touches you or the opponent touches you or the water boy or the hot dog vendor. First contact = Down by contact. Just like in 4th grade.

Except in 4th grade, we played 2-hand touch. In the Bucs’ game, Fitzpatrick was only touched by his own player’s butt.

Spekaing of butts. Under yesterday’s rules, the butt fumble of Mark Sanchez never occurred, because once he ran into his own man, the play was instantly over.

Down by contact. No fumble. Take away one of New England’s championships.

We’ve all watched and played football our entire lives, and never, EVER once have we seen a play where they called the carrier down and called the play over just because he bumped into someone. Never.

Suppose Fitzpatrick got loose from the sack and threw a 99-yard TD pass. The refs would have to call it back because he was initially down when he bumped into his own man, right? THAT is the insane logic that the NFL used yesterday.

As I’ve been saying, I doubt the league will look into this further. It was a game between 2 last-place teams that aired in handful of southeastern television markets. It’s not national news because nothing about that game was prominent. But still, Adam Gase must demand an explanation and an analysis from the NFL. And once that is done, the useless apology will be next.

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20 Comments

  1. I like it….. two butt touch football! Now all we need to do is fire all the men and suit up the cheerleaders and I’ll watch this crappy team again!

  2. Author

    The two-butt rule clearly has an exception:

    When the Patriots score a touchdown like in the gif above, then the play is NOT over.

    But when the Dolphins score a safety, then the play IS over.

  3. Author

    Quick side note: As expected, Adam Gase has already stubbornly said that Jay Cutler will start if he’s healthy. Next up will be praise for Parker, Julius Thomas, and Pouncey.

    1. Gase would play Cutler over Marino in his prime.
      Gase sticking with Cutler is similar to Ross sticking with Philbin all those years.

  4. That non-call was the pivotal call in the game. We get 2 points AND the ball at roughly midfield after the kick.

    1. Author

      They ended up punting and we returned it to their 30. But then a penalty by kneeling Michael Thomas took us back to midfield.
      We got to third and inches and then 4th and inches, and Adam Gase refused to try a simple QB sneak.
      So, yes, between Adam Gase’s play calls and Michael Thomas’s stupidity, that safety would have been a much much better outcome for us.

  5. If you watch NFL games this year the inconsistency with the calls is insane. I feel like pass interferences are called almost every long pass now, there seems to be different rules to what a catch is from game to game, and the targeting penalty is rarely called correctly (remeber the penalty they called on reshad jones). NFL officiating is at an all time low and in my opinion is just as big a reason as kapernick for the NFLs drop in ratings.

  6. In my opinion terrible calls cost Miami the raiders game and the Bucs game, but Miami isn’t the only team that’s got screwed this year. The refs have been fucking up games all year.

    1. Author

      Yes, all year, every year. But 99% of the bad calls are judgment calls.
      I cannot fathom how to qualify the safety call yesterday. No judgment or rule interpretation was required.
      Fitz ran out of the endzone and then went back in after bumping into his own man.

      1. I think what they meant is that they gave him forward progress. This is why they got the ball at the half yard line. If he would have fumbled it would have been a live ball. Make sense? Either way the refs were atrocious and Fasano’s may have been even worse of a call.

        1. Author

          But when does a runner’s forward progress officially end? It’s NOT when he’s first touched and certainly not when he’s touched by his own man.

          The Fasano call has been made too often against us. Yes, it’s a bad call. But Gase needs to design the plays to take away all ambiguity. Give the refs nothing to look for, instead of forcing them to make a bang-bang instant judgment.

          That was a gigantic 4-point swing right there that cost us the game.

          1. It’s a good question but I’m guessing that even if you hit your own man and fall backwards its still forward progress. Now if he fumbled like sanchize it would have been a fumble as no Fin touched him. I don’t know if that logic is right but guessing that’s how they viewed it. There should be a forward progress rule out there that could clear that up.

            1. Author

              Raekwon McMillan ran into his own man and blew out his ACL. That’s what we needed vs. Tampa. that way, they woulda had to put in their 2nd stringer. Oh, wait. he was already there.

  7. Admin I think your getting this rule all wrong because I was watching the Atl / Sea game last night and the running backs were constantly running into the blockers and bouncing outside.

    The refs did not call the play dead when the RB touched one of his own players.

    So the only explanation is the STD (Screw The Dolphins) rule!

    1. That’s fine point do you get forward progress when you run into your own guy and fall backwards or are you down where you are touched in that situation? You can still get back up and keep going because you weren’t touched we all know that.

      1. You shouldn’t get forward progress, play is not over. This was total incompetence, unable to handle a given situation. These are referees that don’t want to make a pivotal call so they avoid them but end up deciding the game by the same failure. Half the referees are 50+ year old men who should not be on a high school field let alone a high speed NFL field.

  8. Author

    Still waiting for Gase to demand an explanation from the league.

  9. Author

    Even Gase is too clueless to see how badly he got screwed. He’s talking about how “the refs said he got the ball out of the endzone.” THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE!!!
    Yes he got it out of the endzone, then he touched a teammate and backpedalled INTO the endzone. The point is that he went back into the endzone, and no Dolphin touched him to force him back in.

    1. Yup not forward progress unless touched by the defense. Been that way for as long as I can remember. I am not a conspiracy guy but we get penalized after every big run, any 3rd down conversion, and on just about every kick off/punt return.

      1. That’s what I thought as he was never touched or held by the defence so how can it be forward progress? I just assumed it’s some rule that I never heard of like the tuck rule, batting the ball forward on defence, spygate, etc…all the ones that benefit the patsies and Fins get screwed. I’m sure that they’ve told Gase to eat it which pisses me off even more.

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