From time to time, the powers-that-be on Park Avenue with the power to overturn on-field rulings in any and every stadium become tempted to use replay review as a fresh look at a play. The standard that supposedly applies can be forgotten.
The ruling on the field can be overturned only if clear and obvious evidence shows that a mistake was made. Previously known officially as “indisputable visual evidence,” the bar has been informally described as “50 drunks in a bar” would agree that it was a bad call.
Asked whether Samuel lost possession of the ball after he went to the ground or whether the ball hit the ground as he was going down, Anderson said “the ball hit the ground as he was going down, and then he did not maintain control of the ball.”
Anderson also gave a slightly confusing answer when asked about how it looked like one thing on the Amazon broadcast though was ruled differently through official replay.
“We have the angles from all of the cameras that the network has,” he told Reedy. “And we’re using multiple angles. I’m not 100% sure of the angles that the broadcast used. But we’re using all of the angles from their cameras and working to select the ones that best show us what had happened to the ball.”
Samuel Jr. botched an easy interception during the third quarter of the Chargers’ 27-24 loss to Kansas City. The ball bounced off his hands and he was unable to corral it as he was going to the ground. Officials initially called it an interception but determined upon review that the ground helped Samuel Jr. secure the ball. You can see the video below:
In other words, would 50 drunks in a bar (watching on DirecTV, so they didn’t have to worry about buffering) have said it wasn’t an interception? I don’t think they would. Which means that, even if the ruling would have been incompletion if the rules required no deference to the decision made on the field, the outcome under the very high standard for replay review should have been interception.
Here’s another rule of thumb for assessing whether the evidence to justify overturning the ruling on the field is clear and obvious. While Peter King and I were talking about the issue during Friday’s PFT Live, I found myself leaning toward the monitor under my camera to get a better look at the critical moments of the play.