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Replacement officials did solid work on opening Sunday

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Despite what you may have heard, the replacement officials working in the NFL while the regular officials remain embroiled in a contract negotiation are doing just fine.

Plenty of people have complained about the replacement refs today after watching them make mistakes on Sunday, but it’s important to remember that plenty of people complain about the regular refs after every NFL Sunday. That’s what football fans, media members and players do. There’s no doubt that the replacement officials have made mistakes, but the regular officials make mistakes, too.

I agree with Jim Daopoulos, who spent 11 years as an NFL on-field official and 12 years as an NFL supervisor of officials, who said on Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network that the replacement officials have improved from the preseason, when he would have graded them a D, to the first week of the regular season, when he would grade them a B.

Many of the fans and members of the media who have bashed the replacement officials have actually been wrong themselves and criticized the replacements for calls they got right. For instance, a Deadspin post on supposed errors by the replacements says that “one of the most glaring mistakes” came when the Redskins got a first down following a five-yard penalty even though they were more than five yards away from a first down. In reality, the officials got that one right: In the sequence in question, the Redskins got the ball on the 20-yard line on a touchback, then threw an incomplete pass on first down, got a gain of slightly more than five yards on second down and threw an incomplete pass on third down before the Saints were called for a five-yard offside penalty on fourth down. Deadspin illustrated this alleged mistake with video footage that appeared to show the Redskins running their third-down play with the ball being snapped just short of the 25-yard line, which would suggest that a five-yard penalty wouldn’t be enough to get the ball to the 30-yard line for a first down. But in reality the ball was spotted past the 25-yard line, and it only looked like it was short of the 25 because the Redskins’ center tilted the ball back when he lined up.

Some of the other so-called mistakes in the Deadspin post — and in other complaints I’ve seen from other media outlets and from players and fans — have been judgment calls about penalties like pass interference, which we all know is a notoriously difficult rule to enforce consistently no matter who the officials are. Saying you disagree with a pass interference call is one thing. Saying you’re sure the regular refs would have called it the way you saw it is something else.

And that gets to the real question: Not whether or not the replacement officials made any mistakes on Sunday — of course they did, just as players and coaches made mistakes — but whether the replacement officials made more mistakes than the regular officials would have. I only saw two officiating mistakes on Sunday that I felt confident the regular officials wouldn’t have made. One was the timeout fiasco late in the Seahawks-Cardinals game, and the other was being out of position when Peyton Manning called for a quick snap to catch the Steelers with 12 players on the field in Denver. On the timeout situation, the replacement ref has admitted he didn’t know the rule, and I think a regular ref probably would have (although that same rule was called incorrectly by a regular ref in a 2009 game). And the experienced regular refs surely all know by now that when Manning is operating the no-huddle offense, they need to spot the ball and get into position quickly between plays.

If the replacement officials made two more mistakes than the regular officials would have, that’s two too many. But it’s not the officiating debacle that some are making it out to be. I’d like to see the lockout end because I’d like to see the best officials on the field, but I’m not going to pretend the replacement officials are all a bunch of incompetent buffoons, because they’re not. They’re mostly doing solid work.

Here’s Jim Daopoulos going over the officiating issues from Week One:

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77 Responses to “Replacement officials did solid work on opening Sunday”
  1. hutch119 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:25 PM

    I thought they did an excellent job in every game I watched except the Ravens one. Messing up a play you get the chance to review is just inexcusable.

  2. calmincali says: Sep 10, 2012 10:28 PM

    The two mistakes you mention are HUGE mistakes that just can’t happen. That the timeout situation didn’t come back and bite them in the ass is the only thing saving the scabs at this point.

  3. crazybeardedjack says: Sep 10, 2012 10:30 PM

    Thanks for finally acknowledging the replacements. They’ve done alright so far, and will only improve with time. Hope those regular refs didn’t quit their days jobs…

  4. aaroncurryisbust says: Sep 10, 2012 10:31 PM

    To be honest, I like these new refs a lot better.

  5. rangers84 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:35 PM

    They’re allowing far too much holding. Can only speak to what i’ve seen with the Rams, But both Quinn and especially Chris Long were getting held on numerous 3rd down’s in Sunday’s game.

    That, and they stuffed the clock up. I guess the normal refs do that as well.

    Still doesn’t feel ‘right’ with these officials, though no fault of their own.

  6. holdthemayo123 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:36 PM

    I thought 12 men on the field was reviewable? If so, not sure why the Broncos didn’t throw the challenge flag.

    Michael David Smith: You are correct. John Fox was complaining to the ref after that play so I’m not sure why he didn’t challenge.

  7. turfrage says: Sep 10, 2012 10:37 PM

    The regular refs would have corrected the clock at the end of the Lions-Rams game and taken those 7 extra seconds off the clock. Especially when they acknowledged the mistake but didn’t correct it. Small technical one but sometimes that’s the game for one team.

  8. markbul says: Sep 10, 2012 10:39 PM

    I stopped looking at Deadspin years ago – total dicks.

  9. pftfan says: Sep 10, 2012 10:39 PM

    A PFT poster made a good point on an earlier thread that the ref who blew the Seattle timeout call at least manned up and faced the music afterwards. He apologized for getting the call wrong, which is something the normal refs refuse to do, as if it were beneath them.

    Another poster made the excellent point that these replacement refs are actually allowing more physical play from the DB’s and not throwing a flag anytime a WR gets breathed on. Most all of the Week 1 games were fun to watch and I wonder how much of that was because the replacement refs let the players play!

  10. jealst says: Sep 10, 2012 10:40 PM

    They blew a huge call in the Redskins-Saints game. Roman Harper was flagged for pass interference in the end zone, on 4th and 1, at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. That play was game altering, because instead of the Saints getting the ball back, down 20-14, the Redskins got the ball at the 1 yard line, scored and went ahead 27-14. Mike Pereira, head official, tweet and said that was an erroneous call.

  11. Ted Skroback says: Sep 10, 2012 10:43 PM

    People need to understand like any other job there will be growing pains at first. The main one I see is the regular refs have a bit of a swag to them after being around these pro athletes for years, the replacements haven’t gotten that yet, they need to get used to some of the players like you said. But everyone is blowing it out of proportion I yelled at the refs on tv just as much as any other year. The regular refs need to understand they have no leverage. The players did because no players makes for an awful game, refs just need to make calls and basically anyone can do that with enough training

  12. randygnyc says: Sep 10, 2012 10:44 PM

    Any old trained person can do this. The players have unique abilities. Refs do not. With that said, the NFL should bust this union completely. Itll be but a small effort compared to what is necessary to be done to save our great country, as there are many unions that need busting. Chicago comes to mind.

  13. maiphatdong says: Sep 10, 2012 10:47 PM

    didnt miss em

  14. ajpurp says: Sep 10, 2012 10:49 PM

    I like the replacements too,subs they’ll get the regular refs to give up their idiotic demands and actually improve their skills as we’ve all seen they have gotten lazy in the past 5 years and very inconsistent, although surely tv tech contributes to that assumption. I like the replacements because they let em play, don’t call PI on every play like the regs started doing which makes secondary play like that of the great Ronnie Lott non existent. Also, the regulars constantly miss holding just like the replacements, o lineman know how to get away with and have gotten away with cheap plays and jumping on the backs of de lineman like apes for years. Also the replacements don’t favor star players or teams like the regulars do. See Darrelle Revise’ contact with wrs on every play. (NY fan btw, you see it regularly. He is far and away the best corner in the league but he gets away with murder compared to other D backs).

  15. 49ersgiants4life says: Sep 10, 2012 10:49 PM

    How about the whole packers niners game both teams got screwed a huge mistake gave the packers 7 points on the punt return the refs threw a flag correctly on the block in the back but then picked it up and they called a block in the back on the kicking team on another punt

  16. crisper57 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:50 PM

    They screwed up a lot more calls in the AZ/SEA game than you reference, but I suppose those don’t matter because they occurred in an NFCW game. Watch for the NFL to bury crap officials in supposed low profile games like this one and elevate the one or two good crews to prime time duty.

    For example the same crew that did the NYG/DAL game on Wednesday is doing the second MNF game right now.

    I guess only certain teams deserve officials who know the whole rule book.

  17. meekdog78 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:53 PM

    They also need to do a better job on false starts. In one game there were two obvious false starts that were not called and one player was flagged for a false start when the defender had clearly jumped into the neutral zone before he moved.

  18. bishopbengals says: Sep 10, 2012 10:56 PM

    How are you guys giving Hutch119 a thumbs down? That was absolutely a HORRIBLE call. The Ravens played a great game, but they gift wrapped that particular touchdown throw. The replay clearly showed him lose control of the ball on the ground, not his body.

  19. brenenostler says: Sep 10, 2012 10:56 PM

    At least there are some that are willing to work for what the NFL is offering them. The players had to settle for less than they wanted. I don’t think the regular officials are being very fair to the NFL.

  20. allsportsnyfan says: Sep 10, 2012 10:59 PM

    They are doing a lot better than Boomer calling this Monday night football. I’m falling asleep. A ball got intercepted and he called it 10 seconds after. Get him out.

  21. geniusfan says: Sep 10, 2012 11:01 PM

    The regular refs better watch out because by mid-season the errors the replacement officials make will be smaller and smaller. Leverage is dwindling for the NFLRA and they may end up having to accept a worse deal then they would have gotten before.

  22. gettinitin420 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:02 PM

    You obviously didn’t watch the Patriots vs Titans. I came down from Rhode Island for the game and it was horrendous. The pats got away with murder and this is coming from a pats fan. All I can say is I’m glad I’m not a Titans fan because I would be PISSED!!

  23. jcbadger34 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:03 PM

    You only saw two mistakes? I guess you didn’t watch the Packers/Niners game then, considering there had to have been at least 20 in that one.

  24. scubasteve12 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:04 PM

    actually after watching the cardinal and seahawks game they did horrible. I WANT THE OTHER OFFICIALS BACK.

  25. vincentbojackson says: Sep 10, 2012 11:05 PM

    The most glaring mistakes are coming from the replay booth, and those guys are NOT replacement officials.

    Saw at least 5 scoring plays that should have been over-turned but the booth upheld them even though all scoring plays are now reviewed automatically.

  26. bigbenh8tr says: Sep 10, 2012 11:05 PM

    Dont forget victor cruz being held in the endzone on third down wed night

  27. gophins says: Sep 10, 2012 11:09 PM

    Like others, I didn’t notice a huge difference. Yes, I saw some missed calls. But they mostly felt like any other opening day. The regular refs almost always miss a few calls, esp. early in the season.

    Replacement refs will only get better with time (and prob not a lot of time, as they become more confident in trusting their eyes and not worrying about the scrutiny). Nothing that happened yesterday increased the NFLRA’s leverage.

    I’m all for negotiating in good faith to get what you’re worth. It’s one of the basic principles of capitalism. But it seems that the regular refs are over-estimating their value.

  28. edenprairieballer says: Sep 10, 2012 11:10 PM

    Deadspin sucks. A bunch of whiners who complain about everything.

  29. offthelows says: Sep 10, 2012 11:11 PM

    The guy in the video photo for this story, Richard Sherman, got hosed on 2 PI’s Sunday. Both sustained drives that led to 14 points. There seems to be issues with the refs distinguishing touching with impeding the ability to catch, or pass interference based on strip club rules

  30. gettingpwned says: Sep 10, 2012 11:15 PM

    i wish i could have their success rate at my job and be considered acceptable.

  31. shaggytoodle says: Sep 10, 2012 11:19 PM

    I disagree, thee were tons of late flags in the 9ers @ Gb.

    A wrap around on a slant isn’t PI but a guy getting patted on the back on a hook is.

    The two that really flustered me was the Block int he back on the punt return, they called it on the wrong 5x with dreadlocks but the refs couldn’t tell the difference.

    The other one was when the 9ers OT had false started was a whole yard back when the ball was snapped, and never got called so it wound up being 1st and 10 after the play instead of 2nd and 13.

  32. jagfan8030 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:21 PM

    I like the new refs. Less favoritism going on. Keep em

  33. maximusprime107 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:22 PM

    Anyone complaining about the Ravens game and that Boldin td, the replay officials are not replacements, those are “regulars” as you will. So don’t blame the replacements for something they didn’t mess up

  34. truths4all says: Sep 10, 2012 11:23 PM

    Sherman of the Seahawks had his arm wrapped around the receiver on one of the PI calls and had grabbed and held the receivers arm on the second one WITH the ball in the air. Both were legit to everyone except Seahawk fans.

  35. grandpoopah says: Sep 10, 2012 11:24 PM

    Is it just me or are they not calling quite as many penalties? Some of the “real” refs throw a flag on every other down, as if the fans pay to see them instead of the players.

  36. judsonjr says: Sep 10, 2012 11:26 PM

    In the gb v. SF game they:

    -blew a block in the back on a TD, easy call
    - missed 2 or 3 false starts within a few snaps
    - blew a roughing call and PI on the same play
    - Blew two PI calls in one series (one each way)
    - Missed a blow to the head
    - Ruled a TD on a guy that stepped out at the 2 and didn’t get inside the pylon
    - Marked the ball at the 1 after saying the runner stepped out at the 2

    And I know PI is tough to call, but it really seemed like they missed the clear PI calls and called all the tic tac ones. I will give them it was a tough game to call given how the DBs on each team play.

  37. sonoco says: Sep 10, 2012 11:29 PM

    Unfortunately the biggest game of opening Sunday had to endure the worst officiating. The 49ers had to withstand 25 free yards gifted to them in the first series 10 of which was the result of C.J. Spillman actually being the victim of a block in the back only to have the penalty called on him. Then there was the cheap TD after an obvious block in the back that was called correctly then picked up. The 49ers got away with a couple of false starts and both teams appeared to be running pick plays with impunity. It was painfully bad.

  38. whodat0951 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:38 PM

    Are you kidding me? Did you see the Saints vs. Redskins game. They refs were about as bad as it gets.

  39. briguy5 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:39 PM

    When the regular refs return, I hope people scrutinize them just as much as they have been scrutinizing the replacements, because the regulars are FAR from perfect.

  40. scubasteve12 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:44 PM

    they are a bunch of incompetent buffoons. the only reason people like them is because they are messing up so much. also people who blame their losses on bad ref calls. thing is most of the calls the regular make are correct

  41. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Sep 11, 2012 12:05 AM

    Boom.

    This is legitmately strong writing: “Saying you disagree with a pass interference call is one thing. Saying you’re sure the regular refs would have called it the way you saw it is something else. And that gets to the real question: Not whether or not the replacement officials made any mistakes on Sunday — of course they did, just as players and coaches made mistakes — but whether the replacement officials made more mistakes than the regular officials would have.”

    That’s just it — the media slant is the replacement refs are clowns, and they blow up their gaffs. But the REAL question is whether there’s a substantial degradation of their officiating as contrasted with the regular refs. There isn’t.

    Great piece by MDS.

    And naturally, the NFLPA has, of course, opted to assume a sanctimonious position and grandstand.

  42. msclemons67 says: Sep 11, 2012 12:08 AM

    By next week these won’t be “replacement” refs. They’ll just be refs.

    Hochuli and company had better settle soon before they’re out of jobs permanently.

  43. craigmaitland says: Sep 11, 2012 12:27 AM

    I like that the replacement refs talk it out a little bit to TRY to get the call right. I wish the full time refs would do that more. It seems like the full time refs are a bit more arrogant and won’t reverse or talk about calls.

  44. realfann says: Sep 11, 2012 12:28 AM

    No they didn’t.

    I watched the Green Bay game and they were terrible. Missed calls, wrong calls, good calls picked up. Worst thing were the dangerous plays that were allowed to go unpunished.

    Gives Roger a problem. Does he fine all the bad plays and show up the replacements that missed them or does he brush it all under the carpet?

    Carpet it is.

  45. jbaxt says: Sep 11, 2012 12:38 AM

    They blew two big pick plays both to Julio Jones in KC. KC would’ve still lost but the picks were so freaking obvious.

  46. sasattack says: Sep 11, 2012 12:48 AM

    How about the hold on Mundy on Thomas’s TD catch and run? No one mentions that cause of Manning love fest with the media.

  47. atwatercrushesokoye says: Sep 11, 2012 12:56 AM

    So everybody is mad about all of the calls that went against their teams…sounds like when the regular officials are there! Were any games as poorly officiated as the Seattle v Pittsburgh Super Bowl which was done by the “best crew” that season? Until they get to that level of incompetence then these replacements are okay.

  48. qb19 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:04 AM

    Deadspin got it right however on the missed pass interference call in the end zone on the Titans first drive against the Pats. The missed called ruined the Titans momentum and cost them 4 points. It was an obvious miss. Someone needs to fess up about the obvious error (and why it was missed). Maybe Belichick got in thier head.

  49. hutch119 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:48 AM

    Anyone complaining about the Ravens game and that Boldin td, the replay officials are not replacements, those are “regulars” as you will. So don’t blame the replacements for something they didn’t mess up

    ——–

    That is 100% false. They decide wether the ref, who is a replacement, should review the play or not. They do not make the final call. They called down for it to be reviewed and the replacement somehow thought he caught it.

  50. hutch119 says: Sep 11, 2012 1:49 AM

    They blew two big pick plays both to Julio Jones in KC. KC would’ve still lost but the picks were so freaking obvious.

    ——

    Those were not picks but WR screens. Blocking is allowed within a yard of the line of scrimmage. Both clean plays, the Ravens ran the exact same play in todays game.

  51. jfinn5 says: Sep 11, 2012 2:11 AM

    You obviously did not watch these scabs officiate the Niners and Packer game. Both teams received horrible calls.

  52. malgorthewarrior says: Sep 11, 2012 2:11 AM

    They Missed an egregious penalty immthe chiefs game when the wr chop blocked the cornerback before the screen pass was even thrown. That play helped atlanta blow what was a close game open and it was so onvious even the announcer (brian billick) mentioned it right away.

    On a side note im pretty sure there is no situation in which pft would side with labor over management in a dispute like this.

  53. ozzy49fam says: Sep 11, 2012 2:16 AM

    Ravens game wasn’t great but the packers 9ers game was rubbish with numerous mistakes both ways including a touch down that should been a clear blocking penalty

  54. cornerblitz says: Sep 11, 2012 2:54 AM

    The replacements were terrible. Hands down, cut it up anyway you like, a “D” for the regular officials is a “D” for anybody. And an “F” is more like it. Seriously, this is a professional sport and supposed to be the most cut throat of them all. Get these hacks out of here. F U for waiting until after week 1. Shame on you NFL, Shame on you. This is not what we are paying for.

  55. cornerblitz says: Sep 11, 2012 2:56 AM

    And move the G Dam kick off line back to the F’n 30!!

  56. cornerblitz says: Sep 11, 2012 3:01 AM

    “When the regular refs return, I hope people scrutinize them just as much as they have been scrutinizing the replacements, because the regulars are FAR from perfect.”

    =====================

    Dude, did you actually watch any games this past weekend? Nobodies claiming the regs are perfect, but this frickn’ absurd! Seriously, defending the replacements by saying the regular guy aren’t perfect just makes it worse. Good god, nobodies perfect, but let’s at least pay attention to how many flippin’ time outs are on the board!! Wow, in the first week, what are we in for??

  57. truthserum4u says: Sep 11, 2012 3:02 AM

    You people crack me up!

    Most of the complaints center around holding, pass interference and illegal procedure…the same calls that everyone complains about with the regular refs. And picks are hardly ever called no matter who has the striped shirt on.

    @ judsonjr

    It’s not like the regular refs haven’t ruled a touchdown when the ball carrier had already stepped out of bounds or went outside of the pylon. In fact, it has happened quite a few times. Besides, they reviewed it and corrected the call.

    Speaking of correcting the call; the placement at the one yardline was absolutely the proper spot. The ball isn’t spotted where the runners foot touches out of bounds, but rather where the ball is when the runner steps out of bounds. In this case the arm in which he had the ball was at the one while his foot was at the two.

  58. truthserum4u says: Sep 11, 2012 3:07 AM

    hutch119 says:Sep 11, 2012 1:48 AM

    Anyone complaining about the Ravens game and that Boldin td, the replay officials are not replacements, those are “regulars” as you will. So don’t blame the replacements for something they didn’t mess up

    ——–

    That is 100% false. They decide wether the ref, who is a replacement, should review the play or not. They do not make the final call. They called down for it to be reviewed and the replacement somehow thought he caught it.

    ================================

    hutch –

    For what it’s worth I’ve read in numerous places the refs on the field are not the ones making the final call on replays, but rather it’s an NFL Official. Don’t know if that’s accurate, but if it’s not, then a bunch of people have it wrong.

  59. gbsparks says: Sep 11, 2012 3:56 AM

    The “officiating” during the Packers/49ers game was atrocious.

    It reached a point where I couldn’t even be sure if the refs were officiating the game I was watching or some other game in some other stadium in an alternate universe.

    Obvious false starts and holds were repeatedly ignored to the point that it was difficult for players to play the game according to the rules since the officials apparently re-interpreted them on the fly as the game progressed (“regressed”).

    These guys are well-meaning amateurs, and that is the best that can be said of them.

  60. rexryanschoolofpodiatry says: Sep 11, 2012 3:57 AM

    rangers84 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:35 PM

    They’re allowing far too much holding. Can only speak to what i’ve seen with the Rams, But both Quinn and especially Chris Long were getting held on numerous 3rd down’s in Sunday’s game.

    That, and they stuffed the clock up. I guess the normal refs do that as well.

    Still doesn’t feel ‘right’ with these officials, though no fault of their own.

    ——————————————–

    Dunno what you were watching. I watched that game and thought the Lions tackles did a great job pass protecting. Although, Stafford gets rid of the ball very quick anyway. Rams DE’s didn’t even have time to get there.

  61. jooceman says: Sep 11, 2012 5:29 AM

    That Boldin TD was an atrocious call. It is the replacement ref’s mistake. He reviewed the play under the hood, and made the call to not overturn the TD which should have obviously been overturned.

    Yes, the regular refs make mistakes too, but in this case the ref went under the hood and looked at it again, and it clearly was not a TD.

    Clearly, I am only upset about this because it made the difference in me being 0-1 in my fantasy league!

  62. tomtravis76 says: Sep 11, 2012 6:06 AM

    Webbs personal foul on a defenseless QB? Sure looked like a clean QB sack. He hit Dalton with his shoulder in the lower back, it was just from behind.

  63. theandy59 says: Sep 11, 2012 6:51 AM

    This is akin to saying that we’re okay with mediocre officials just as long as they’re not horrible and the owners can save a few bucks. This as they charge me $85 to sit in the nosebleed, $50 to park, and $10 for a beer. Give me a break! Look, all games will include calls that are incorrect – it’s a tough game to officiate. However, it appears to me that the replacement officials get more of the easier calls wrong; the bar is lower. As an easy example, in the first half of Baltimore – Cincy, AJ Green was ruled to have not made a catch when it seemed obvious that he caught the ball, made a move was tackled, and the ball came out as he hit the ground (I couldn’t believe it when Marvin Lewis didn’t challenge, but then again, he is Marvin Lewis). Not long after, Bolden was awarded a TD when the ball clearly came out before he completed the process of making the catch. Neither of these were very tough examples of an admittedly tough rule to call, but these guys got it wrong.

  64. eagleswin says: Sep 11, 2012 7:08 AM

    calmincali says:
    Sep 10, 2012 10:28 PM
    The two mistakes you mention are HUGE mistakes that just can’t happen. That the timeout situation didn’t come back and bite them in the ass is the only thing saving the scabs at this point.

    ——————————

    You are certainly ignorant of what the regular officials have done in the past. The REGULAR OFFICIALS HAVE CALLED a FOURTH TIMEOUT MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE PAST.

    In 2003, again in a close game involving the Seahawks, Baltimore called for its final timeout with 58 seconds remaining. But the Ravens weren’t charged for it because the clock had stopped due to a penalty flag being thrown against Seattle.

    However, after the officials discussed the situation, the penalty was rescinded. The clock was not restarted at the proper time, though, so the Ravens wound up using that third timeout and having more time remaining than there should have been.

    Baltimore didn’t score then, but won the game in overtime.

    In 2009, one of Cleveland’s timeouts, called in the third quarter, was not recorded by the officials. So the Browns wound up also getting three timeouts in the fourth period.

    Let’s not pretend like so many posters are that that the NEW OFFICIALS are doing anything that the OLD OFFICIALS have not done many times in the past, including granting a 4th timeout.

  65. blackbug99 says: Sep 11, 2012 7:19 AM

    One difference I noted was they’re making great calls and non-calls, but they aren’t doing as much explaining when they do it (i.e. the pass was ruled imcomplete because….). Every delay I saw was because of the new rules. Sheesh, the play is under review because a seagull flew overhead!

  66. razzlejag says: Sep 11, 2012 7:50 AM

    The “timeout fiasco” was no big deal. An error, no harm, no foul.

    They are doing a decent job, IMO, and are letting the players play, especially in the secondary. Lots of good, old-fashioned pushing, shoving and holding going on and it’s not being called and that’s great- better game flow and a little more leverage for the DBs without getting flagged for everything.
    Referee Jerry Austin was commenting on some game and he basically wanted to throw a flag on every play he was asked about. That really underscored the fact that these guys are letting minor stuff go and I think it’s better.

  67. 69finfan says: Sep 11, 2012 8:22 AM

    Refs were fine in the Dolphins/Texans game, the Dolphins not so much. Whether it’s the old refs or the new refs mistakes will be made, it’s the human factor. Each week I’m sure the new refs will get better. But there’s one way that they become less of a factor, don’t put yourself in a position that a few missed calls or a few incorrect calls are a factor in the outcome of the game. There’s 60 minutes in every game, use them wisely.

  68. lilevil74 says: Sep 11, 2012 8:27 AM

    I must have watched different games than most people because there were a lot of blown calls! Yet again the fans get to pay the price for greed! Now, I’m not saying the regular refs haven’t blown many calls on their own. Take Tamba Hali for example. The regular refs have missed hundreds of choke holds on this guy over the last couple years. The NFL is one of the few places where you don’t actually get what you pay for!

  69. jagsfansince95 says: Sep 11, 2012 8:30 AM

    Excellent article, and I agree 100%. The quality difference isn’t enough to warrant what the “regular” refs are trying to get from the NFL. There’s always mistakes and everyone always complains, no matter who is wearing the zebra suit.

    Also, after reading all these comments, it seems that most of the people complaining and crying foul don’t even know the rules themselves.

  70. cup1981 says: Sep 11, 2012 8:45 AM

    They did some good and some bad, but I wouldn’t give them a “B.” Maybe a “C” or “C+.” They missed some pretty easy calls. Besides the missed 12th man in the Den-Pit game, you also had an obvious false start by Mike Adams on Pittsburgh, they called a hold on Heath Miller when his hands were inside the shoulders and there was no separation between the two, they also called a dead ball false start on the Steelers, but the Denver CB came in and pummeled Roethlisberger anyways, as the O-line let up. That should have been a roughing the passer.

    I also saw a missed shielding (face guarding) in the endzone in one game (I seriously can’t remember which one). In all honesty though, the regular officials miss shielding all the freaking time and it’s annoying as hell.

    So yeah, I give them a C or C+.

  71. thehelmutt says: Sep 11, 2012 9:14 AM

    PLEASE rewatch the Packers/49ers game!!! It was horrible through & through. There must have been at least 20 calls or non-calls that had both the fans and coaches going nuts.

    I was at the game and couldn’t stand it, then I watched it again Monday to see what the hell was going on with the officiating and it was EVEN WORSE than I expected.

    Offsides, O & D pass interference, face masks, ruffing the passer, false starts, spotting the ball, holding, blocks in the back… they literally almost screwed up every call.

    As a Packers fan, my hats off to the 49ers, but that was a brutal outing by the refs that effected both teams.

  72. beedubyatoo says: Sep 11, 2012 9:24 AM

    Who’s officiating the D-II and D-III games while these buffoons are ruining the NFL?

  73. muskyhunter2542 says: Sep 11, 2012 9:46 AM

    OMFG!!! Clearly they did not watch The 49ers – Packers game… That was horrible for both sides.
    They lost control of that game

  74. ratay1 says: Sep 11, 2012 9:54 AM

    lots of folks are correct that we shouldn’t be evaluating the current refs for what amount to snap judgement calls at full speed in the heat of the moment…these guys get them wrong according to replay as much (and maybe a little moreso) than the previous, more experienced refs.

    my problem isn’t there…it’s in the sheer number of calls they’re getting wrong as a result of NOT KNOWING THE RULES.

    that timeout debacle in phoenix is case in point…those are things 100% of the time the previous refs would nail.

    the clock issue in san francisco that essentially poofed a full minute of game time into the ether? never would’ve happened with the previous refs.

  75. winkeroni says: Sep 11, 2012 10:14 AM

    I’m not at all a Titans fan but they seem to have gotten the worse of the replacement officials. That pass to Washington in which he gets blown up and the ball comes out as he’s attempting to catch it needed to be whistled dead then. Not sure how anyone could have mistaken that as a catch and fumble.

    Since they didn’t whistle the play dead they had a guy running down the field, trainers running on to assist Washington, who looks dead, and Locker then hurts himself tackling a defender.

    Having watched games prior to 2012, I know that the refs are at times too quick to whistle plays dead. Player safety doesn’t seem like it’s the priority right now.

  76. shallweride says: Sep 11, 2012 10:18 AM

    Just read the title; will not read the article. Are you out of your mind? There was more PI calls this years opener than the previous 2 years combined. How about the call on Leon Hall last night? How about AJ green’s catch that was turned over? And than givin the same type of catch to Anquain? Or there failed ability to properly spot the ball? Give me a break; the real officials are at home rollin on their seats. The league needs to go cryin back to the officials and respect these guys’ true professions

  77. beedubyatoo says: Sep 11, 2012 10:31 AM

    the clock issue in san francisco that essentially poofed a full minute of game time into the ether? never would’ve happened with the previous refs.
    ———————–
    When did that happen? The 49′ers played in GB last Sunday.

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