After Further Review: Jets-Colts 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

Colts 2-22 (leading to two Jets first downs)
Jets 7-43 (leading to two Colts first downs)

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

Jets Penalties

  • Justin Hardee holding on the opening kickoff. Was in control of his block but lost leverage when Braxton Berrios bounced it to the edge and there was a slight grab as the defensive player disengaged from his block.
  • Quinnen Williams offside. Jumped early.
  • Keelan Cole false start. A lack of focus as he flinched on the hard count.
  • Morgan Moses false start. The official announced this as "everyone but the center" and it may have been Connor McGovern's fault - or perhaps the quarterback's mistake - but actually it was clear that Moses jumped first and the official gamebook reflects this.
  • Tim Ward offside on a punt rush. Ward is usually pretty good at timing his rush but left a split second before the snap on this one.
  • Greg Van Roten false start, jumped before the snap - the fifth Jets player to do so in this game.

Colts Penalties

  • Kwity Paye offside. Jumped early giving the Jets a free play, on which they picked up the first down anyway so it ended up being declined. The most remarkable thing about this penalty was that it was the Colts' first of the game and it came with less than 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
  • Facemask on Isaiah Rodgers. As a result of the above penalty being declined, the Colts had zero penalty yards until finally Rodgers was called for a clear grab of the facemask as he tackled Jeff Smith well short of the marker on 3rd-and-22, extending the drive. This came with less than seven minutes remaining.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Hardee unsportsmanline penalty. This is called on a gunner who gets shoved out of bounds and doesn't make enough of an effort to get back in bounds as they are running up the field. They usually give you a bit of leeway but Hardee ran for like 30-40 yards and didn't reenter the field of play until he had overtaken the vices. Hardee was shoved into the sideline rather than going out of bounds of his own volition but this doesn't matter for the purposes of this rule.
  • CJ Mosley face mask penalty. This tacked 15 onto a Jonathan Taylor ran as Mosley literally had one finger between the side of the facemask and the helmet opening. That can still be a penalty if you grab or twist, but Mosley did not do this. In addition, Taylor had a clean handful of Mosley's facemask as he stiff armed him to prevent him from making the tackle. At worst this should have been two penalties that cancelled out but really it should have gone the other way.

Colts Penalties

  • Rock Ya-Sin pass interference downfield to negate an interception. Ya-Sin grabbed Smith's shoulder pad at the top of his route, definitely impeding his ability to make a play on the ball, which deflected to George Odum.

If not for Smith, the Colts could have ended the game with zero penalty yards.

Notable no-calls

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

  • The most controversial thing about this game was that the Colts had no penalties at all in the first three quarters. With their running game dominant and the Jets struggling to get off blocks, it seems hard to believe there were no holding penalties in this game - other than the one on the opening kickoff - with several plays that looked suspicious.
  • The Colts also had a couple of really obvious illegal man downfield penalties that were not called. The officials are entitled to give one yard of leeway but on one play three linemen were clearly two yards downfield, with one of those closer to three yards downfield. There was also a play where Braden Smith was FIVE yards downfield when the ball was thrown.
  • There was a blatant block in the back on the Colts' first kick return as a Jets defender was shoved down onto his face.
  • The officials blew the play dead on 4th-and-1, right before the Jets stripped the ball loose and came up with the recovery. The ball appeared to come out before there was any whistle and although they could judge that forward progress was stopped, the runner seemed to still be fighting for yardage. At the time, it was still only 14-7. 15 minutes and 15 seconds of game time later, it was 42-10 so this could have been a pivotal play to go the Jets' way and keep them competitive.
  • Ashton Dulin's 17-yard catch on the Colts' two-minute drill to go up 28-10 before halftime was clearly juggled as he was out of bounds. The Jets couldn't challenge because it was inside the last two minutes.
  • The Michael Pittman touchdown was initially ruled as incomplete on the field but the replay booth overturned this on the basis that he had completed three steps before Marcus Maye punched the ball out. It was a bit of a bang-bang play though and perhaps too close to constitute enough evidence to overturn.
  • The officials also initially gave Nyheim Hines credit for a downfield catch where he was clearly out of bounds, but the video official advised them to change the on-field call with no need for a challenge.

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