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Sports

Walt Anderson: Officials get an assist on replay to keep Cardinals short on fourth down


In the second quarter of today’s Ravens-Cardinals game, Arizona running back Emari Demercado took a handoff over the middle on fourth-and-1. The officials spotted the ball and, as the chains began to come out, they then spotted the ball, pushing it back and ahead of the first down.

So why did the officials move the ball past the original spot? Walt Anderson, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, said the replay booth found the original spot was an error.

“It was a replay from the stadium stand,” Anderson said, via Pool Report. “With the replay assistance rule, it allows us to provide officials with objective information if we obtain clear and obvious video evidence. We waited a bit because we weren’t sure where the officials were initially going to spot the ball once all players were cleared and we could see that it was spotted on the big line. Then the replay referee told the officials that the ball was clearly short and that’s why the referee ended up moving the ball. And obviously, since missing a fourth down with the new rule this year, a failed fourth down attempt is a stand review. But since we had already helped, we knew it would be short. This is why we did not stop further to carry out a new examination.

NFL officials increasingly rely on the replay booth to quickly alert them if a call is wrong. If he corrects a bad decision and does so without needing to delay the game for a formal review, that’s a good thing.

Gn sports

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