To all those who may not have noticed, the NFL officiating crews have made significant errors these past weeks. Could these mistakes have larger effects in the future?
Nearly a month ago, on Monday night, the Lions were down 3 points with under two minutes left. Matt Stafford completes it to Calvin Johnson and he fumbles it on the one yard line. However, before the ball went out of the back of the endzone, a Seattle defender hit the ball out of bounds. After reviewing it in the booth, the referees did not look at what seemed to be an obvious call and granted Seattle possession. This was most likely the gamer saver for the the Seahawks.
Last week is just a fluke, right? Well, a week later on Monday night. The Steelers were down three points after a Charger field goal. After the Chargers kicked a touchback there was 2:56 left in the game. However, somehow the officiating crew did not stop the clock and Pittsburgh started their drive with 2:38. The Steelers however, did prevail with a Le’Veon Bell touchdown run as time expired. Had Bell been stopped short of goal, the Steelers would have lost.
As if two times wasn’t enough, the refs messed up for the third week in a row! Except this time was in favor of the now 1-5 Lions. Although this week is was in the middle of the game, it still had a huge impact in the Bears 34 - 37 overtime loss. Golden Tate bobbled a ball while catching and running into the endzone. The ball then landed in the hands of bears linebacker James Anderson after being partially stripped by Kyle Fuller. The ruling on the field was an interception. After reviewing the play it was overturned and ruled as a touchdown. Tate had never gained full control of the ball therefore he never established himself as a runner. It should have been ruled an interception because he never had full control of the ball as he crossed the plain.
Especially in a crunch time situation, errors like these cannot happen. It is small things like these which can determine how a team will play for the rest of the season. If one of these false judgements was to happen again, in a game to determine playoffs or was in the playoffs the referees would have some serious problems. These blunders may lead to the potential loss of job security of Roger Goodell and Dean Blandino. It is in that the NFL has suspended the sideline ref during the Steelers Chargers game. This is a step, but something needs to be done to ensure a better future for the league. Although we Bears fans can't relate to any type of important playoff moment, the men in stripes better figure this out by then.