Sunday’s NFL games are finished, but one question still remains. When are the regular referees coming back on the field? The problems surrounding the replacement officials was highlighted on a national stage last Monday night, and this week was no different. There does appear to be hope on the horizon with FOX Sports Jay Glazer reporting the two sides are supposed to talk this week, possibly as early as Monday. Glazer reports that a sticking point now is that the full time officials want to be paid for the weeks they have missed.
The NFL tried to exercise some power heading into this week, calling all 32 coaches and informing them that disrespecting the replacement officials would not be tolerated this week. That didn’t stop Patriots head coach Bill Belichick from grabbing an official while running off the field at the end of the game however.The New England game ended with a questionable field goal which was nonrenewable.
The replacement officials still appear to have a great deal of lack of control over the players on the field, with skirmishes breaking out in multiple games across the league this weekend.
On the issue of player safety, several violent collisions were not called on the field. Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy should have been flagged for his helmet-to-helmet collision with Cowboys QB Tony Romo. Similarly, Broncos defender Taylor Mays administered a wicked hit on Texans QB Matt Schaub.
Pass interference seems to be a serious issue with the replacement referees. Defenders are all over receivers. Actual pass interference calls are not made while phantom interference calls are made. In some games, referees are reluctant to throw the flag (Raiders only received three flags) while other crews are flag happy. The Ravens/Patriots combined for 24 flags and the Buccaneers/Cowboys saw 23 flags.
In multiple games Sunday, I saw calls made without the referees naming the player that committed the infraction.
In the Buccaneers game, the replacement officials made a bad call on a Tony Romo sack and fumble. The fumble was recovered and run into the endzone for a score. The ruling was that Romo was down, but the replay clearly showed that Romo had fumbled, meaning the Buccaneers should have scored the touchdown. Instead the Buccaneers were simply awarded the ball at the spot of the fumble.
The replacement officials acknowledged that they botched two calls in the San Francisco/Minnesota game after the game was over. Plays were reviewed in several games Sunday, without a call being made on the field first. How can something be overturned if there is no initial ruling on the field to overturn? A clear lack of understanding of the rules was illustrated across the league on Sunday.
This matter does not look like it’s coming to a close anytime soon. As this debacle moves forward, it’s just going to be a matter of time that a blown call with determine the outcome of a game. And that will truly be unfortunate.
Filed under: NFL