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NFL defends fumble call in Jaguars game, is probably wrong, Chiefs will still take it

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Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles hit a 51-yard strike to WR Marqise Lee who was pushed out inside the five yard line in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game at Arrowhead. This set the Jaguars up for what appeared to be an easy score and to pull within one score of the Chiefs, who led 19-7.

Except it wasn’t an easy score. Jaye Howard punched it out and the Jaguars fumbled on the goal line. Marcus Peters recovered (and punted the ball into the stands).

The replay showed a questionable call. Jaguars RB Chris Ivory appeared to possibly get the ball across the plane before fumbling, which would make it a touchdown.

The call on the field was a fumble. The refs ended up sticking with that call. As a Chiefs fan, I’m happy to be lucky on this call. If you’re a Jaguars fan, you have to be heated.

Head of NFL refs Dean Blandino recorded a video defending the refs decision to uphold the call on the field. He is probably wrong. It was probably a score going by the eye test. But they can’t know for sure. The Chiefs will take lucky...

“This is the best angle. and when you freeze it at that point it looks like a score,” Blandino said.

“The problem with a freeze frame is we don’t know if the ball is loose or not,” Blandino continued. “If we freeze the video at this point it’s always going to look like the player has control. You have to look at it full speed to determine if that ball is loose or not.

“As I take it one frame further the hands are completely off the ball. If we can’t see the ball in this entire reach, this entire stretch to the goal line then we can’t over turn it because we can’t confirm he had control of it or not. You can see the ball maybe starting to come loose at that point. Again, the freeze frame is always going to make it look like he has control. You can see the hands come off the ball one frame later.

“We just don’t have the look that shows control the entire time. If it’s not clear and obvious we have to stay with the call on the field. If the ruling on the field was a touchdown, we would have to stay with the call on the field. It’s not definitive and that’s why we have to stay with the call on the field.”

Listen to the whole thing here: