Bill Simmons of Grantland on the Earl Thomas "roughing" flag

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  • A good read...

    What's acceptable? Where are the lines? Last Sunday, the Seahawks-Dolphins game swung on a seemingly ludicrous call: Ryan Tannehill throwing the ball up for grabs in the end zone right as Seattle's Earl Thomas (running full-speed) jumped toward him with his arms outstretched, trying to deflect what ended up being a truly rancid pass that Seattle picked off easily. Only one problem: As Thomas was following through with his deflecting motion, Tannehill moved and one of Thomas's hands struck him in the head. Accidental, unintentional contact that only Bruce Lee or one of the Matrix characters could have avoided. What happened? They whistled Thomas with a penalty and gave the ball back to the Dolphins, who immediately tied the game and went on to win by three.

    As the only person who picked the Seahawks to make the Super Bowl, as well as someone who would have wagered on Seattle (laying three points) if gambling were legal, the call left me more outraged than Alton's whiny, pathetic, legacy-altering, mail-in-of-a-performance in The Challenge did three days later. I even wondered in a tweet why the league didn't make helmet-to-helmet and inadvertently-hit-someone-because-they-were-in-midair-when-the-target-moved-and-couldn't-stop-because-it's-effing-impossible-to-change-what-your-brain-already-told-your-body-in-less-than-a-split-second penalties reviewable. If the goal of the instant-replay process is "getting game-turning calls correct," then shouldn't coaches be able to challenge massively important 15-yard penalties that may have been interpreted incorrectly? In the moment, I genuinely believed that Thomas's penalty (a) was the wrong call, and (b) altered the course of that Seahawks-Dolphins game.

    Here's the funny part: Two days later, I learned that the NFL penalized Thomas for the play. Fifteen thousand dollars!!!! My man Mike Florio even defended the league and said it was the right call! And you know what else? IT PROBABLY WAS THE RIGHT CALL! You're not allowed to intentionally hurt quarterbacks, mistakenly hurt quarterbacks or even hurt their feelings anymore. It's a zero-tolerance policy for anything involving the words "quarterbacks" and "hurt." Same goes for defenseless receivers over the middle. Same goes for punters as they're kicking the football. Same goes for defenseless kick returners or defensive players getting annihilated by blind-side blocks … well, except for you, Eric Weddle.


    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/869 ... cautiously
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  • I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified. of course possession would have flipped there, but we didn't really do a lot with the ball late in that game anyway due to poor play calling (be it Carroll or Bevell doesn't really matter).
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  • kidhawk wrote:I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified. of course possession would have flipped there, but we didn't really do a lot with the ball late in that game anyway due to poor play calling (be it Carroll or Bevell doesn't really matter).


    I think it deflated the defense. They thought they'd held. They thought they had a turnover. They thought they'd gotten off the field. Then Leon scores on the KR and they're right back out there with no chance to rest. Not that it's an excuse to blow the game the way they did, but I totally think it had an effect on the D.
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  • Zebulon Dak wrote:
    kidhawk wrote:I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified. of course possession would have flipped there, but we didn't really do a lot with the ball late in that game anyway due to poor play calling (be it Carroll or Bevell doesn't really matter).


    I think it deflated the defense. They thought they'd held. They thought they had a turnover. They thought they'd gotten off the field. Then Leon scores on the KR and they're right back out there with no chance to rest. Not that it's an excuse to blow the game the way they did, but I totally think it had an effect on the D.


    It is true, that every event can change the following event, but the score would have been no different.

    Could the outcome have been different? Sure, but it's not like it was the game winning TD at the end of the game. Many things could have happened for us to still lose this game had they not called the penalty.
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  • We had a touchback right? Would've rather had the offense at the 20 with the same 7-point lead and giving the defense a breather. Plus, we'd just had two long drives from that range. And Tannehill went off after getting away with that. It was almost his 'phew' moment... and he took advantage. Prior to that call he was having a truly miserable day. I think it altered the course of the game.
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  • theENGLISHseahawk wrote:We had a touchback right? Would've rather had the offense at the 20 with the same 7-point lead and giving the defense a breather. Plus, we'd just had two long drives from that range. And Tannehill went off after getting away with that. It was almost his 'phew' moment... and he took advantage. Prior to that call he was having a truly miserable day. I think it altered the course of the game.


    Of course it "altered the course of the game", pretty much each play alters the course of the game in some way shape or form, but that doesn't mean the outcome would have been any different. We can all wish and dream, but we know that doesn't do us any good. Besides, it's done and over. It's time to move on to Chicago and HOPE LIKE HELL for a W
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    theENGLISHseahawk wrote:We had a touchback right? Would've rather had the offense at the 20 with the same 7-point lead and giving the defense a breather. Plus, we'd just had two long drives from that range. And Tannehill went off after getting away with that. It was almost his 'phew' moment... and he took advantage. Prior to that call he was having a truly miserable day. I think it altered the course of the game.


    Of course it "altered the course of the game", pretty much each play alters the course of the game in some way shape or form, but that doesn't mean the outcome would have been any different. We can all wish and dream, but we know that doesn't do us any good. Besides, it's done and over. It's time to move on to Chicago and HOPE LIKE HELL for a W


    It's a shitty rule and it altered the course of the game. Nobody's saying we for sure win if that INT stands but at least it's reasonable. We should have won anyway but I really think that was the turning point. The D fell apart after that.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    theENGLISHseahawk wrote:We had a touchback right? Would've rather had the offense at the 20 with the same 7-point lead and giving the defense a breather. Plus, we'd just had two long drives from that range. And Tannehill went off after getting away with that. It was almost his 'phew' moment... and he took advantage. Prior to that call he was having a truly miserable day. I think it altered the course of the game.


    Of course it "altered the course of the game", pretty much each play alters the course of the game in some way shape or form, but that doesn't mean the outcome would have been any different. We can all wish and dream, but we know that doesn't do us any good. Besides, it's done and over. It's time to move on to Chicago and HOPE LIKE HELL for a W



    Why do you presume I haven't moved on? We're talking about whether this had an impact here in terms of the final score and I think it possibly did. Not wishing a dreaming, just an opinion. And the first sentence is a little glib - clearly this was a major talking point.
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  • Funny, but when Leon ran that kick back, I was like "man, that was great, but the D needed some rest, this is gonna hurt".

    I had zero confidence we were stopping the Dolphins on the next drive.
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  • kidhawk wrote:I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified.


    you're forgetting a few things here

    the time it ran off the clock

    momentum
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  • The call was a bad call. Thomas wasn't even trying to hit the QB he was going for the PD. All these new rules and policies have, pretty much, put the entire fate of a game in the hands of referees with no system in place to challenge their call. That should not have been called roughing. He wasn't even going for the QB hit. He was going for the PD. How does somebody get roughing when they're going for a pass deflection? Only in Goodell's NFL. Apparently a defensive player is not supposed to touch a QB in any way shape or form. Pretty soon we'll start calling fouls on defensive players anytime they reach for the ball or get in an offensive player's running lane. It'll be like outdoor basketball on grass.
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  • Put me in the camp for "it probably altered the game." A swing of possession is pretty huge- even more so when the team that won scored 17 points in the 4th quarter and won on the final play. Not a ton of room for margin for error there.
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  • Zebulon Dak wrote:
    kidhawk wrote:I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified. of course possession would have flipped there, but we didn't really do a lot with the ball late in that game anyway due to poor play calling (be it Carroll or Bevell doesn't really matter).


    I think it deflated the defense. They thought they'd held. They thought they had a turnover. They thought they'd gotten off the field. Then Leon scores on the KR and they're right back out there with no chance to rest. Not that it's an excuse to blow the game the way they did, but I totally think it had an effect on the D.


    Not only did it deflate them, but they were extremely tired. WIth virtually no break the rest of the game after Leon's TD.
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  • kidhawk wrote:I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified. of course possession would have flipped there, but we didn't really do a lot with the ball late in that game anyway due to poor play calling (be it Carroll or Bevell doesn't really matter).

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  • just cause you have 8590 posts doesnt make you right Kidhawk. :pukeface: :pukeface: :pukeface: :pukeface: :pukeface: :pukeface: :pukeface: :pukeface: :pukeface:
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  • How does a free first down in the red zone instead of an interception/touchback not alter the game? At the least we get a first down or two and give our D a quick break with a 7 point lead.
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  • kidhawk wrote:I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified. of course possession would have flipped there, but we didn't really do a lot with the ball late in that game anyway due to poor play calling (be it Carroll or Bevell doesn't really matter).


    Wrong, it went from our ball to a TD. It altered the game in a major way. And you can't say that Leon would not have run one back for a TD, there is know way to know that. He has been getting close all year, it was only a matter of time. And how do you know that after the INT, Russell Wilson wouldn't have drove the field for a TD and burned a lot of time off of the clock? You don't.

    It was a game altering play because of the 7 points scored there.
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  • I liked this from the comments section

    "P.S. QBs should start pump faking and then running underneath the player who jumped if they are going to start calling this roughing the passer.

    At some point the player has to protect themselves."
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  • I'm still not sure how not ONE person on TV mentioned the fact that Reggie Bush clearly was bobbling the ball before he scored that TD. That play was huge in the game, should have been a touchback. But this is the Seahawks we're talking about.
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  • ^^You and I are on the same side of the political spectrum in this forum and thus I agree with you.
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  • SoulfishHawk wrote:I'm still not sure how not ONE person on TV mentioned the fact that Reggie Bush clearly was bobbling the ball before he scored that TD. That play was huge in the game, should have been a touchback. But this is the Seahawks we're talking about.

    God damn right! I saw the bobble when it happened. I quickly re-played it as I DVR all Hawks games. Sure enuf, he did not have possession of the ball when he crossed the line and then it ultimately went out of bounds while in the endzone... FUMBLE, TOUCHBACK.

    I told my wife that when they watch the replay to confirm the TD that they will overturn the call and award the ball to the Hawks at the 20.

    Didn't happen. :(
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  • Most aspects of those possessions are not whats on the field but whats in the players head, I agree with kid on the score points 7 points either way possibly either we stop 7 or we score 7, it's the ticky tacky call and then the controversy that takes the air out of a team sometimes. Additionally with the run back we have another emotional swing. Now add that we play not to lose on defense and offense which of course as we all know means you will lose, now we have the perfect storm of why we cannot win on the road.
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  • ivotuk wrote:I liked this from the comments section

    "P.S. QBs should start pump faking and then running underneath the player who jumped if they are going to start calling this roughing the passer.

    At some point the player has to protect themselves."


    I would love to see this. Like an NBA player ball fake then jump up into the airborne player. This would be fantastic lol
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  • [quote="kidhawk"][/quote]

    It is true, that every event can change the following event, but the score would have been no different.quote]

    At this juncture it's impossible to prove this theory one way, or the other. take that 7 points off the Phins score, and everything gets changed.

    Had the Ref's not called that bogus penalty, and the interception was upheld, RW would have had the ball on the 20, and who says he would or wouldn't have driven the team down for another TD and taken time off the clock.
    The Leon Washington return maybe doesn't get done, but the Phins would have had 7 less points, and would have to try for that TD with less time on the clock.
    I will never be convinced that the Ref's were correct in making that bad call.
    To say that the temporary Refs were inept in their duties, and that the regulars have been spot on, is a joke, and a bad joke at that.
    Is it still possible that the Seahawks still lose that game?, hell yes, but we honestly don't know that for sure.
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  • onanygivensunday wrote:
    SoulfishHawk wrote:I'm still not sure how not ONE person on TV mentioned the fact that Reggie Bush clearly was bobbling the ball before he scored that TD. That play was huge in the game, should have been a touchback. But this is the Seahawks we're talking about.

    God damn right! I saw the bobble when it happened. I quickly re-played it as I DVR all Hawks games. Sure enuf, he did not have possession of the ball when he crossed the line and then it ultimately went out of bounds while in the endzone... FUMBLE, TOUCHBACK.

    I told my wife that when they watch the replay to confirm the TD that they will overturn the call and award the ball to the Hawks at the 20.

    Didn't happen. :(


    I felt the same way about the play, but from the angles I saw on the replays, it looked like the ball broke the plane of the end zone while Bush still had possession. Barely, but barely = TD. Once the ball crosses the plane in possession, TD, play over. But it was very close. I honestly saw it as a legit Dolphins TD best as I could pick out from the replays.
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  • the defense getting more rest is a good argument as well, I believe it had a lot to do with the outcome, several other ticky tack calls for the fins as well
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    Zebulon Dak wrote:
    kidhawk wrote:I feel his pain, but that hit (penalty) didn't really alter the outcome. It was that ensuing kickoff where Leon Washington ran back the TD. If they let us keep the INT, we never get that big run back, so basically both TD are nullified. of course possession would have flipped there, but we didn't really do a lot with the ball late in that game anyway due to poor play calling (be it Carroll or Bevell doesn't really matter).


    I think it deflated the defense. They thought they'd held. They thought they had a turnover. They thought they'd gotten off the field. Then Leon scores on the KR and they're right back out there with no chance to rest. Not that it's an excuse to blow the game the way they did, but I totally think it had an effect on the D.


    It is true, that every event can change the following event, but the score would have been no different.

    Could the outcome have been different? Sure, but it's not like it was the game winning TD at the end of the game. Many things could have happened for us to still lose this game had they not called the penalty.



    Why does everyone think only the game ending scores matter? They all add up to the final score. This is the same mental process people take when they call Seattle cheaters for the GB game (I still hear this once a week, makes me want to punch a baby each and every time). GB never should have scored a TD because the PI call on that drive was total crap.
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