Official Review: Making the Call on NFL Week 2's Most Controversial Decisions
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Week 2 in the NFL gave us a few head-scratching, controversial calls, but what else did you expect from these replacement referees?
Heck, Sunday's action hadn't even started yet when we found out that one of the refs for the New Orleans Saints versus Carolina Panthers games was being replaced because he's a long-time Saints fan.
You gotta be kidding me with that one, right? I mean, weren't these guys supposed to have been vetted before the games began?
This season will continue to be plagued by ridiculous penalties and questionable calls until the regular officials get back into the action, and even then we won't stop complaining.
So, without further ado, here is my take on the most controversial calls of Week 2.
Pass Interference? Seriously?
Official Grade: F
Someone with better eyesight than me needs to tell me where the pass interference occurred on this play.
Perhaps it was the hit after Santonio Holmes had already touched the football that caused this flag. Perhaps in this new, safety-first NFL any contact with a receiver is going to be called interference.
It's the only explanation I have for this call.
Punches Thrown, but No Ejection?
Official Grade: F
Striking your opponent with a closed fist is an automatic ejection in the NFL, or at least it's supposed to be.
DeSean Jackson and Cary Williams both threw punches in this altercation, yet neither was ejected from the game. The officials didn't get a grip on this situation, and if these guys don't start cracking down on these kinds of fights, the games are going to get completely out of hand.
No Soup for You!
Official Grade: A+
Apparently, it's not acceptable for officials to be fans of one of the teams they will be judging.
Brian Stropolo found that out the hard way, but the truth is that the NFL should have already known about it in the first place.
Still, you have to give the league credit for benching Stropolo once the news about the loyalty he has for the New Orleans Saints was out.
Another Phantom Pass Interference Call...
Official Grade: D-
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver played this ball about as cleanly as you could ask, but somehow the referee called a pass interference penalty.
The only reason I don't give this ref an F is that there was a slight bit of bumping from both players while the ball was in the air, but the truth of the matter is that he was in the wrong position to make the call in the first place.
There was nothing wrong with what Culliver did here. Clean play.
Unfortunately for Culliver and the 49ers, this bad call led to three points.
And the Worst Call of the Day Goes To...
Official Grade: F- (Infinity)
There are two major problems with this call.
First, Steven Jackson scored a touchdown. The ball crossed the plane of the goal line before his knees were ever down.
Second, after Jackson spiked the ball (like runners are apt to do after scoring a touchdown) he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct—a 15-yard penalty.
The worst part about this from my perspective is that Jackson never made it back into the game after head coach Jeff Fisher benched him for spiking the ball after his touchdown run.
This play and the call afterwards easily make it the fail of the day.
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