After Further Review: Jets-Bengals Officiating

By popular demand, we're again going to have a post after each game that breaks down some of the controversial decisions from the officiating crew in the game.

Penalty Count

Bengals 5-51 (leading to three Jets first downs)
Jets 8-46 (leading to two Bengals first downs)

Plays where the call was obvious, uncontroversial or not visible on broadcast footage

Jets Penalties

  • Folorunso Fatukasi jumped offside. Bit on the hard count and knocked the center over.
  • Shaq Lawson offside. Once again lined up in the neutral zone with his hand level with the ball.
  • Quinnen Williams encroachment. Clearly jumped offside before the snap.
  • Alijah Vera-Tucker false start. This was probably Connor McGovern's fault because multiple players moved and the ball wasn't snapped.
  • Chuma Edoga false start. Flinched before the snap on 3rd-and-6.

Bengals Penalties

  • Delay of game on 3rd-an-16. This occurred because the Bengals thought the clock might stop because Joe Burrow was shaken up.
  • Jackson Carman false start. Burst out of his stance a split second before the ball was snapped.
  • Trey Hill illegal use of the hands. This didn't really affect the play because Sheldon Rankins got home for a sack on a stunt anyway but Hill had his hands up in Quinnen Williams' grill away from the ball.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Elijah Moore offensive holding. This came on Denzel Mims' 30-yard catch in the first quarter. Moore held on too long while blocking down the field. Officially this ends up as a 17-yard catch for Mims with a 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul, so it's a Jets first down but only a seven yard gain.
  • Mims false start. Mims was in motion at the snap and either needs to be in motion still as the ball is snapped or to come to a halt and be set for one second. Instead he stopped his motion as the ball was snapped - another sign of him not quite knowing the timing of the offense, perhaps.
  • Brandin Echols defensive holding. Echols was covering Ja'Marr Chase at the goal line and lost early in his route as Chase broke to the outside so Echols grabbed him and conceded the hold. The ball had not been thrown yet and was ultimately thrown to someone else.
  • McGovern offensive holding. Lost leverage early in pass protection and pulled his man down.

Bengals Penalties

  • Eli Apple pass interference on Jeff Smith. This was on the play where Mike White pitched it to Jamison Crowder who then threw downfield. The play was set up like a receiver screen with Smith initially making his block and then breaking downfield. Apple was caught out and immediately grabbed Smith. As he did, Crowder hadn't thrown the ball yet so this probably should have been a defensive hold. Apple didn't appear to extend the contact beyond the point at which Crowder threw the pass.
  • Cam Sample roughing the passer. This was the play on which White was injured. Khalid Kareem came in low on the play, but Sample was dinged for the lateness of his hit, which was otherwise clean.
  • Mike Hilton unnecessary roughness. This crucial penalty enabled the Jets to run out the clock and the Jets were lucky to get it because it's a call that's rarely made even when it should be. Hilton did lower his head and make contact on the hit, but Ty Johnson also lowered his head and seemed to initiate the contact more than Hilton did.

Notable no-calls

Here were some of the notable missed calls, controversial moments or review situations.

  • There were a couple of plays involving Tee Higgins where both Higgins and the defensive player made a lot of contact and was grabbing. One was a big catch over Bryce Hall and the other was incomplete with Echols covering. A no-call was probably correct but there conceivably could have been a call made in either direction.
  • The Jets might have got away with one when CJ Mosley stopped Joe Mixon at the goal line in the flat. It looked like he might have broken the plane. They scored on the next snap anyway, though.
  • The most controversial sequence was when the replay booth overturned Keelan Cole's sensational one-handed touchdown catch but then upheld Braxton Berrios' touchdown two plays later. If Cole lost control of the ball as he hit the ground and then re-gained it while he was out of bounds, then the incomplete call is strictly correct. However, while it looked like this is what happened, indisputable evidence that he ever lost control was arguably not present and it needs to be to overturn the call as they did. Normally when the receiver keeps the ball within their contact, they get the benefit of the doubt there.
  • In the end it didn't matter because Berrios' touchdown counted anyway but it did rob Cole of a highlight moment. Berrios had his feet inbounds but if he juggled the ball and re-gained control while out of bounds, it should have been incomplete. Again, this appeared to be the case but he kept contact with the ball so it would be difficult to conclusively prove. In such situations, the call should be upheld as it was. The earlier one was such a situation though. You get the impression this was a make-up call.

Let us know what we missed - or misinterpreted - in the comments...