Immediately following the Patriots‘ overtime victory in Super Bowl LI, a portion of Falcons fans were wondering why James White‘s winning touchdown carry was not reviewed. It was a sentiment echoed by Falcons receiver Julio Jones himself, who calmly asserted after the game that he would have liked to have seen the play get looked over by officials before the confetti dumped on Atlanta.
“I didn’t know, I wanted to see it, though, if he got in or not, you know?” Jones said. “Obviously the ball broke the plane. But the confetti just came down right away. I didn’t know if his knee was down or not. But I mean that game shouldn’t have even been that close.
“I’m not going to make excuses. We was up enough and the game shouldn’t have been that close at all. But it should have been reviewed. If he was in, he was in. I couldn’t see. But I would have liked to have seen it.”
Dean Blandino, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, released his final video of the season Wednesday, explaining that the touchdown was reviewed.
â NFL Football Ops (@NFLFootballOps)
February 8, 2017
“The officials were briefed prior to the start of the drive that if we had a touchdown and it was close, replay is going to stop the game immediately to review the play,” Blandino said. “We have to keep the sidelines off the field; try to keep everyone off the field. Almost impossible in this scenario but we are going to review this play if it’s remotely close.”
He added: “The play did go under review, the referee looked at it. Remember, the ball just has to break the plane of the goal line prior to the runner being down by contact.”