Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, right, and Earl Thomas (obscured) break up a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Seattle. The Seahawks beat the Falcons 26-24. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) ORG XMIT: SEA148

Did NFL Deliberately Change the Clip of Sherman and Julio Jones?

I always look forward to the NFL’s Mic’d up videos. It gives a unique close-up view into the chaotic nature of NFL games. We get to witness immediate player reactions, discussions between opponents, and conversations between coaches and others on the sideline.

On Tuesday night, I just happened to be scrolling through Twitter when I came across the NFL’s mic’d up video for the Seahawks and Falcons game. What I witnessed next left me jaw-dropped.

Here’s the full Mic’d up video:

Towards the end of the video, as Jared Stanger pointed out, the NFL appears to show the climatic final play to the Falcons’ last drive. However, it’s not as it seems. Watch closely. The NFL deliberately crops a different start to the play (they pull Julio’s jump off the line from a different play in the game), effectively removing the footage of Julio committing a hands to the face penalty against Richard Sherman. So they cropped two different plays together — and attempted to pass it off as the full, final play .

Instead of the above video showing Julio running straight off the line, the following gif is the correct start to the final play:

I understand that the NFL loves to push narratives. This is nothing new. I get it. Controversy creates ratings. It gives fans something to talk about. But this is deliberately and deceptively cropping two different plays together, eliminating Julio’s blatant penalty against Sherman, and then focusing on Richard’s DPI on Julio. Frankly, it’s misleading and it’s deceptive.




Staff Writer
  1. Evan … Very Woodward & Bernstein. This is why directors in Hollywood frequently wrestle with the studios over the final cut. With editing, you can tell a completely different story. Speaking of story, something that has not been highlighted much in the post-game analysis, is the narrative Sherman builds with NFL referees over the course of a game. It seems very plausible that Sherman made them well aware of the tactics various receivers (e.g. Jones) use to gain advantage. When the final act of the game unfolded, a decision not to reach for flags (especially in battles between two superstars) had already been reached. As you noted, the NFL benefits mightily from the drama and with some stories (like the Panthers) fading from view, they need a few more good plot lines. What better than “The Return of the LOB”?
    Thanks for the great work!

  2. Some great tin foil hat material. Show me an example where that would get called within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage in any other game. Just be happy to add yet another questionable home victory to the already growing list of them

    1. In fact, hands to the face is almost always called, on the offense or the defense, within five yards of the LOS. It was a penalty, and for reasons unknown the NFL edited it out. No hats needed for this one.

  3. Please stop w/ this victimization stuff. Hands fighting, pushing off HAPPEN on most of the plays. As long as they don’t get caught. Who cares if there is a narrative about what has happened? The fact that Sherman did INTERFERE, according to the rules, and JJ pushed off w/ no call, then it is a washed. Let’s say if the situation was in reverse, then I wonder, as hawks fans, should scream out as well. Get over it. Next game.

  4. One last thing- not to point out anything but was Brian “questioning” RW’s leadership skills based on Mr. Sunshine’s comments about RW was throwing his OL under the bus? Another evidence, along w/ many others, to debunk such an asinine analysis. Even worse, questioning his “blackness”. That was bad, Brian. Still love your blog, though.

  5. That is simply unbelievable. The story is just as compelling with both penalties not being called as it would be if it just the one.

    I listened to Scott Van Pelt doing his one man narrative saying this is an undeniable example of why PI should be reviewable. Yet the problem is where do you stop, which he did acknowledge. Do you review the entire route to catch the illegal hands? Do you review the entire play where Cassius Marsh was literally tackled from behind after he beat his man which was even more blatant than the PI itself?

  6. I’m a Falcons fan who was at the game. Great game, glad the refs let m play. NFL changing the video is like the same media covering Hillary Clinton gets. I’m not surprised. Sickening.

    1. Stand up all the way. And you got to the key point of this post, which is that the video was doctored.

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