This was a very interesting idea, and I missed it this week when I tied into the “One Day, One Game” edition of ESPN The Magazine that focused on the Texans-Steelers game from this season.
Just as well, as it’s deserving of its own post.
ESPN Insider's K.C. Joyner watched and re-watched the game to monitor the accuracy of the spotting of the ball by game officials. He found 12 instances where they were off by at least a yard.
I think most of us have grown immune to the spotting of the ball, paying careful attention only on a crucial conversion where a measurement might be needed or a challenge flag could even be thrown.
But there seems to be a large degree of wiggle room in where the ball is spotted. Any conversation about it always makes me think of the title of a John Madden book: “One Knee Equals Two Feet.”
Joyner actually finds 7.1 percent of the spots in that weekend’s slate of games were off. That’s a lot of free or stolen yards, don't you think?
Check out the story for the two most common mistakes by officials, one of which special teams coaches and punt returners around the league should be aware of.