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Dean Blandino: Referees correctly called safety on Patriots' punt

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

In his weekly officiating review video for the media, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Friday the referees correctly handled the safety on New England Patriots punter Ryan Allen during last Saturday night's Divisional Round Weekend game against the Indianapolis Colts.

"It was actually a smart play (to throw a pass) what he was trying to do," said Blandino, noting that an incompletion would have allowed the Patriots to give the Colts the ball at the New England 43 rather than inside the 5-yard line, where he was being tackled.

However, Allen was forced to fumble the ball and the Colts were not called for an illegal bat, a penalty that could have negated the safety and given the Patriots a first down.

"The play was properly officiated," he said. "It's an interesting play and the result of the play was a safety."

Blandino also examined:

  • The touchdown pass caught by San Francisco's Vernon Davis late in the first half against Carolina followed by Jim Harbaugh's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
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