After Further Review: Jets-Ravens officiating

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.

Penalty Count

Ravens 6-35 (leading to zero Jets first downs)
Jets 8-94 (leading to two Ravens first downs)

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

  • Ravens illegal formation penalty to negate a Mark Andrews touchdown. The extra tight end failed to report as an eligible receiver. Andrews scored anyway a few plays later.
  • Steve McLendon and Folorunso Fatukasi both jumped offside on consecutive plays at the goal line. Obviously this didn't make much difference from a yardage perspective. Both were good calls as the player guessed the snap count wrongly.
  • Too many men on the field for the Jets on defense during a two-point conversion. Three inside linebackers, two edges and two down linemen were in with nickel personnel, so this was probably either Nate Hairston or Brandon Copeland's fault, or one of the edges.
  • Patrick Mekari false start. The Ravens thought this was offside on Nathan Shepherd, but Mekari's leg definitely flinched.
  • Delay of game on Lamar Jackson. This made it 2nd-and-20 and Jackson promptly threw a 33-yard touchdown on the next snap anyway.
  • Jets delay of game on a two-point conversion. Disappointing to see, but they did score anyway from the seven-yard line.
  • Delay of game, false start on Josh Bynes and holding on Anthony Levine on consecutive attempts to get the ball punted. The false start was clear and the hold came as the Jets sent interior pressure up the middle.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

  • Jonotthan Harrison blindside block to negate Vyncint Smith's 19-yard catch. This was a good call because Harrison whiffed on his block initially with Alex Lewis picking that man up and then Harrison tried to help out on another man as Sam Darnold stepped up, but he blocked him while facing his own end zone which is against the rules. Even more frustratingly, it was unnecessary as Darnold got the throw off cleanly anyway. This was the only penalty of the first quarter.
  • Neville Hewitt 43-yard pass interference penalty in the end zone. There's no doubt about the call here, Hewitt never looked back for the ball and made early contact with the receiver. There is doubt about the wisdom of having Hewitt make such a deep drop against the speedy Hollywood Brown, though.
  • Jordan Jenkins offside and unnecessary roughness on the same play. Jenkins did jump offside and was unable to get back before the snap but whatever he was flagged for in terms of the personnel happened at the end of the play off the screen. Interestingly, Steve McLendon also jumped on the play and also got into a shoving match with Orlando Brown, who put his hands down by his sides in an effort to draw the retaliation. It's not impossible that's what was flagged and they just got the number wrong.
  • Bennett Jackson facemask penalty on kickoff coverage. This looked harsh initially, but Jackson did have a grip on the side of the helmet as he pulled the return man down. Although he never touched the facemask, this is still the correct call if he had a grip on the ear-hole or even the underside of the helmet, which did appear to be the case.

Notable no-calls

The worst call of the day had to be the non-fumble on the Ravens' punt that the Jets recovered inside the five-yard line. Even with a replay review, the officials stuck with the original call, although the Jets blocked a punt for a touchdown on the next series anyway.

So ultimately it didn't matter, but let's review anyway. While there wasn't a camera angle to definitely show contact with the Ravens player, it should have been evident that the trajectory and spin of the ball was affected by a slight deflection.

By plotting where the ball was when it entered the picture...

...and where it was a few frames later...

...we can see where the ball should have landed and obviously it was diverted by a slight deflection.

Note: The third image shows the ball just before it bounces.

Aside from that, there was some question over whether Brown's touchdown catch and that of Jamison Crowder were caught inbounds, but in each case the call seemed correct.

As for possible missed calls, Michaal Pierce hit Sam Darnold in the helmet on the play where he fumbled and Robby Anderson was definitely interfered with on a fourth down incompletion in the end zone.

Additionally, both teams got away with some possible holds including one by Trevon Wesco, one on a Nathan Shepherd pass rush and one on Fatukasi in the running game.