This week, we received questions for the Ref as part of our Ask the Official offering. We also received a few early letters so we decided to combine both into one column called “Reader Interactive.”
Our next full reader mailbag is scheduled for the weekend; if you’d like to submit a question to the editor or if you have a rules question you’d like to as the Ref, you can do so at the end of this column (recommended) or if you want to do so on Twitter, please tag your question #askPat and send to .
From Robert T.
Is it possible that Beckham is more intent on making the “spectacular” catch every time that is the cause of his far too many drops.
Pat Says: Interesting musing there, Robert. Every week before a game, I watch Beckham dazzle the crowd with his one-handed catches, so I suppose that could be part of it. However, what I’m seeing from him since his ankle injury is that he’s planning his escape route before he secures the ball. Whether that’s due to his ankle being balky and he’s subconsciously trying to protect it, I couldn’t say for sure. I do know that he needs to clean that issue up.
From Kevin L.:
I really like the time an effort you put in to try to lay out the facts of what is going on with the team as opposed to some that stick by a narrative generated and just bypassing the facts.
There are some things though that I disagree with you about. This notion that Pugh is this great guard. So many have continued to press this point. Part of the problem with the Giants running game is that they have a smallish guard (Pugh), a smallish center and a less than proficient run blocking guard (Jerry).
One of the reasons I believe the line ran a little better Sunday was that D.J. Fluker was inserted at guard and Pugh was put out at tackle. Jerry is not a great run blocker but at least the Giants had a side to run behind in Fluker. Pugh does enough at tackle to protect the pocket.
Regarding the blind faith in the defense and the team I don’t know if that’s fair because the majority of people thought the same way about this team.
The only reservation I had was the O-line and that the NFL rarely works out the way it looks on paper so that the possibility existed that the guys that got the big money contracts last year would feel the complacency this year.
The truth is I haven’t seen much from JPP, Vernon, or Snacks. All that being said this team should be at least 2-2 if not for the coaching. The Eagles game should have been a 30-point game. He eschewed to field goals.
The Tampa Bay game he did not kick one field goal and I know you should run on 3&1 but until they prove they can consistently run on second and 1 I’m not risking a drive killing play on something we are not very good at, I’m putting that play in the hands of the quarterback.
If I go down I’m going down with my fastball and living with it. When a team is struggling you can’t give away opportunities to score especially in the red zone.
Pat Says: Kevin, please go back and re-read what I wrote. I didn’t say Pugh was “great;” I said guard was his best position. Size or no size, the coaches moving him inside apparently supports my opinion as does the fact that there was enough buzz last year pointing to Pugh becoming a Pro Bowl guard had he not become injured.
Regarding the defense, I don’t care what the court of public opinion thought in this instance; the blind faith was in thinking they’d be able to pick up where they left off and/or in failing to account for the fact that opponents would study the defense and find ways to exploit them.
I also mentioned specific things in the “blind faith” narrative related to the defense. I have since said in Podcast No. 131 (just released today) that I believe that teams are running away from Snacks Harrison. We also wrote in the current issue of Inside Football what we see as being the problem with Jason Pierre-Paul’s slow start. The point is I didn’t suddenly pull all of this out of thin air just to fill a column.
I do agree with you about McAdoo leaving points on the board. I know why he did it, but I don’t’ agree with it. And he did attempt one field goal which Rosas didn’t convert. This team better pull its act together in a hurry otherwise it’s going to be a long season.
From Mark M.
The 2-point conversion ruling was very sketchy. Mike Pereira implied that if he was forced out the penalty should be on Tampa. Also, he said he DID re-establish himself inbounds before the catch, does that matter? Plus, it’s gotta be more than 5 yards after the line of scrimmage, so if the DB forced him out, why isn’t it illegal contact downfield?
The Ref Says: Actually, it was a very complex judgement call that probably could have gone either way (but I understand why the call was made).
First, the defensive player has as much right to a position on the field or the end zone as the offensive player. So the first question is whether the defensive player was the first to that position when the contact was made.
Second, there is the question of whether Beckham was forced out of bounds by a foul or by incidental contact. If the former, the following applies (emphasis mine):
“If an eligible receiver is forced out of bounds by a foul by a defender, including illegal contact, defensive holding, or defensive pass interference, provided he attempts to return inbounds immediately, he becomes eligible to legally touch the pass (without prior touching by another eligible receiver or defender) as soon as he re-establishes himself inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands.”
However, if is ruled that he went out of bounds on his own to avoid the defender or because of incidental contact (i.e., no foul), then the following applies: A forward pass cannot be first touched by “An eligible receiver who has been out of bounds prior to or during a pass, even if he has re-established himself inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands.”
Finally, not all contact beyond the LOS is penalized as is noted: “ARTICLE 4. INCIDENTAL CONTACT BEYOND FIVE-YARD ZONE. Beyond the five-yard zone, incidental contact may exist between receiver and defender.”
Once the Back Judge ruled (rightfully or wrongfully) that in his judgement the contact between Odell Beckham Jr. and the defender was “incidental,” Beckham could not be the first to touch the pass even if he re-established himself inbounds.
It is also worth noting that there was a holding penalty against the Giants but that was declined as it would have allowed the Giants to replay the down. The Illegal Touching foul is loss of down at the previous spot and with the loss of down, the try was over.
From Pat D.
Why was there offensive and defensive pass interference called on the same play and how common is that?
The Ref Says: As I understand it, Mike Evans pushed off near the LOS (Flag #1) and then Janoris Jenkins ran into him further down the field while the ball was in the air (Flag #2), so you had a foul on both teams.
It does not happen often but I have seen it (and one time had 3 fouls as the players moved downfield as someone grabbed the WR’s face mask.) From what I could see on television, I would not have called the offensive foul and I am not sure I would have called the defensive foul. But the covering officials had a much better view of the action than could be seen on TV.