This season, we're going to have a post after each game that breaks down some of the controversial decisions from the officiating crew in the game.
Jaguars 8-70 (leading to two Jets first downs)
Jets 10-83 (leading to four Jaguars first downs)
Plays where the call was obvious, uncontroversial or not visible on broadcast footage
- Neutral zone infraction on Taven Bryan. Obvious call - and a good reaction by Brian Winters to ensure it was flagged before he got back.
- Holding on Cam Robinson. This wasn't clear from the broadcast footage but clearly the official thought Robinson's hands went to the outside of Tarell Basham as he tried to get off Robinson's block on the edge.
- False start on Jaguars center Brandon Linder as he got spooked by a rush coming off the edge and double-clutched the snap.
- Illegal block in the back on Josh Robinson. Matthias Farley got downfield well from the gunner position and Robinson tried to pull out of the block, but you will usually see the call made on plays like this.
- False start on AJ Cann on 3rd-and-1 in the red zone. Obvious call, but the Jags still converted on 3rd-and-6 and went on to score. Most notable because it came after a remarkable seven and a half minutes of penalty-free football.
- Delay of game on the Jets on 3rd-and-6 late in the first half. Unbelievable lack of awareness by Ryan Kalil and Sam Darnold, who was sacked on 3rd-and-11 because of course he was.
- Obvious pass interference call on Tre Herndon as he intentionally grabs Robby Anderson having been beaten by the double-move with the pass already in the air. Notable because this was the first penalty in over eight minutes. It was weird how the penalties in this game seemed to come in bunches.
- Offensive pass interference on Jamison Crowder. The call was correct because Crowder blocked too early on a screen pass. He could have got away with it if (a) he stayed within a yard of the line of scrimmage, but instead he moved forwards to the defender who was two yards off when he should have just let the defender come to him or if (b) the pass itself wasn't lofted which meant his block happened before it was caught.
- Helmet-to-helmet hit on James Burgess. Correct call, with the usual complaints about how a defender is supposed to avoid such contact when the ball carrier is himself lowering his head to try and get into the end zone.
- Chuma Edoga false start. They did well to see it, but yes there was a slight flinch before the snap.
- Linder flagged for holding as he took down Steve McLendon at the point of attack. Seemed like a fair call.
- Illegal formation penalty which the Jets declined anyway.
Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation
- The Jets were forced to start on their own seven-yard line following Jacksonville's first kick-off, although ultimately it didn't matter, as they drove the length of the field to score. This call was on Trevon Wesco for an illegal double team block. Wesco, one of the three players not lined up in the setup zone (25 yards from the kick), was adjudged to have "come together with any other player (double-team) outside the setup zone in an attempt to block for the runner". This did happen but Brandon Copeland seemed to release his block and peel off to the next level before Wesco picked it up. Was there a millisecond of overlap where both players were in contact with the Jaguars player? Perhaps, but this seemed harsh.
- Facemask on Alex Lewis. This seemed clear-cut as he did grab the facemask for a split-second and Brian Winters could perhaps also have been called for holding as he tried to slow up his man from behind after he got ahead of Winters' reach block. Also notable because the on-screen caption referred to this as pass interference but that was a case of bad lip-reading by the production crew as the referee's mic cut out.
- Offensive pass interference on Anderson to negate a 33-yard catch. This one was unfortunate because getting stronger at the catchpoint is exactly what Anderson needs to do to take his game to the next level. While there was a slight push-off, there was not the full extension you'd expect to see on a call like this and Herndon's hands were also all over Anderson, so you'd generally expect this to be viewed as an acceptable level of hand-fighting and battling for position. If the call wasn't made, there's no way the Jaguars would have challenged to try and get the call so that was a bit of a gift for them. Also, it proved to be absolutely huge in the context of taking Sam Darnold out of his rhythm because it stalled that drive at the end of the first quarter and Darnold only threw two passes (both incomplete) in the second quarter.
- James Burgess defensive hold to negate a Leonard Williams sack. Burgess basically hugged Leonard Fournette coming out of the backfield, so this is tough to argue. It was poor awareness on Burgess' part because Gardner Minshew was clearly about to be sacked anyway. Also, it was reminiscent of a play last week where Le'Veon Bell was hugged in an identical fashion, forcing Darnold to dirt it but no call was made.
- On the very next play, Linder was called for holding on a designed screen pass where he let Foley Fatukasi get into the backfield, just giving him a shove and then getting out in front of the play. Ridiculously weak call with no obvious sign of a hold. Unless they just called the wrong number, was this a possible make-up call for the previous play?
- Jamal Adams back-to-back personal fouls for a late hit out of bounds and a roughing the passer call. Both seemed somewhat harsh on Adams. The first one? Nah. Both players moving at full speed as Minshew tries to get to the marker on a 3rd-and-5 scramble. "After the play was over..." said the referee but clearly contact is made where both Adams and Minshew are still inbounds.
As for the second one, that was harsh on Adams too, as although he made contact near the head and neck area, he was making a play on the ball from the blindside and wrapped his arm around Minshew's shoulder in a perfectly acceptable fashion. However, Fatukasi also basically smashed his forearm into Minshew's face so roughing the passer was a correct call and it's possible that's what the officials saw and just called it on the wrong player.
There were a few missed calls in this game. One of the main ones that stood out were an obvious late hit on Anderson. Contrast this to the Adams/Minshew image above:
Austin Calitro didn't even make contact until Anderson was already out of bounds and then extended his arm to shove Anderson down. The Jets did score anyway on the drive, though.
Aside from that one, Nate Hairston got away with a pass interference on one play and Blake Cashman was the victim of an uncalled helmet-to-helmet hit after his fumble recovery but the one that was really frustrating was this one:
C'mon man, I know this is veteran on rookie but that's a hold. And it prevented Quinnen Williams from making an important play on an otherwise quiet day for him, while the game was still in the balance at 22-15 in the fourth quarter.
The other play that's worth discussing is the non-call for taunting on Brian Poole who clapped in Fournette's face after a third down stop. The only logical reason for the flag to be picked up is that Poole was clapping and then Fournette elected to square up to him, effectively putting his own face where the clapping occurred.
That's fair enough because Poole obviously has a right to clap after a stop. However, for Poole to demonstrably continue to clap long after was necessary and even continuing to do so after a flag was thrown was really dumb, should probably have been flagged and was arguably worthy of a benching even if it wasn't.
But maybe any chance of being able to hold players accountable for penalties went out the window when Adams undermined the coaching staff by being so vocal about having been temporarily benched in the Browns game.
Finally, the replay booth was called into action once, on a circus catch by Demaryius Thomas. The ball looked like it may have hit the turf but it wasn't clear enough to overturn. That's one that probably stands as whatever is called on the field.