Head referee says Jets touchdown-turned-fumble call was ‘pretty obvious'


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tony Corrente said there was one replay of the Austin Seferian-Jenkins touchdown-that-wasn't which made the correct call, in his mind, fairly apparent. 

"We went through two or three primary looks," Corrente told pool reporter Bob Glauber of his interaction with the replay officials in New York, "and then this other shot came up. When the other shot came up, it was just 'boom, boom, booom.' It was a pretty quick determination. It was pretty obvious."

Corrente said that midway through the fourth quarter Seferian-Jenkins was ruled to have scored a touchdown because his back was to the down judge on the field. The down judge thought he saw the ball pass over the goal line in the front right corner of the end zone, but he couldn't see the ball tucked away. 


"Because he lost the ball on his way to the ground the first time and had to re-grasp, that means now it's a loose ball," Corrente said. "He has to have control and survive the ground in the process of the recovery or, as we say, the process of the catch. So that's what that was about."

The bottom line for Corrente -- and obviously for senior vice president of officiating Alberto Riveron and his team, who make the final decisions on video reviews -- was that Seferian-Jenkins had not re-established himself in-bounds with possession of the football after Malcolm Butler punched it loose. That would mean, like a catch, having two feet (or a knee, or a forearm, etc.) in bounds with the football secured.

"You've got to keep in mind, he doesn't have possession of the football yet," Corrente said when asked about Seferian-Jenkins hitting the pylon. "When he lost the ball short of the goal line, when he lost the ball, he re-gained control but that doesn't mean he possesses the ball. He doesn't possess the ball until he's completed going to the ground now and re-controlling the ball, which he did not survive the ground, which is why it wasn't a touchdown."

It was a game-changing call and a controversial one given that the replay, according to some, seemed inconclusive. But Corrente and the officials in New York saw it differently.

"At [the] point he touched the pylon, it was during the process of trying to recover the ball," Corrente said. "Even though he may have had the ball in his hands the second time, that control does not mean possession until he comes to the ground and shows firm control of the ball at that point."


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