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Old Mon Sep 11, 2006, 05:15pm
rulesmaven rulesmaven is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 204
Originally Posted by AndrewMcCarthy
Anyone catch the interception return in the New England game yesterday where the whistle seemed to go off in the middle of the return even though the player was not out of bounds or down? I'm wondering what happened at the end of that play.

The return came back due to a BIB penalty- I think this is the play from the game...

(8:26) T.Brady pass deep left intended for B.Watson INTERCEPTED by D.Whitner at BUF 44. D.Whitner to NE 46 for 10 yards.
PENALTY on BUF-N.Clements, Illegal Block Above the Waist, 10 yards, enforced at NE 46.

[by the way- I didn't see the game- I'm getting this info second-hand]
Yes, I saw it. The defender intercepted the ball and returned it to the Patriots' end zone. During the run back, there was a clear BIB. The play was blown dead right around the same time as the flag was thrown, and the ruling on the field was that the runner had stepped out of bounds. The whistle was audible and some of the players stopped playing. Replay indicated that the player did not step out of bounds; not close really. The ball was placed 10 yards from the spot of the foul.

There was some confusion, and it may be that OOB was not the call on the field, but instead it was an inadvertent whistle, perhaps mistakenly blown by the referee who saw the foul. (You can't really tell on the replay.) In either event, the ruling was simply to mark off the penalty from the spot of the foul.

It was a really bad mistake, since the runner was not close to OOB. But in the end, the only real effect of the mistake was that something else important could have happened in the rest of the play (e.g., patriots penalty, fumble, etc.).
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