Dean Blandino: Referees erred on BenJarvus Green-Ellis' score

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Tuesday that one controversial call during Sunday's games was incorrectly called while another one was properly ruled by officials.

Blandino, speaking during his weekly appearance on NFL Network's "Around The League," said the touchdown run by Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis should not have been ruled a touchdown while Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown clearly did step out of bounds during the last play of the Steelers' loss.

Blandino said Green-Ellis' run, which was originally called down one yard short of the end zone in a victory over the Indianapolis Colts, should not have been overturned following the replay review.

"In order to overturn that there has to be indisputable visual evidence that the call on the field was incorrect," Blandino said. "That's the standard. When we look at these angles, it's close. Don't think it's definitive either way. And when it's not definitive either way that means the call on the field should stand.

"So we made a mistake here. This should not have been overturned. It should have been Indianapolis' ball first-and-goal at the 1-yard line. Ultimately it's my job to make sure our referees apply this standard consistently throughout the season. So that's what we'll continue to work on."

As for Brown's run down the sideline, Blandino said it was correctly called when the receiver stepped out of bounds at approximately the 12-yard line, securing the Miami Dolphins' victory. However, Blandino said just as important to watch were the multiple laterals on the final play, all which could have been reviewed.

"Can we say definitively that that was a forward pass? In our view it's not definitive," he said. "It's close. And if it's lateral it's backwards. So this call -- had we not had any other angles -- would not have been overturned.

"Had we allowed Antonio Brown to score a touchdown; had he not stepped out of bounds? ... This is really a huge call in the game because let's say the official ruled him out of bounds ... and he didn't step out, it's over. We can't do anything in replay. We can't give him the advance. Because once we've killed it on the field, it's over. ... We can't give a touchdown to the Steelers. So that's a huge call and a good call because the foot is out of bounds."

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