Monday night’s officiating crew leads the NFL in penalties called

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The Jets and Cardinals played an ugly, penalty-filled game on Monday night, but the third team on the field deserves some of the scrutiny for all of those penalties as well.

Referee Jerome Boger and his crew call an average of 20.8 penalties per game, according to ESPN. That’s the highest average of any officiating crew in the NFL.

Penalties in the NFL are subjective enough that there’s a significant discrepancy in the number of penalties called per game from one crew to the next. Boger’s crew calls almost two penalties per game more than any other crew, while the crew of Walt Coleman, which calls the fewest penalties per game in the NFL, averages just 12.2 a game — more than eight penalties per game fewer than Boger’s crew.

Officials are human, and two officials can look at the same play and disagree about whether to call a penalty. But it would be nice to see more consistency from crew to crew.

And it would be nice to see fewer penalty-filled games like Monday night’s.

80 responses to “Monday night’s officiating crew leads the NFL in penalties called

  1. That was so brutal too watch. I use to love this sport now I find myself frustrated beyond belief with the every week flag fests. This sport has been ruined! I don’t know how much longer I can watch this sport that has been absolutely destroyed.

  2. Funny how in the Seahawks/Atlanta game everyone bitched because they wanted one more penalty. Now everyone wants them to stuff the flag. Nobody can predict how many penalties are going to occur, but we all know all penalties are not called

  3. 1) Mix the crews up every couple of weeks. It’s silly that they stay together all season.
    2) Make the officials available to the media after every game, no different than the players and coaches. Locker room swarms from cameras and beat reporters and/or a long-table press conference. No more of this pool-reporter-with-three-questions-talks-off-camera-to-the-crew-chief crap. Actual questions from the media on camera will create much more transparency and a little heat on the officials to hold themselves to a higher standard.

    This won’t happen though because their union is stronger than that of the players.

  4. Personally, this is a big contributor as to why I’ve lost the ability/desire to watch any two teams play football.

  5. Dean Clowndino thinks people pay money to watch the refs throw flags all game. Shoot the football like a basketball? penalty. Draw an imaginary bow? penalty.

    Try and tackle a wr running across the middle
    of the field? penalty, that’s not allowed in Clowndino and Goddells world. Amazing that ratings are down.

  6. Now, come on Jets! Yes, I want you to lose every week – but I don’t want you to get a top 5 draft pick again! Now I want to see you win every game left, except the 2 Pats games. Just enough to miss the playoffs, not get a top draft pick, and have the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract negotiations replayed throughout the offseason.

  7. Boger is probably the second worst referee in the league, Jeff Triplette is by far the worst. How that guy still has a job is beyond me.

  8. no one is worse than Ed “watch me flex” Hochuli.

    blowing that onside kick the other day in Miami was so so pathetic…Steelers got beat down, but still who knows what happens with that moronic onside kick attempt called back since Ed and crew weren’t ready…..lol

    my hatred for Hochuli is almost as much as my hatred for Goodell.

  9. They should eliminate penalties away from the ball, unless the infraction affects the play. Too often, the outcomes of games are affected by these calls. (which, of course, could be called on every play)

  10. Complain about too many flags, complain they didn’t throw enough flags, didn’t throw them at the right player, complain if they did/didn’t throw a PI flag at the end of a game.

    Instant replay is what ruined the game. How about no more reviews? Just don’t show them on TV or the jumbletron (menino dig).

    EVERY sport has issues with referee calls. Just deal with it.

  11. gibbsteam says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:44 AM

    Funny how in the Seahawks/Atlanta game everyone bitched because they wanted one more penalty. Now everyone wants them to stuff the flag. Nobody can predict how many penalties are going to occur, but we all know all penalties are not called

    No offense but you completely missed the point on this one, you’re not even close. Everyone is upset because considering all the ticky-tacky flags of late if anything deserved a flag it was that play. I think most everyone would rather see less flags and let them play the game but if there’s going to be 15-20 flags per game there should at least be some consistency.

  12. This is why NFL is losing ratings. Well one of the reasons. I wonder (not being a smart @$$, generally curious) how many flags per NCAA FBS per game is. The college game is so much easier and exciting to watch.

  13. Jerome Boogers is likely the third worst ref in the NFL behind Hock-u-lie and Jeffie Sue Trip-lette. Boogers is so bad because I remember his incompetence by destroying his name. I don’t bother giving professional refs new names – no point.

  14. Everyone in the NFL head office should be made to watch that game on a continuous loop for about a week. Maybe, then, they will see why people are turning to other things for their entertainment. What a snooze/flag fest. No wonder they were promoting FD and DKs so heavily…if those two go the way of the dinosaur, the viewership will plummet further.

  15. Like many I shut the game off after it became apparent it was about the officials – not the game or players. The rules are to prevent one team gaining a competitive advantage – not to ensure the game is played to perfection! STOP with the ticky-tac penalties! I now rarely watch more than spots of games because of the stupid officials.

  16. kokomike says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:44 AM

    They should eliminate penalties away from the ball, unless the infraction affects the play. Too often, the outcomes of games are affected by these calls. (which, of course, could be called on every play)
    =======================

    You are opening up a HUGE can of worms with that.

    People already think the game is rigged. Imagine what would happen if refs threw flags after the completion of the play??? Not during the play when the infraction happened, but after the play, after we already know what the result of the play was… So they either throw the flag like normal, and then have to take the time to announce that the infraction wont stand because it was away from the play, or they wait until the play ends, and then toss the flag. Im sure fans would love to see their team make a huge stop on 4th down, only to see the flag come out. No one would think those calls are being made to affect the outcome (eye roll).

  17. I honestly think what happened was a couple years ago when these guys went on strike, the NFL said OK we’ll pay you more but you have to call more things to earn your money. That is why they started enforcing all kinds of things they wouldn’t have before.

  18. The Sherman call wasn’t “blown.” It was consistent with the way the rest of the game was called. The refs called only what they had to. Sea/Atl was the best officiated game I’ve seen in years. It was a joy to watch. Like rewinding the clock to 2007.

  19. Should be more like rugby. A penalty is only called if it affects the outcome of the play. The ref sees the penalty and raises his arm. If during the play that follows, no advantage is gained from the infraction, he puts his arm down and play goes on.

    Applied to football, it would mean that if a ref sees a player tug a jersey 20 yards away from the ballcarrier, or sees a blocker on a punt return gently push someone in the back after the returner is already 10 yards up field, he keeps the flag in his pocket.

  20. Holding is one of the most inconsistent penalties in football. Sure, pass interference is a killer because of the distance usually involved, but, overall, holding will stop more drives than any penalty. You can call holding on just about every play if you want to, but, unless the OL tackles the defender, don’t throw the flag.

    Plus, make the penalty for PI a 15 yarder instead of a 40 yarder as it usually is. Just like college football.

    PLUS, penalize a receiver if he comes up and makes the “throw the flag” motion with his arms like they all do nowadays. “Unsportsmanlike conduct, 15 yard penalty”. Quit letting the players lobby for a call. Let the refs make the calls.

  21. footballgodsay says: I fell asleep on that boring game…
    I read a book with the TV on…got 2/3 of it read by halftime and then went to bed…tells you all you need to know about the flow of the game and how it’s changed in the past ten years…its why I watch the red zone on Sunday…oh, and thanks for another game from London Sunday morning, it’s just what we needed: Giants vs Rams…

  22. Boring game.
    Boring officiating on ticky tack infractions.

    This is what Dean Blandino wants?
    How can the NFL not expect ratings to decline with these types of games?

    I turned the game off in the first quarter.

  23. I’d prefer to just let the guys play but calling everything is better than calling things erratically where this block is ok on first down but when it’s 3rd and long it’s now called holding.

  24. @marmac2768

    I believe one reason why the PI penalty is different in the pros is if it was the same as college you would basically see PI on every long ball because giving up 15 yards to penalty is a lot better than a 60 yard TD pass. College players are coached to commit PI in situations that otherwise might likely result in a longer play than the penalty.

  25. Penalties and replays are making the games difficult to watch. After every big play you have to wait to see if there was a flag before getting pumped about it. You lose that spontaneous excitement that makes sports great.

    Refs have a really difficult job. The rules are too complex. Simplify them. Pay refs to be full time so that they train and learn year round. Hold them to a high standard. Minimize the use of replay to scoring plays and turnovers.

    Restore the flow and momentum of games. I’d rather watch football than refs explaining calls and high def, slo-motion replays of whether a guys shoe touched a white blade of grass on the sideline.

  26. LUDICROUS !!….I have been watching NFL games since 1956.Referees had little or no impact on the games until the mid 80’s. It has been downhill every since. The sport is unwatchable now with a flag thrown almost every play.
    The players and the fans now have no idea of what a penalty is…and we are going to see tens of thousands of fans finally say they have had enough.The NFL has ruined this sport with OVER REGULATION and not letting the players play the game.Add to that , the high cost to attend any game and you have a ” Recipe for disaster ” I have had had enough and watch a small fraction of the games that I used to and can find other things to do on Sundays.

  27. It is honestly getting ridiculous. As a fan watching, every time my team makes a big play, I hold my breath waiting for a flag. And in most cases, there is one!
    I’m an Eagles fan, but I have to say that one of the worst calls of the season was an “unsportsmanlike conduct” call against the Redskins after Jamison Crowder casually flipped the ball over the goal post following a touchdown. The result was a short kickoff that the Eagles returned for a touchdown. This basically put the Eagles right back into a game that they had no right being in. Officials should not have that kind of power.

  28. jasons81 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 9:03 AM

    @marmac2768

    I believe one reason why the PI penalty is different in the pros is if it was the same as college you would basically see PI on every long ball because giving up 15 yards to penalty is a lot better than a 60 yard TD pass.
    —————————

    Then all teams would do is throw the long ball.

    Flacco could resurrect his career.

  29. Here is a typical Boger explanation:

    “After further review, it was determined that the player on the field crossed the line of scrimmage before the ball was snapped, therefore after consulting with my crew we have concluded that the player was offsides. A penalty of 5 yards has been awarded to the team with the ball and as a result of that penalty will be awarded a 1st down. I will now give the ball judge the opportunity to place the ball at the new line of scrimmage. First down.”

  30. There are offciating crews that are so bad that when you see that they are doing the game you want to watch you just say puke on it. The Triplett (I can’t find the ball(s) with either hand) crew is the most inept. Boger’s (let’s throw the flag on every play just in case we’ll be right) crew is a very close second. Ed Hercules is so verbose that you want to punch him in the face (and then run).
    The old adage about officiating was that you know they called the perfect game when you didn’t particularly notice them at all.

  31. The flag fest that has become the NFL is why the Red Zone channel has become so popular. Unless my Pats are playing. Then I just have to suck it up.

  32. The ref should not influence the game. They are there to officiate the play – not participate in it. During last week’s game, I think there were about a dozen times the group I was watching with either cheer with joy or yelled out in disgust… About 1/2 of them came from seeing the little yellow notice “FLAG” pop up on the corner of the screen. The other half came from the actual play on the field. That’s not right.

  33. Only Tom Brady wants every penalty committed to be called. Or maybe he just likes whining. No wonder him and Trump are amigos.

  34. I can live with the pre-snap penalties such as offsides, false start and illegal motion. It’s the type of calls such as pass interference and illegal contact that need to be addressed. While you need to give the receiver an opportunity to catch the ball, you also have to let them play. The rules have made it nearly impossible to defend any WR or TE these days and we wonder it’s now a passing league?

    And when teams are in a 3rd and long and desperate, they will throw deep just to draw a flag because they know the odds are much better at drawing the flag rather than making an actual completion.

    These calls have ruined the game and they need to loosen the rules and let them play more. There is no reason why defenders can’t jamb the receivers and play tighter coverage within 10 yards instead of 5. Make the receivers work a little harder as well.

    Overly protective of the QB’s as well. I can live with throwing the flag on a late hit, cheap shot, or helmet to helmet hit but it seems like they get too carried away with roughing the passer calls.

  35. As for the Sherman no call what about the Jones no call on the same play for offensive PI at the start of the play with that mega push off. The refs were consistent on that. As for Jets/Cards that many ticky tac calls hurts the game. Let the guys play, remember the XFL? That was one cool thing about it, they got to play. SB XL all time ref FUP

  36. I only saw bits and pieces of this game, because I was watching the baseball game. I thought it was funny that Sean McDunnugh was so frustrated he started making jokes about the officiating. His best one was that since Boger’s crew was supposed to do the Hall of Fame Non-Game, they were still getting out their pent-up flag throwing from not getting to throw flags in Canton.

    You know how everyone says that no one wants to watch baseball anymore because games take forever and there’s no flow because of all the pitching changes and stepping in/out of the batter’s box and dugout-called pickoff attempts? Well, all of that was happening last night with my Indians having to use 7 pitchers. But the baseball game was a run-and-shoot offense compared to the football game.

    Bring back the replacement refs!

  37. purplepride11 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 8:32 AM
    Being a ref is a very very hard job for a human to do…. which is why we need robots. Yes, robots with lazer beams coming out of their eyes.
    ——————————————–
    I like this idea. Lazer beams that give an immediate, mild but painful skin burn. That intensifies each additional time you commit a penalty.

  38. And while we are at it, keep the human refs but every time they make a call the robots don’t agree with, they get tazed.

  39. Football was a great sport in the 2oth century.

    The good news is that after 15 years of pulling my hair out trying to stay “In” as a fan, I am now able to fully realize it is not my fault and there are other things to do with time and money. I’m now comfortably numb and moving forward.

    It was a good roll, no sense gnarling my psyche anymore over this “Sport”.

  40. I turned the channel….just could not handle the flags and commercials…use to love MNF with dandy don and cosell It was the highlight of the week, but thursday, sunday, sunday night, monday night eh. I despise the color yellow.

  41. andyreidsbossoms says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:43 AM

    That was so brutal too watch. I use to love this sport now I find myself frustrated beyond belief with the every week flag fests. This sport has been ruined! I don’t know how much longer I can watch this sport that has been absolutely destroyed
    ——————————————————–
    I already gave up on it and I am happier being entertained by the NHL!

  42. In a nutshell this is what is wrong with the NFL: Uneven or outright bad refereeing is the elephant in the room but absolutely nothing gets done about it. Instead, Blandino will come out any minute explaining how the refs were perfect yet again and then they’ll tweak a bunch of rules guaranteeing still more bad calls since the refs already can’t keep up.

  43. I was at the MNF game. All those penalties were killing the buzz in the stadium from the fans. Too many PI calls called on both teams. Many of which didn’t look like there was much contact.

  44. marmac2768 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 8:41 AM
    Holding is one of the most inconsistent penalties in football. Sure, pass interference is a killer because of the distance usually involved, but, overall, holding will stop more drives than any penalty. You can call holding on just about every play if you want to, but, unless the OL tackles the defender, don’t throw the flag.

    Plus, make the penalty for PI a 15 yarder instead of a 40 yarder as it usually is. Just like college football.

    PLUS, penalize a receiver if he comes up and makes the “throw the flag” motion with his arms like they all do nowadays. “Unsportsmanlike conduct, 15 yard penalty”. Quit letting the players lobby for a call. Let the refs make the calls.

    ———

    I totally agree, especially the part about holding. probably would offer a little more QB safety as a bonus. Otherwise, have them wear something like boxing gloves so they can’t even hold. (I’m half joking).

  45. All those PI calls and none near as aggregious as the one not called that handed the Atlanta game to Seattle.

  46. Monday night games seem to always have more media breaks and commercials. The game itself was not a great matchup. Plus, ratings are down and MLB playoffs are on. So, the NFL’s answer is to drag this game on longer by assigning the crew that will call the most penalties and make the game longer? It does not take a genius to figure that out… just a little common sense. Add over officiating to the list of why ratings are down.

  47. jquaste says:
    Oct 18, 2016 9:10 AM
    It is honestly getting ridiculous. As a fan watching, every time my team makes a big play, I hold my breath waiting for a flag. And in most cases, there is one!
    I’m an Eagles fan, but I have to say that one of the worst calls of the season was an “unsportsmanlike conduct” call against the Redskins after Jamison Crowder casually flipped the ball over the goal post following a touchdown. The result was a short kickoff that the Eagles returned for a touchdown. This basically put the Eagles right back into a game that they had no right being in. Officials should not have that kind of power.
    ************************
    It was Vernon Davis, not Crowder

  48. Maybe if the NFL would hire the officials full time they could dedicate more time to studying and practicing the rules and get on the same page.

    The difference betwee those PI calls last night and the no-call on sherman was ridiculous.

  49. As long as the officials stay consistent in-game, who cares whether it’s the same from one crew to another.

    In fact, every team already pre-scouts the game officials and know exactly what tendencies each crew has.

  50. The people here today complaining about the number of penalties called will be the same people complaining next week how their team got hosed by a non-call.

  51. Hopefully the NFL gets it at some point. They’re going to be destroyed by their own arrogance.

    The sad part is that everyone is calling for MORE replay, MORE delays, MORE downtime in a game that already takes WAY too long.

    Just let them play. Call the obvious/egregious stuff and leave the ‘ticky-tak’ crap alone.

  52. That was one of my worst televised football experiences, ever. I didn’t start watching till after halftime and turned it off well before the final gun, and it felt like I had watched 3 hours.

    The part I did enjoy was the ESPN announcers making cracks about all the flags. I’m sure they are getting called on the carpet today for that, but I prop them for speaking what everyone else was thinking.

  53. Boger was clearly a “diversity” promotion to referee. He’s consistently awful. As the progressives continue to push their agenda, we see more and more of this all around us. Best man/woman for the job? Not necessarily, it’s all about diversity in the workplace now.

  54. I started watching late, saw the PI on Buster Skrine just before DJ’s second TD, stopped watching soon after. That was brutal. I hate the Jets, I really do, but boy, that was a terrible call. I mean, he’s notorious for it, but geeze.

  55. My team benefited from some iffy calls last night (to put it mildly) and even I was getting tired of the flags. I hate seeing Borger doing Cardinal games. I think he is consistently one of the worst officials in the game. I don’t think the penalties affecting the outcome of the game. The Cardinals got enough point without any penalty assists to put away the Jets. But it wasn’t that fun to watch with the refs interjecting themselves so much on subjective calls.

  56. The answer is simple: stop with the complicated penalties. The catch rule is a joke (should be catch, two feet, good; forget the ridiculous “football move”). There’s holding on every play along the line. There’s pass interference of some sort every play. So the solution is to dumb it down and make it understandable so the players, coaches, and refs can teach and enforce the rules consistently. Easy peasy!

  57. Dear NFL,
    Just get to the point where this game becomes a board game with 2 coaches sitting across from each other with player cards and dice and let it become a game of strategy and luck of the rolls.

    There ya go, I just fixed your horrendous officiating issues and player safety in one fell swoop. BOOM!

    Thanks for playing!!

  58. After watching some blatant errors the last 2 weeks against the Eagles, with Morelli’s crew and then whoever was officiating Sunday against the Skins, If we get those crews again, i’d rather see my Eagles skip the game. Why take a chance at loosing more key players, when the refs are more interested in throwing flags every play?

    The only way the Refs problem will change, is if the teams force the NFL’s hand.

  59. Suggestion – make sure the person with the microphone can pronounce the word “penalty”.

    I switched over to the ALCS for most of the game. First time in my life I’ve ever chosen baseball over football.

  60. I’m a Pats fan so my thoughts on the Jets should be obvious. BUT, my god man, if those were holding penalties against the Jets and in particular Skrine then it’s virtually no hand touch football for DB’s. They were beyond dreadful. It’s like this any game you watch. I refuse to watch the NBA or give it a second thought because I feel the officials absolutely determine the outcome of games. Getting “this close” to feeling the same way about the NFL.

  61. In Bogers defense tho he wasn’t the official throwing those horrendous flags, he just has the “honor” of announcing them to the world. What say we start calling out the actual official who makes these atrocious calls by name too. Maybe then they’d think twice before tossing the hanky at every opportunity.

  62. Not a popular opinion, I’m sure, but I’m more concerned with the crews calling the least penalties. No penalty should go uncalled.

  63. grumpysal says:
    Oct 18, 2016 12:44 PM
    Dear NFL,
    Just get to the point where this game becomes a board game with 2 coaches sitting across from each other with player cards and dice and let it become a game of strategy and luck of the rolls.

    There ya go, I just fixed your horrendous officiating issues and player safety in one fell swoop. BOOM!

    Thanks for playing!!

    ———–

    Bill Belichick rolls the 20-sided dice on the left side of the board. Roger Goodell sends out a memo that the dice should be rolled on the right side of the board. Belichick checks the rule book, which says “The dice shall be rolled on the outside of the playing surface”, and continues to roll the dice on the left edge of the board.

    Goodell fines Belichick $1,000,000 and takes his next player card booster pack. Everywhere outside of New England now thinks that there’s a competitive advantage to rolling on the left side of the board because Belichick rolls 19s and 20s slightly above average. Belichick is labeled a cheater by the media and John Harbaugh complains that 20-sided dice are unfair, nobody has ever seen them before, and campaigns to use 6-sided dice instead.

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