Officiating Blunders Continue to Hurt NFL
We are six weeks into the NFL season and each Sunday, Monday and Tuesday fans and media alike are spending more time talking about the officiating than the actual teams and players on the field.
The latest controversy came Monday night in Green Bay when the Packers were helped to a come from behind victory, not solely by the arm of Aaron Rodgers but the officiating crew who blew at least two calls on the Packers final drive of the game.
Green Bay defeated Detroit 23-22 after two hands-to-the-face penalties were called on Lions defensive lineman, Trey Flowers. Upon further review, neither should have been flagged as Flowers hands were on the shoulder pads and not on the face of a Packers offensive lineman. The Packers went on to score the game wining field goal on the game's final drive.
The NFL has become an over-reactionary league in the past few seasons mainly because of blown calls. This year, the league instituted replay review of pass interference penalties solely because of what happened or we should say what didn't happen in last season's NFC Championship Game when the Rams were not penalized for an egregious pass interference call that kept the Saints out of the Super Bowl.
Although we see blatant pass interference calls each week challenged by coaches, 82 percent of them have not been overturned by the replay booth. This has caused further scrutiny because coaches, players and fans don't know why the rule was instituted if a majority of these plays are not going to be changed.
During this past off-season, the NFL Competition Committee pushed hard to have a "Sky Judge" added to each game's crew. This official would buzz down and correct egregious errors. Instead owners voted to implement this failed replay system of pass interference.
There is no sign that things will change for the rest of this year which means fans should get used to the continuation of longer games, more replays and further complaints and confusion.
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