Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
So, we looked at seven vital calls that impacted the game and determined that Jerome Boger's crew could certainly have done a better job.
The end result, though, was not a direct effect of the officials.
Each team was given plenty of opportunities to capitalize on miscues and field position. There were too many "what ifs" regarding play calls. Take, for example, Baltimore's fake field-goal attempt.
Had the Ravens chosen to kick there or gotten the first down, it could've totally changed the way the game played out.
|Call (Flag, Turnover, Challenge) ||Good ||Bad
|LaMichael James Fumble ||1 ||
|Cary Williams Shoves Official || ||1
|Haloti Ngata Roughing the Passer || ||2
|Running into the kicker, David Akers ||2 ||
|Anquan Boldin 1st Down, Play Reversed ||3 ||
|Ed Reed Offside || ||3
|Michael Crabtree Gets Held || ||4
As for Boger and his crew, some key calls were made, but most will only remember the missed calls. They did let the players decide the end result for 60 minutes, which factors into the grade. The human element also plays a role, because no one is perfect.
Although we expect the officials to get every call correct, that's asking to be unrealistic. Not to mention the only chance of that would be to implement challenges/instant replays regarding penalties.
If nothing else, we can't ignore the irony of how the 2012 season concluded.
It began with controversy surrounding the replacement refs throughout the preseason and early regular season, and now ends with debate over the regular officials in the Super Bowl.