Was Aaron Jones’ touchdown a touchdown?

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With 12:54 left in the first half of Thursday night’s Packers-Cardinals game, it would appear as if Green Bay running back Aaron Jones scored a touchdown on a two-yard run. I say “it would appear” because it was not conclusive that Jones actually scored; he was turned around as he reached the goal line by linebacker Isaiah Simmons, and referee Alex Kemp’s crew called it a touchdown, apparently without any comprehensive review. After the successful extra point, announcer Joe Buck argued that even if it wasn’t a touchdown, the Packers would have had first-and-goal right at the goal line… which means nothing. Coming into this game, the Cardinals had the second-best defensive DVOA in goal-line situations behind only the Rams, and the Packers had the 22nd-best goal-line offense by DVOA.

Here’s the play, if you would like to see why a more thorough review was necessary. Jones might have tucked the ball in before Simmons turned him around, but by no means, and from no angle, was this a certain touchdown.

Arizona’s goal-line defense certainly showed up on the Packers’ next drive, which started at the Arizona three-yard line after Cardinals receiver Rondale Moore muffed a punt. Aaron Rodgers tried three passes, none were successful, and the Packers had to settle for a 21-yard field goal from Mason Crosby.

Not that Jones didn’t score… but Kemp and his crew had a responsibility to take more care with a review than they did.

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