Sport Saints-Cowboys officiating crew criticized after brutal blindside block penalty: 'Worst call I've ever seen'
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Perhaps the weirdest college sports story this week came from the Big 12 league office issuing a public reprimand and a one-game suspension for long-time Texas Tech football radio announcers Brian Jensen and John Harris, claiming that “Questioning the integrity of Conference officials and specifically calling out members of the officiating crew is well beyond Read more The post Texas Tech voice Geoff Haxton, replacing suspended crew: “Let me give you the officiating crew, just don’t get me in trouble.” appeared first on Awful Announcing.
In the era of hot takes and hyperbole, it's easy to get swept up in the moment and declare that something is the "worst." On Thursday night, plenty of folks were quick to point out that the Saints may have gotten hit with the worst penalty of the 2021 NFL season, and... actually, they may be right on this one.
During the third quarter of, Saints tight end Garrett Griffin was penalized for a blindside block while trying to protect quarterback Taysom Hill from Cowboys defensive back Jayron Kearse. Hill completed a pass to Deonte Harris for a first down, but the play was wiped out by the flag, which pushed the Saints back deep into their own territory. They punted the ball away three plays later.
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After 11-yd pass to Harris, penalty on Griffin for blindside block— Sports 24/7 (@Sports24x7_) 13 10 Q3
So, what does the NFL consider a blindside block?:
It is a foul if a player initiates a block when his path is toward or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm, or shoulder.
Note: It is not a foul for a blindside block if the forcible contact occurs in "close-line play" prior to the ball leaving that area. The ball is not considered to have left that area if the player who takes the snap, either from a shotgun position or from under center, retreats in the pocket immediately or with a slight delay, and hands the ball to another player, or runs with the ball himself. This exception does not apply to any action other than a designed play. Any forcible contact in "close-line play" is still subject to the restrictions for crackback and peel back blocks.
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Saints coach Sean Payton clearly disagreed with the interpretation of Griffin's block, as he could be seen during the Fox broadcast screaming at anyone wearing stripes.
"That's a terrible call," Fox analyst Troy Aikman said. "I don't blame Sean Payton. Just a terrible call."
After the game, Payton told reporters that he did not receive an explanation for the penalty, seemingly dodging questions in order to avoid getting fined.
"I'm not real familiar with that type of block on that situation,".
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Unlike Payton, everyone in the NFL Twitterverse didn't hold back. Multiple former NFL players criticized the officiating crew, including longtime offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, who said the blindside block penalty was the "worst call I've ever seen."
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I saw this in real time and made a note that I might want to highlight this block tomorrow cuz it’s awesome.— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz)
THEY CALLED THIS A BLINDSIDE BLOCK?!? Omg yo ????— Will Blackmon ???? (@WillBlackmon)
Glad I’m retired I feel sorry for y’all boyz— Shawne Merriman (@shawnemerriman)
Media members were similarly baffled by the call.
Of all the questionable calls all season, that may be the worst of all.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen)
If Jayron Kearse was noticeably trying to avoid the blocker, it cannot by definition be a blindside block.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe)
Look how blindly this rusher is going after the quarterback in the pocket how could he ever imagine a blocker might show up— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson)
Saints lost about a quarter of a football field on a standard block that was called "blindside"— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve)
Again, NFL recently re-defined "blindside" block to mean any block thrown with the blocker's back facing the goal line the offense is heading toward. It doesn't really mean "blindside" anymore.
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Still, that was not it on the Saints there. Awful penalty call.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle)
That whole drive just went from bad to worse starting with the blindside block call— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell)
Blindside block when the players are looking at each other lol
The only thing blind was the ref— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL)
Did the refs want Griffin to let Taysom get blown up by the DB on that play? Like seriously, what do refs want man.— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport)
That penalty wasn't the only reason the Saints lost — Hill threw four interceptions, including a pick-six late in the fourth quarter — but it certainly didn't help their cause.
Cowboys vs. Saints live score, updates, highlights from NFL 'Thursday Night Football' game .
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Cowboys vs. Saints on "Thursday Night Football." Follow for complete results from the NFL Week 13 game. MORE: Watch Cowboys vs. Saints live with fuboTV (7-day free trial) Cowboys vs. Saints score Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F Cowboys 7 6 - - - Saints 0 7 - - - Cowboys vs. Saints live updates, highlights from Thursday Night Football All times Eastern. Halftime: Cowboys 13, Saints 7 9:52 p.m.: FIELD GOAL COWBOYS. Zuerlein makes a 34-yard attempt to keep the Cowboys on top. Dallas leads 13-7 at the half. 9:48 p.m.