NFL Owes Green Bay Packers an Apology After Second-Straight Officiating Fiasco
The Week 3 debacle in Seattle was egregious, but given the fact that it was the replacement refs that did the damage in that one, it was easy to understand how it happened.
But, the regular officials made a bad call in Week 4 that "almost" cost the Packers their second-straight game. As tough as it is to win games in the NFL, it's darn-near impossible to come away victorious when the officials hand points and possessions to the other team on ridiculously bad calls.
In case you live under a rock and missed them, here are the two plays I'm referring to.
Interception By M.D. Jennings Ruled a Touchdown for the Seahawks
This play will live on in infamy as one of the worst calls in any game in NFL history.
Jennings clearly intercepted the football, and Golden Tate never had possession of the ball until well after the play should have been over.
The most maddening part about it is the fact that the play was reviewed, and somehow the officials determined that the ruling on the field was correct.
Never mind that the officials never got together to discuss who saw what, or that Tate clearly committed an offensive pass interference penalty on Sam Shields.
The entire thing was a disaster of epic proportions, but the refs weren't finished giving the Packers heart palpitations.
Fumble by Darren Sproles Ruled Down by Contact
The Packers had just gone up by one point after being down for most of the second half. With seven minutes remaining in the game, Darren Sproles took the ball out of the endzone on the kickoff and fumbled the ball after he was hit by two Packers defenders.
The refs called the play dead, saying Sproles was down by contact.
The Packers couldn't challenge the play, due to the fact that they were out of timeouts.
Instead of taking possession of the ball at the New Orleans Saints 32-yard line—already in field goal range—the Packers had to do what they hadn't been able to do all game long: stop Drew Brees and the Saints offense.
Thankfully, their defense held, and the Packers won the game by a score of 28-27 after Garrett Hartley missed a 48-yard field goal that would have put the Saints up by two with under three minutes left to play.
It's not fair to the Packers to have to fight a losing battle, and the NFL needs to do the right thing and make a public apology for the officials' misbehavior.
Goodell and the NFL came out with a statement after the embarrassment in Seattle, but he insulted the Packers and fans of the league by saying that the refs made the right call on the hail-mary pass, though he did say it shouldn't have counted, due to Tate's blatant penalty (h/t AP).
It's time for a legitimate, heartfelt apology from Goodell to the Packers. This team deserves no less, and so do their fans. If Goodell really cares about protecting the shield, he needs to stand up and take the first step.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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