Hill In Bounds, Levine Not Offside

The Ruling On The Field Hill In Bounds, Levine Not Offside

Posted in The Ruling On The Field
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Brad Allen For the Win!

Last night’s officiating was SPOT ON. 9 total penalties (7 on Baltimore), but they let the players play, didn’t call frivolous penalties, called them even on both sides of the ball (a hold on the Ravens was a hold on the Browns) and there were absolutely no controversial calls or non-calls to speak of…

Well… unless you ask literally every Browns fan.

Brought to our attention by SB Nation, there’s a few variations of a screen shot floating around that appear to show Will Hill stepping out of bounds on his Kick-Six return.

Will Hill appears out of bounds as he runs down the sideline on his game-winning return.

Looks legit… but there’s this thing called depth perception that leads me to believe this screen grab is only showing one angle in order to help those Browns fans cope with their loss to a Ravens team without their starting QB, lead running back, #1 wideout, best defensive player, and a whole bunch of role players to boot.

Using the position of the Cleveland player in the screen grab, kicker Billy Cundiff Travis Coons, we can identify the exact moment this image was taken, then take the aerial screen grab at the same exact moment.

And here’s what we see.

Will Hill's foot is clearly in bounds as he runs down the sideline against the Browns.

And if there was any question about his feet for the duration of the return, here’s every step of that glorious return from the same aerial view.

Of course there’s a question as well about whether or not Anthony Levine Sr. was lined up in the neutral zone prior to the snap, with this image floating around the internet.

Anthony Levine appears offside because of ESPN's line of scrimmage marker.

There’s a whole myriad of issues with this complaint, but we can nip it in the bud quickly with a tweet from Dean Blandino, the NFL VP of Officiating.


But just to confirm what Blandino is saying, here’s a quick screen grab from the 3rd down stop on the previous play to set the LOS for 4th down.


Cleveland stopped short of the original line of scrimmage, where the ball should have been placed for the field goal.

As Blandino stated, the LOS for 4th down was clearly at the 33.5 yard line, and realistically should have had the nose of the ball placed on the 34.

As for his note about the LOS shown on the screen shot being at the 33, that’s due to ESPN not moving the LOS from the previous play.

Where the line of scrimmage is during ESPN's broadcast of the blocked kick return for a TD.

Which turned into this screen shot (which we’ve fixed).

Where the line of scrimmage marker should have been on ESPN's screen according to Dean Blandino.


Suffice it to say, Brad Allen’s crew got this one right, Browns conspiracy theorists got it wrong, and Cleveland fans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting on an apology or admission of error coming from the officials anytime soon.


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Adam Bonaccorsi

About Adam Bonaccorsi

Living on the farce-side of Baltimore sports, Adam spends his time focusing on the satirical nature of our local teams- conveniently, sometimes the narrative writes itself! He's not one to shy away from controversial opinions, speaking his mind, or dropping a truth bomb into the Purple Kool Aid. More from Adam Bonaccorsi


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