After Further Review: Jets-Titans 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

Titans 8-98 (leading to one Jets first down)
Jets 6-65 (leading to three Titans first downs)

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

Jets Penalties

  • Bryce Huff jumped offside on 3rd-and-6. Quinnen Williams also reacted to the hard count but was able to stay out of the neutral zone. The Titans converted on a quarterback sneak but ended up settling for a field goal anyway.
  • Nathan Shepherd roughing the passer. This was a reckless late hit by Shepherd who easily had time to pull up and not make forcible contact.
  • Shepherd jumped offside. This could have been costly as it moved the Titans closer as they looked to get in range for an overtime field goal.

Titans Penalties

  • Taylor Lewan false start. He wasn't set for a full second before the ball was snapped. This is arguably the fault of the quarterback or center, but Lewan was slow to get into position. This counts as a false start rather than an illegal shift or illegal motion because Lewan wasn't shifting or in motion.
  • Ola Adeniyi unnecessary roughness on special teams. This happened off-screen.
  • Illegal hands to the face by Lewan on Shaq Lawson. This seemed clear-cut. There could also have been a hold on David Quessenberry as Huff beat him around the opposite edge.
  • Delay of game before a punt.
  • Delay of game in overtime. This one was costly because it made Randy Bullock's game tying field goal five yards further in addition to giving the Titans a more difficult third down to convert.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Alijah Vera-Tucker illegally downfield on a forward pass. Vera-Tucker was called for one of these last week where the timing was just a little off. This was different though, as Vera-Tucker was making his block and stumbled across the line of scrimmage as the defender shed the block well away from the ball. It didn't look like he made an effort to continue downfield and a penalty would often not be called in this situation.
  • Shepherd defensive holding. This seemed like a bizarre call. Shepherd was double-teamed and blocked to the ground. The only possibilities here are that they felt he dragged one of the blockers down with him to prevent him from peeling off to make another block - which did not appear to be the case - or just just called the wrong number - but there didn't seem to be anyone else committing such an infraction.
  • Justin Hardee fair catch interference. This was similar to the play a few weeks ago with Hardee again protesting the call, probably claiming to have been blocked into the return man. It wasn't clear if there was an adequate fair catch signal, but Hardee did end up where the ball landed when you're supposed to give the return man room if he's made such a signal. From the broadcast, it's difficult to tell exactly what happened but clearly Hardee is causing some chaos and hopefully this will spook a return man into turning the ball over at some point soon.
  • Jarrod Wilson pass interference on fourth down. A no-call here ends the game and it looked like a bang-bang play with the hit arriving just a split second before the ball. The announcers felt the call was correct but the replay angle seemed to indicate that Wilson potentially arrived at the catchpoint before the receiver and didn't actually initiate the contact himself.

Titans Penalties

  • Offensive pass interference on Anthony Firkser. The tight end made no effort to disguise the fact that he was blocking off a defender but was within a yard of the line of scrimmage so this shouldn't have been a penalty. The third down pass was incomplete anyway and so this was declined and ultimately didn't matter.
  • Ben Jones holding on Williams. This negated a 14-yard run and helped force a punt. On the play, Williams was about to make the tackle in the hole but Jones took him down. Replays showed he grabbed Williams' outside shoulder so the call was correct.
  • Illegal touching on Roger Saffold and illegal man downfield on Jones. This caused all kinds of confusion and the delay seemed to take the Jets' defense out of their rhythm. Saffold, the left guard, instinctively caught a pass intended for the running back which carries a five yard penalty but no loss of down. Jones was also at least five yards downfield as this was thrown. Had the pass to Saffold been deflected - and it almost was - it would have been a legal catch by Saffold.
  • Dane Cruikshank pass interference penalty on Corey Davis. This was a key play, giving the Jets 43 yards and the only first down they've been awarded by penalty over the last two games. Cruikshank definitely shoved Davis in the back before the ball arrived, impeding Davis' attempts to make a play on the ball.

Notable no-calls

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

  • On each of the screen passes to Jeremy McNichols' 3rd-and-long conversions, there should've been a block-in-the-back penalty. The announcers pointed out the second one, on Quincy Williams, but the first one - on Quinnen Williams - was even more blatant and integral to the success of that play. Another one on Deuce Carter was missed later on, although this was a shorter gain on a run;
  • Brandin Echols and Isaiah Dunn both had physical pass break-ups where a different officiating crew might have called them for pass interference;
  • Thomas Morstead was knocked over on a punt where a running into the kicker call would have given the Jets a first down. However, this again seemed to be a play where the blocker - in this case Ryan Griffin - shoved the rusher into him;
  • The replay booth correctly ruled Keelan Cole short of the marker after the on-field call was a first down and then correctly upheld the decision that Tevin Coleman didn't get into the end zone for the winning score at the pylon; and
  • The Jets got a break when Chester Rogers was ruled down a yard short of the marker on 3rd-and-21, although they converted the fourth down anyway. Rogers' knee wasn't down but they wouldn't have been able to change the spot because there was an inadvertent whistle.

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