After Further Review: Washington/Jets 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

Washington 11-66 (leading to two Jets first downs)
Jets 6-55 (leading to one Washington first down)

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

  • Illegal hands to the face on Montez Sweat. Was unclear from the broadcast angle, but Beachum's head did snap back as he was being bull rushed, which usually leads to a call.
  • Ryan Anderson jumped into the neutral zone at the snap. Obvious call.
  • Jimmy Moreland roughing the kicker call. Again seemed obvious.
  • Holding on Josh Harvey-Clemons on a kickoff. Takedown on Daniel Brown in the open field but not completely clear if there was a hold from broadcast footage.
  • Alex Lewis called for holding to negate a 31-yard Sam Darnold to Robby Anderson connection. Obvious call as Lewis reached across to try and prevent pressure on Darnold, although he appeared to have anticipated this and was falling back so perhaps would have got the throw off even if Lewis didn't hold.
  • Morgan Moses false start. Obvious call.
  • Jonotthan Harrison called for holding on a made extra point. Blatantly tackled a player trying to break through the line to create pressure. Sam Ficken made the re-kick anyway.
  • Harvey Langi roughing the kicker penalty on 4th-and-17. The correct call as Langi was close to getting a finger on the ball but timed his dive badly. The punter almost jumped over him but there was contact on the non-kicking leg.
  • Matt Ionnadis offside on the last play of the third quarter. Jumped into the neutral zone when Darnold Omaha'd.
  • Another holding call on Harvey-Clemons on special teams, this time on Langi. This one seemed more like a block in the back, followed by a trip.
  • Beachum called for a hold to negate a Ty Montgomery short-yardage conversion. Beachum didn't like the call, but it's one that usually gets called, as he battled to stay on his block on the edge while Montgomery bounced it outside.
  • Kelvin Harmon false start. Flinched right before the snap.
  • Illegal formation and illegal touching on the failed onside kick. The ball didn't go 10 yards and one player wasn't a yard back as the ball was kicked.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

  • Holding, followed by unsportsmanlike conduct, on Brandon Scherff to negated a 67-yard pass play. The replays showed that Scherff clearly dragged Henry Anderson down by the jersey around the shoulder pad area, so why was he so angry? Perhaps because he felt Anderson should have been called for illegal hands to the face, but offsetting penalties would still have negated the big gain. The unsportsmanlike call is automatic when you remove your helmet in the field of play and, if anything, Donald Penn could also have drawn a flag for demonstrably berating the official and belaboring the point.
  • Harrison holding penalty to negate a 13-yard Josh Adams run. This was a routine call with Harrison taking his man down as he tried to get off the block to make a tackle but notable because it was the first Jets penalty after almost 19 minutes of the game. Washington already had six penalties by then.
  • Scherff false start. An interesting one here as both Folorunso Fatukasi and Scherff moved before the snap but it seemed like Fatukasi moved first. However, he hadn't crossed into the neutral zone when Scherff moved a nano-second later so maybe the call was correct. It arguably could have gone either way.
  • Pass interference on Maurice Canady on the two-point conversion. Canady was unlucky here because his positioning was pretty good. However, if you don't look back for the football you cannot expect to get away with any contact and, while there was no real push-off, Canady's arm was leaning on the receiver's shoulder/upper arm area, affecting his ability to make a play on the ball.

Notable no-calls

The Jets surprisingly had two successful challenges this week. Both seemed reasonable decisions. Jamison Crowder's low catch on the first play never hit the ground. The other saw Crowder's first down catch had been negated by an offensive pass interference call on Demaryius Thomas. Thomas was just running his route and made no obvious attempt to block the defensive player who initiated the contact by crashing into him. It was still surprising to see them reverse this though, as they've been reluctant to do so on matters of pass interference.

Another interesting one was the spectacular catch by Terry McLaurin over Marcus Maye. Remembering that simultaneous possession goes to the offense, the ball would either have to hit the ground or one of the players would have to land out of bounds for this not to count. From one of the angles it looks like the ball may have hit the ground, but there was not enough to suggest a loss of control. From another angle, it looks like McLaurin's hand may have landed first, right on the sideline. However alternative angles are inconclusive. If this had been reviewed, there's no chance they would have overturned it.

In terms of no-calls, there didn't seem many obvious ones. Kyron Brown could've had a block in the back penalty but he did the "who, me?" gesture with his hands and got away with it. Henry Anderson arguably could have been called for a late hit as Dwayne Haskins threw an incompletion on 2nd-and-28 from his end zone, although that might have been seen as extremely harsh.

For Washington there was one play where Brian Poole missed a tackle as he appeared to have been held.

Poole also was appealing for a block in the back on Derrius Guice's touchdown. And he's right, he was blatantly shoved in the back, preventing him from making the tackle. Unfortunately, it was his own teammate, Neville Hewitt, that shoved him.