How Bad of a Year are the NFL Referees Having?

We have said this many times before, that sports officials are imperfect humans like everyone else, and will make their fair share of mistakes, again like everyone else.  The problem we are seeing is that when a questionable call is made, and the ENTIRE crew (including replay officials) after conferring as a team STILL can’t make the correct call, then we all have a serious issue.

Questionable calls INITIALLY made will never go away, and I think most players, coaches and fans can live with that.  It’s the final call made after reviewing said play and conferring with one another that STILL isn’t right that gets everyone up in arms.

Here are the five most controversial calls/non-calls we have seen in the NFL so far this season:

Here are the top five eye-raising calls/non-calls this season, so far:


1. In Week 1’s Giants-Cowboys game, the NFL admitted to two missed calls, both in the end zone: a pass interference call against Rodgers-Cromartie and a missed defensive hold on tight end Daniel Fells on third down prior to the Giants giving the ball back to set up Dallas’s game-winning drive. Final Score: Cowboys 27 – Giants 20

2. Week 4’s Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Detriot Lions came down to a final call, now known as Batgate. Dean Blandino, the NFL’s head of officiating, admitted that the referees botched the call at the end of the

Seahawks’ win over the Lions, when Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright intentionally, and very visibly batted the ball out of the end zone. But there is nothing to be done about it now. The final score? Seahawks 13 – Lions 10

3. On Oct. 12, during the game, referees failed to notice 18 seconds leaking off the clock on a Steelers possession, leading to the suspension of side judge Rob Vernatchi for a single game. They say the outcome of the game was not directly affected by this call, but a second consecutive officiating gaffe on Monday Night Football was pretty concerning.

4. The Cardinals were driving late in the first half against the Seattle Seahawks when Carson Palmer connected with tight end Darren Fells. Seattle picked it up thinking the catch was completed and the

tight end fumbled, but officials ruled the play an incompletion. So the call in question is, ‘What is a catch?’ Well, before the Cardinals could continue their drive, the referees stopped the game to finally review the play. Arizona luckily kept possession and the kicker was able to tack on a field goal to close out the first half with a 22-7 Cardinals lead. Final score: Cardinals 39 – Seahawks 32

5. In one of the Baltimore Ravens’ most excruciating losses, there were of course plenty of penalities that effected the game, but none like Jacksonville’s last-minute win over the Ravens that never should have been. In the final seconds, and literally the clock was at 00:00, the refs missed a huge call on the offensive line that cost the Ravens the game. NFL spokesperson Michael Signora confirmed to media on Monday that the game officials in Sunday’s 22-20 win over the Ravens failed to flag the Jaguars for a false start penalty that would have wiped out the eventual, 53-yard field goal by the Jaguars.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and we’ll never live in a perfect world.  But these officials are supposedly the best in class, working games played by the most talented athletes on the planet in their respective sport.  Here’s hoping these questionable calls are reduced as a result of proper communication with one another in order to allow for a fair conclusion of a game.

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