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The replacement officials looked unsure and overwhelmed in the Redskins-Rams matchup.
It was only a matter of time before the lockout started to affect the games. The atmosphere inside the Edward Jones Dome was so bad you could feel it through the television.
The players had no respect for the officials and you could see that the reaction from the fans started to make the officials doubt themselves.
The Rams looked determined to stretch the rulebook as far as it would go. Consistently laying on players after making tackles, pushing heads into the ground and taking shots after the whistle are all things that should be identified early and erased.
The officials have to make it clear to the players that these actions will not be tolerated. The helmet-to-helmet hit on Fred Davis after an incompletion was savage; if he hasn’t got a concussion he should consider himself very fortunate.
On a separate note, where is Davis? Does Griffin hate him or something? There were at least two or three occasions when Griffin ran the ball himself when he could’ve just given it to Davis and let him try to make the play—and take the hits. Davis looked improved as a blocker, but not much else.
Every play seemed to end with both teams squaring up to each other, surrounded by officials who looked out of their depth and quite fearful.
It wasn’t all on the Rams, but their grievances should be with the bad decisions they received. Both teams received penalties for hits that were clearly in bounds and Steven Jackson should have had a touchdown.
The game just looked too fast for the referees to call, and too aggressive for them to control. The officials who are locked out make mistakes, sure, but they never look overwhelmed and intimidated to the point where they lose their grip on the game.
It’s time to end the lockout, for the sake of all teams. With all the claims to safety that Roger Goodell makes, they ring hollow when the people charged with protecting the players on the field aren’t up to the job.
You often hear words like “battle” and “war” thrown about by players to get them pumped up before a game. The fact remains, however, that the NFL is neither of those things. It’s controlled and regulated to ensure the maximum amount of safety for its participants.
Across the league this week, we’ve seen that the system isn't working.