Last night’s crew of replacement officials cleared the sufficiently low bar by being not the absolute worst thing anyone’s ever seen.
That’s a long way from saying they did a good job, however.
Early fears about offensive linemen getting a little too handsy under the watch of inexperienced refs seem to have some footing, at least according to Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka.
“I haven’t been held this much since I was a baby,” Kiwanuka said via Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger.
Kiwanuka was smiling when he said it (likely aware he just nailed a great punch-line), but for the Giants, it wasn’t really a laughing matter.
A defensive line that was supposed to dominate barely made a dent (two sacks) in a mixed-up Cowboys offensive line, whether they were being clutched and grabbed or not.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Jason Pierre-Paul said. “We’ve definitely got some work to do.”
As to the officiating, Kiwanuka at least sympathized with their plight.
“You’ve got to understand that these refs have been put in a tough situation, without having weeks, months, years to prepare like the other refs had,” Kiwanuka said. “It’s definitely tough to come in and pick up the nuances of the NFL. I tip my hats to them, but you notice when the real refs aren’t out there.”
Kind of like the Giants pass rush.