The Cincinnati Bengals’ season came to an end up on Sunday, and the team’s fans have found a convenient scapegoat: the referees.
Bengals fans had a number of complaints after the game, ranging from the intentional grounding call on Joe Burrow (the right call) to a seeming replay of a third down given to the Chiefs (the play was blown dead before it started). Their biggest complaint though had to do with the lack of a call on a punt return.
Cincinnati’s Drue Chrisman punted on a 4th-and-15 play from the Bengals’ 28 with 41 seconds left. He booted a low line drive down the middle of the field that set up a 29-yard return by Skyy Moore.
Many fans think the officials missed a block in the back foul committed by the Chiefs on the return.
Had a block in the back been called, there would have been a 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul. The Chiefs would have began their final possession near their 20 rather than near midfield.
That penalty was not called, but a penalty on Joseph Ossai was called to help set up the Chiefs’ winning field goal.
Cincinnati fans should probably be more focused on Joe Burrow throwing two interceptions and not coming through at “Burrowhead” Stadium. Maybe the Bengals should be upset at their own for using that nickname, and for their mayor for pouring gasoline on the fire.
Jun 14, 2022; Costa Mesa, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (97) during minicamp press conference at the Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Joey Bosa was still hot about the officiating in his Los Angeles Chargers’ 31-30 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars a day after losing in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card Playoff game.
Bosa was called for a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls during the second half. One came after he felt he was held on a play that resulted in a touchdown for the Jags. The other came after he spiked his helmet after he felt the officials missed a false start prior to a touchdown.
Bosa vented about the officials on Sunday, less than 24 hours after his team’s defeat. As he stood in front of his locker at the Chargers’ practice facility, Bosa spoke about the need for himself to be more accountable, and for officials to also be held accountable.
“I need to be more accountable for my actions, obviously … I think there just needs to be more accountability. If I say something I get a $40,000 fine. But if they blow a call that ruins an entire team’s season, they’re probably back in the locker room after the game like, ‘Ha, got that a–hole. You know, yeah, got him. Fifteen yards. What a loser.’ I guarantee you that’s what they’re f–king talking back.”
Sheesh, does it sound to you like the officials have gotten into Bosa’s head or what? He already feels like they have it out for him, and that’s not a good mentality. If you want to complain about calls or try to get things to go more in your favor, there are much better ways to go about it. But spiking your helmet, incurring two penalties, and then calling out officials so publicly probably are the worst responses possible.
Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Some fans might argue that NFL officiating is worse than it has been in a long time, but apparently even some within the league are starting to feel that way as well.
Executives and coaches within the league believe the NFL needs to reevaluate how it chooses and trains officials due to what is considered a falling standard of officiating, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Executives were particularly upset with the Week 18 game between the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams, in which the Seahawks benefitted from multiple controversial calls in an overtime win that helped them reach the playoffs.
One team executive said there has been “a real groundswell of unhappiness with officiating that is much deeper than I’ve seen and frankly, I haven’t seen in this league in years,” and that the Seahawks-Rams contest was “the worst officiated game of the year.” The NFL’s competition committee was “frustrated” by the officiating and both the Rams and Detroit Lions were upset with how the game went, as Seattle’s win eliminated Detroit from playoff contention. Had the Seahawks lost, the Lions would have had a chance to clinch a playoff bid with a win over the Packers on Sunday night, a result they ultimately did get even though they were not playing for anything but pride.
The Seahawks benefitted in the fourth quarter when the Rams were called for running into the kicker on a punt, which extended Seattle’s game-tying drive. Replays showed that Rams special teams player Jonah Williams had been blocked into punter Michael Dickson, but officials did not see that. Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf avoided a penalty despite poking Jalen Ramsey in the facemask late in the fourth quarter, and safety Quandre Diggs was not flagged despite blatantly taunting the Rams’ sideline after a vital overtime interception.
It is easy to complain about referees, but more difficult to propose changes that would be beneficial. That said, if so many teams are clearly upset by the way things are trending, the league might have to act.
The Minnesota Vikings were left livid Saturday after a brutal call cost them what could have been a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Vikings appeared to force a game-changing fumble with roughly 3:30 left in the fourth quarter trailing by eight. Colts running back Deon Jackson appeared to fumble the ball, which was picked up by Minnesota’s Chandon Sullivan and returned for a touchdown. However, the runner was ruled down by contact.
A closer look at the replay indicated that Jackson lost control of the football long before he was anything close to down. However, since the play was ruled dead on the field, it was not reviewable.
Sullivan was so furious that he got an unsportsmanlike penalty call for throwing his helmet onto the field in anger. The crowd was already incensed by a play in the first half in which Sullivan appeared to have another fumble recovery for a touchdown, but that too was chalked off after Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. was ruled down by forward progress.
The Vikings managed to come back with a touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the game after forcing a punt on the drive in question, but that did little to calm the fury of the fans or players. In this instance, Minnesota was entirely justified in feeling like they got robbed.
The referees in Monday night’s game between the Washington Commanders and Philadelphia Eagles badly missed a facemask infraction in the fourth quarter that cost Philly.
Philly was down 23-21 and had intercepted a Taylor Heinicke pass in the fourth quarter. The Eagles began their possession at their 7 and picked up a couple of first downs. They had the ball at their 31 when the play in question occurred.
Jalen Hurts threw a short pass to Dallas Goedert, who was tackled after a 2-yard gain and stripped of the football.
The issue is Jamin Davis grabbed Goedert’s facemask prior to the fumble. The officials missed the facemask infraction and didn’t throw a falg. Unfortunately for the Eagles, a facemask infraction is not reviewable, so the ball went to the Commanders on a recovered fumble.
Washington was already in field goal range after recovering the fumble. They were able to kick a field goal to go up 26-21.
Though that was a costly missed call, it’s not as if that’s where Philly lost the game.
The Eagles lost a fumble after catching a big pass on the ensuing possession. Philly committed four turnovers in the game including the Goedert fumble. It’s awfully hard to win a game when you turn the ball over that much.
Patrick Mahomes’ wife Brittany was quite vocal Sunday in her opinion of the officiating during the Kansas City Chiefs’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Brittany Mahomes was particularly livid over a second quarter hit on wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who took a helmet-to-helmet hit from safety Andre Cisco. Smith-Schuster left the game after the hit and did not return.
Cisco was flagged for the hit, but the lack of ejection clearly bothered Mahomes.
“Alright we like hitting people in the head?” she asked in her tweet.
She also retweeted several other critical posts, including one accusing Cisco of head-hunting and another that argued for Cisco’s ejection.
There is nothing new about Mahomes reacting to Chiefs games, sometimes critically. There is certainly an element of homerism to her reactions, but she’s hardly the only one voicing this opinion.
Clete Blakeman has been an NFL official for nearly 15 years, but the veteran did not have the easiest time making one particular announcement on Sunday.
Blakeman got a bit tongue-tied while announcing a delay of game penalty during the Pittsburgh Steelers-Philadelphia Eagles game. That is probably because it was a rare delay of game on the defense. As Blakeman described it, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham was guilty of “making a move that’s not necessary and unlike football.”
It appears Graham was penalized for moving the ball after it was spotted, but most reporters in attendance were confused by the call. Apparently Blakeman was, too. It is not often that you see a lead official chuckle while announcing a penalty.
Cleveland Browns fans were furious on Sunday over a false start call made by the officials late in the team’s 23-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Browns were down by three and had a 4th-and-5 at the Baltimore 37 with 2:09 left in the game. They were set to attempt a 55-yard field goal but got called for a false start.
Here is the play:
This angle shows some movement by the Browns, but that appears to come after the Ravens had jumped on the other side of the line, far enough away not to qualify for a neutral zone infraction.
However, another video shows the long-snapper move the ball slightly.
The false start was called on No. 68 Michael Dunn.
Cleveland was pushed back five yards and badly missed their 60-yard field goal attempt.
Browns fans were also upset about an offensive pass interference call on Amari Cooper a few plays earlier that nullified a touchdown.
After a 2-1 start, Cleveland has lost four in a row and is now 2-5.
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; NFL referee Jerome Boger (23) during the game of the Indianapolis Colts against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Referee Jerome Boger did his best to explain after the Falcons-Buccaneers game on Sunday his reasoning for calling a controversial roughing the passer penalty.
The officiating crew called Grady Jarrett for roughing Tom Brady on a huge sack on a 3rd-down play late in the game. The penalty call was made even though Jarrett’s tackle seemed completely fine (video here). The call helped the Bucs maintain possession and eventually run out the clock on a 21-15 win.
“What I had was the defender grabbed the quarterback while he was still in the pocket, and unncessarily throwing him to the ground. That is what I was making my decision based upon,” Boger told a reporter after the game.
Brady likely knows he and his team got away with one on that call. He more or less played dumb when asked about the penalty after the game.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was furious when the call was made during the game. But after the game, he tried to avoid the subject.
Boger’s crew also called a controversial roughing the passer penalty in the Bills-Ravens game last week.
Bill Belichick flipped out on the referees in Sunday’s game between his New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.
Belichick’s Patriots were tied with the Packers at 24 late in the game. Green Bay was facing a 3rd-and-8 with 2:08 left. Aaron Rodgers attempted a deep pass into the end zone for Romeo Doubs, who initially made the catch but lost control of the ball as he went to the ground.
The pass was ruled incomplete with 2:02 left in the game. The play clock should have been ticking down from 40, but it reset at some point. Belichick went nuts because the play clock was reset, giving the Packers more time to decide if they wanted to challenge the call.
Green Bay, the home team, decided to challenge. They lost the challenge, but that doesn’t change that Belichick was right about the play clock.
Green Bay ended up punting the ball away on fourth down after taking a delay of game penalty. The Patriots got it back and didn’t do much, leading them to punt the ball back with little time left.
The game ended up going to overtime tied at 24.
Belichick is generally pretty composed while on the sidelines. Few coaches manage the clock better than he does, which is why it’s no surprise he was all over the error by the clock operator.