There is nobody who has capitalized more on the replacement refs' incompetence than Carroll—and that's saying a lot in the aftermath of a weekend in which there were penalties galore assessed to coaches who couldn't maintain their composure when faced with officiating mistake after mistake.
Initially, one official ruled the play a touchdown catch for Golden Tate, while the other signaled an interception for M.D. Jennings. A subsequent and heavily disputed simultaneous-catch ruling officially awarded the touchdown to Seattle and sent the Packers on the warpath, where they join the vast majority of current coaches and players who have simply had enough with this season's shoddy officiating.
Monday night marked the first time that a team, without any doubt, lost a game because of incompetence on the part of the referees. There were so many questionable calls, all of which went the Seahawks' way, that it's impossible to say the Packers did this to themselves.
And even Carroll—whose team was the primary beneficiary of Monday's many questionable calls—can see that something needs to change. After the game, the Seahawks coach told The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil:
It's a very, very complex process to handle these games and make these decisions. There's nothing easy about it, and it takes years and years of experience to pull it off properly and in a timely fashion and keep the flow of the game alive and all that. It's time for it to be over. The league deserves it. Everybody deserves it.
Of course, Carroll was diplomatic in his mild criticism, which is to be expected. He just earned a huge win, his team improved to 2-1 and his defense solidified itself as the fourth-best unit in the league. There wasn't a lot for him to be upset about.
And yet, even he can see that this is a huge problem. The NFL is becoming a joke, and it would be hilarious if it wasn't so unbearably frustrating. When the outcomes of games are starting to be determined by officiating errors, something needs to be done.
When the league locked out the referees and hired these abysmal replacements, it intended to prove that the show could still go on without a hitch.
In the wake of his biggest win of the season thus far, even Carroll could not avoid pointing out—as carefully as he could—the fact that something is very, very wrong with this picture.
If nothing else, his words should be an indication—a final one—that it's time for this circus to end.
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