Tyler Huntley was not particularly close to scoring a touchdown against the Bengals during the NFL’s Super Wild Card weekend. How do we know?
The National Football League casually revealed that they have an exact way of measuring the spot of the ball. There is a chip inside the football.
Since the beginning of time, sticks and chains have been used to measure first downs. Officials have been left to their best judgement for spotting the ball.
It adds a large element of human error to the game and often creates frustration when things are not exact. Especially when a measurement changes the outcome of a game.
And yet — for who knows how long — there has been a technical way to measure meticulously.
There is a chip in the football.
The Ravens lined up on 3rd-and-goal during the early fourth quarter of Sunday’s AFC Wild Card weekend. Tyler ‘Snoop’ Huntley ran a quarterback sneak and tried to go up-and-over the goal line like Trevor Lawrence did on Saturday.
The ball was knocked loose short of the end zone.
Cincinnati defensive end Sam Hubbard recovered the fumble and took it back for six.
It was one of the wildest plays in NFL postseason history.
According to the official account of NFL Next Gen Stats, Huntley was 0.6 yards (about two feet) short of the goal line. No closer.
How do we know? The chip that nobody knew existed.
How close was Tyler Huntley to crossing the plane with the football?
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 16, 2023
For years, as the chain gang runs out onto the field to measure first downs — sometimes using an index cards as recently as 2017 — the big questions revolved around technology. It’s 2022.
Is there not a way to put a chip in the football and determine exactly where to spot it?
— Shahji Adam (@ShahjiAdam) January 16, 2023
— Josh Booth (@JoshBooth43) January 16, 2023
If we have a chip in football why are they still relying on chains to measure for first downs? Shouldn’t the NFL eventually move to digital measurement sometime soon?
— BC (@bjcohen76) January 16, 2023
Chip in the football and we are still relying on 60 year old men to spot the ball correctly lmao
— Derek Kudjer (@koojababy) January 16, 2023
Chips in the ball?!?!?? pic.twitter.com/Frk4NyJUZE
— Evan Ludwig (@SmokeLudwig) January 16, 2023
Apparently that’s already a thing. However, the chip is not exactly accurate.
The chip can only get within about six inches of exact measurements, which is why they are not used. But is a six-inch differential not equally or more accurate than a person using his/her eyes?
It seems like the chips will soon be improved. At that point, presumably, the NFL will join other sports like tennis and soccer in using technology to determine exact measurements.