Pete Morelli’s crew yanked from Week 13 Sunday night game

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After dispensing no additional discipline beyond the grading process in response to multiple errors made by the officials during the Week 11 Monday night game, the NFL has decided to take action in response to mistakes made during one of the two late-afternoon games from the twelfth Sunday of the regular season.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL has removed referee Pete Morelli’s crew from the Colts-Steelers game to be played on Sunday night. Morelli’s crew has been reassigned to another game.

It’s the third time this season the NFL has taken specific action in response to officiating errors. Side judge Rob Vernatchi was suspended with pay after a clock error in the Steelers-Chargers Monday night game, and back judge Greg Wilson was assigned away from a Sunday night game between the Colts and Patriots after missing the illegal bat at the end of the Lions-Seahawks game.

UPDATE 10:20 a.m. ET: An earlier version of this item explained that Morelli’s crew had been reassigned from the Monday night game between Dallas and Washington. The crew had been assigned to work the Sunday night game between the Colts and Steelers, which actually will have a significantly larger audience given that it will be televised on a broadcast network, not cable.

156 responses to “Pete Morelli’s crew yanked from Week 13 Sunday night game

  1. They’re gonna get put on the Bears/Niners game and it will be make-up day for the Niners even though the game is in Chicago. I can just feel it.

  2. Cowboys vs Redskins…..no matter what you feel about it, this is still a huge rivalry for these two fan-bases. This is also the Cowboy’s “Superbowl” every season because playing against the Redskins is the only thing they get up for anymore.

    This game also holds huge implications for the NFC East, so only the best officials should be officiating it.

  3. Vernatchi was the guy who threw several BS flags on SF last Sunday. It was clear he was annoyed and upset at the 9er sideline. It looked like he got in Jim Tomsula’s face at least once. This guy throws flags based on his emotions and not based on the rules of the games. He should be removed as an NFL ref.

  4. Tony Corrente will be given a a couple gift certificate to the Olive Garden.

    “You’ve earned it.”, said Roger with a wink.

  5. They should get rid of all the refs that officiated the Pats-Broncos game. I’ve never seen so many phantom calls before that determined the outcome of a game

  6. If there that bad, they should be working at 345 Park Ave., with the rest of the incompetent losers…

  7. Sounds like the federal government. If someone screws up, they just move them to another department. (With pay, of course).

  8. Suspend Ed Hockuli too. He’s a joke of a referee who cares more about showing off his biceps than getting calls correct.

    Ask why we need so many incompetent referees on the field? They get in the way of plays. They get most of the critical calls wrong. Every play should be reviewed by an official in a booth watching on a monitor. He or she pushed a red button if the field ref is wrong, a green button if correct. Takes 1 second.

  9. So where is Morelli’s crew going? If it’s to New Orleans, and they are replacing Jerome Boger’s crew, that’s a major upgrade.

    How sad is it that us fans are as interested in who is officiating the game as any other aspect? Boger is a complete fool, Muscles changes rule enforcement based on league tenure, and I’m not sure if Walt Coleman knows what time zone he’s in most of the time.

    Where are the replacement refs when you need them?

  10. skooter519 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:00 AM
    They should get rid of all the refs that officiated the Pats-Broncos game. I’ve never seen so many phantom calls before that determined the outcome of a game
    ———————————-
    Pats fans playing victim…what else is new?

    Not even close. I know of 3 Bills games of the top of my head that have had absolutely horrid calls from officials. That’s just 1 of 32 teams.

    Get over yourselves. Your team lost! Perhaps you’ve forgotten about the Tuck Rule.

  11. skooter519 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:00 AM

    They should get rid of all the refs that officiated the Pats-Broncos game. I’ve never seen so many phantom calls before that determined the outcome of a game
    ——–

    that crew probably got bonus checks yesterday

  12. There will have to be a serious discussion this offseason about what to do with the state of the officials. Too many games have had huge momentum swinging calls in them that have later been shown to be bad. Something I would personally like to see is to start making all officials available to the media immediately following the games. Let them get grilled on their performance like the players and coaches do. I think we would all be shocked at how little many of these guys know. We should also start allowing coaches the ability to challenge any call during a game. Give each coach 4 challenges per game, 2 each half. And allow them to challenge any call on any play. And if the coach wins the challenge, then that should be a mark down on the officiating crews grades for the game.

  13. There have been bad calls in the NFL, MLB, and the NBA since as long as I can remember. We’re talking about it a lot more these days because the camera and video technology is so much better, we can see the errors so much easier. So the way to fix the problem is to utilize that same technology that allows us to clearly see what we weren’t able to see before. You still need refs on the field to spot the football and to keep the game going, but the guys in the booth should be making most of the calls. They could easily do this and it would actually speed up play.

  14. It doesn’t fix the problem, but at least it shows that there’s some semblance of accountability for these officials.

    Now they just need to make them full time, and fine them for mistakes.

  15. I know that officiating is terrible throughout the league.. HOWEVER, once and only once have I ever seen an official blatently cheat.. and IT WAS PETE MORELLI. Back in 2005 playoffs Steelers vs. Colts… Troy Polamalu picks off Peyton, rolls to the ground, gets up and knocks ball out with his own knee and falls on it. There was such clear posession it wasn’t even funny… Pete Morany makes up a B.S. excuse and says incomplete pass. He so badly wanted Peyton to get to the SuperBowl he INTENTIONALLY tried to rob Pittsburgh. Pete needs to be removed from NFL sidelines period

  16. On a different note, when is the NFL going to disclose all of that oh-so-critical ball inflation pressure data that they consider to be of vital importance to the integrity of the game?

    For each game I want to see both the pregame and halftime air pressure measurements of every game ball, back-up ball, and kicking ball along with the corresponding temperature readings.

  17. harrisonhits3 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 9:57 AM
    Cowboys vs Redskins…..no matter what you feel about it, this is still a huge rivalry for these two fan-bases. This is also the Cowboy’s “Superbowl” every season because playing against the Redskins is the only thing they get up for anymore.
    __________

    Yeah, I know the Cowboys have been irrelevant for the last 20 years, but they’ve won 3 Super Bowls since the turdskins last went to a Super Bowl.

  18. rynehawk says:
    Dec 1, 2015 9:53 AM

    So the solution is not to fix the problem, it’s to move it somewhere so that less people notice it. Got it.

    310

    0

    Well done sir.

  19. Wow pathetic.

    Take them off a primetime game between 2 awful teams to let them ref a different game that will most likely have more impact on the postseason

  20. Sunday when I got home, I turned on the TV to watch some football. The very first play I saw was Sherman pushing the receiver, who then fell, and he made a easy interception. Then Wilson gets pushed “in bounds” and gets a roughing call. That is when I turned off the TV. I didn’t even watch Sunday night, which sounded like a good game. If the NFL can’t pay full time refs, I don’t need to watch any games that don’t involve the team I like.
    I don’t know if the refs were just plain bad that game or they wanted to get invited to Seattle’s summer picnic.

  21. harrisonhits3 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 9:57 AM
    Cowboys vs Redskins…..no matter what you feel about it, this is still a huge rivalry for these two fan-bases. This is also the Cowboy’s “Superbowl” every season because playing against the Redskins is the only thing they get up for anymore.

    This game also holds huge implications for the NFC East, so only the best officials should be officiating it.
    __________________________________
    I know people don’t like Dallas but you have it backwards. This is the Redskins superbowl every year. For the majority of the past 15 years Dallas has had a better team and better record and only lost roughly 5 games vs the Redskins.

    This does not have huge implications. Dallas is 2 games behind and starting a backup.

  22. Sometimes I think the officials are told to call games a certain way by the league office. That would explain why they never fire these guys even though they call some very one-sided games.

  23. Greg Wilson was the back judge who didn’t throw the flag on the batted out the endzone in DET-SEA and then called the phantom holding on Chung in NE-DEN, which would have been OPI if it was Gronk engaging rather than Demaryius.

  24. This past weekend the CFL’s Grey Cup was decided by a Pass Interference non-call that was challenged and (properly) overturned. WHAT. A. CONCEPT!

  25. They keep these shady crews because they can be told by the league when to tilt games to keep the playoff race interesting.

  26. Either the regulations have become too complex for mere mortals to interpret or Refs have clandestine accounts at Vegas sports books. Has to be one or the other.

  27. Gee-whiz. It’s not like one team is just blowing by their opponents by at least 2 TDs, like the 2009 Gnawlin Saints lol

  28. Reassigning to another game is a travesty.

    You screw up badly but you still get paid, you still get to work, and you still get to screw up another game, just one that’s not so important to the league.

    That both makes it clear that the league is favoring certain teams/games and shows a total lack of real concern by not suspending them for one game.

    Goodell’s NFL = numerous double standards

    Goodell is vile

    Goodell must go

  29. skooter519 says:
    They should get rid of all the refs that officiated the Pats-Broncos game. I’ve never seen so many phantom calls before that determined the outcome of a game
    ——————————–//—–
    You don’t watch many Seahawks games do you?

  30. Hey SteelerfaninOk, do you ever think Morelli keeps his job BECAUSE he made the incomplete call against Polamalu? Clearly, the NFL benefits from having Peyton in the SB.

  31. There shouldn’t be “crews”…..it should be random placement of individual refs (all positions of refs/ ie linesman, back judge, etc). That way it would be far less of a problem of “bad or inconsistent” crews. They shouldn’t have to work with the same people all of the time to be able to work together. Just do YOUR job. And it will be more likely that someone else would catch something done wrong………

  32. bchap17 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:08 AM
    skooter519 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:00 AM
    They should get rid of all the refs that officiated the Pats-Broncos game. I’ve never seen so many phantom calls before that determined the outcome of a game
    ———————————-
    Pats fans playing victim…what else is new?

    Not even close. I know of 3 Bills games of the top of my head that have had absolutely horrid calls from officials. That’s just 1 of 32 teams.

    Get over yourselves. Your team lost! Perhaps you’ve forgotten about the Tuck Rule.

    ____________________

    Good Lord.

    The Tuck Rule was a RULE, not a phantom call.

    You should really learn what you are talking about before posting.

  33. realnflfacts says:Dec 1, 2015 10:11 AM

    Steelers at Seahawks. Nobody could have beaten the double team that seattle and the refs had going that game.

    Kinda like Super Bowl XL……….

  34. ESPN and NFL Network won’t do it, but NBC and Fox should get together and agree to do a pressure test at every game they air.

    Maybe that would ‘inspire’ the NFL to publish the results of their ‘testing’

    Doesn’t anyone want to know the truth?

  35. What i think is the bigger issue is intent to make mistakes. They blew the whistle dead early- that happens all the time, a player fumbles just as the ref blows the whistle too early and it screws the other team. It sucked for the Pats, but it happens and you replay the down- thats the rule. The refs then made a conscious decision to allow the catch to happen- which to pats fans who ‘abide’ by rules to the T, like how the tuck rule was a rule even tho we all agree its dumb. But the refs gave them a completion when by rule it should not have counted, THEN the refs flagged rex for interference………even tho there was no flag. Im pretty sure u cant allow a play to develop, see how it ends, then go back and penalize a team when there was no flag throw. Both were conscious decisions by the ref to justify a mistake- but two wrongs dont make a right. Fire them.

  36. Obe Wan Jabroni says: Dec 1, 2015 10:07 AM

    In unrelated news, the crew that jobbed the Patriots in Denver was just locked in for the Super Bowl.

    ———————————————————–

    Jobbed, lol. What a crock. The Patriots offensive line was called for holding twice because they tackled Von Miller twice.

  37. All NFL teams are getting the shaft. It’s the Refs that are determining the outcome of games, not the players on the field. These guys are too old, too slow and can’t see, anyone older than 40 should be gone. Full time Refs, 28 to 40, in shape. These 60 something lawyer millionare Refs need to go. The only thing they should be doing on Sundays is walking their grandchildren down to the lake feeding the ducks bread and crackers. I saw a Ref in the Bills/KC game last week, twice in the game, once on offense, once on defense, he was in the way and couldn’t get out of the way, did it make a difference? Maybe, just for that split second you hold up before you run him over. This has got to stop.

  38. a. The Patriots Chris Harper muffs a punt on Sunday night, gets released on Monday.

    b. Ryan Mallet misses the team flight from Houston to Miami, shortly afterwards is released by the Texans.

    c. The Browns find video of Johnny Football partying in Texas, demote him to third string and will likely cut him in the off season.

    d. An NFL ref muffs a call, gets a paid vacation or gets reassigned to a lower profile game.

    Which of the above items a, b, c, d show Integrity? (Hint: it sure isn’t d)

  39. flutener333 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:03 AM
    Part time employees helping decide the outcome for a multi-billion company doesn’t seem like a viable business practice.

    Multi Billion dollar ….

    This is without a doubt my new pet peeve. Many multi billion dollar companies frequently train their staff to ask,

    Would you like fries with that?

    The money is not the issue. It’s like that Seinfeld joke about wishing we had never landed on the moon.

    If they can land a man on the moon then they should be able to … (insert comparison).

    It’s a human game, played and managed by humans. If you dump everyone who makes a mistake you’ll run out of people PDQ.

    Dump replay, dump challenge flags, learn to deal with unfair calls and disappointment. That’s how real football works. It’s not Madden folks.

  40. So the teams that get that crew discover very quickly what the league thinks of where they stand. That is funny. Good job NFL. Once again Goodell shows what an inept short sighted manager does. The NFL needs leadership instead.

  41. I have followed the various officiating crews for many years and while there are several bad ones, it is my opinion that none is worse than Pete Morelli’s. If the NFL were to be open and list the number of major blunders a crew has made, Morelli would be at the top or near it. I have specifically followed Morelli’s crew with interest as he seems to really have it in for “my favorite team.” Also, what does it say about the NFL when their discipline of a crew involves moving them from a prime time game to some other game with less national exposure??? What a joke.

  42. I did not watch the Monday night game for many reasons!
    The game was not appealing at all! The biggest reason for not watching is that I am sick of the poor officiating from the Pats/Broncos game Sunday night and that has turned me off! I never thought the new team on the block (the refs) could change the outcome of the game like they did in the last 2 minutes or I would even say that! It is clear that they changed the outcome of that game with all the phantom calls! It is also very evident that they are going after Gronk calling penalties that they are not being called on other tight ends.The Patriots have 10 PI (Gronk 5) this year when the next closest team only has 4 or 5!

  43. bassplucker says:
    Dec 1, 2015 9:56 AM
    They’re gonna get put on the Bears/Niners game and it will be make-up day for the Niners even though the game is in Chicago. I can just feel it.
    ===================================

    Or maybe that can be the make-up game for the Bears after they were screwed out of a win in Detroit.

  44. bchap17 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:08 AM

    skooter519 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:00 AM
    They should get rid of all the refs that officiated the Pats-Broncos game. I’ve never seen so many phantom calls before that determined the outcome of a game
    ———————————-
    Pats fans playing victim…what else is new?

    Not even close. I know of 3 Bills games of the top of my head that have had absolutely horrid calls from officials. That’s just 1 of 32 teams.

    Get over yourselves. Your team lost! Perhaps you’ve forgotten about the Tuck Rule.
    ——————————————————-
    I love how fools complain about a rule being called correctly as if it’s a bad thing. It was a rule, get over it. 14 years ago buddy, time to move on.
    Every fan base complains when they feel they got the short end of the stick by the officials. When that fan bases team is on it’s way to a possible undefeated season and it is clear “mistakes” were made not in their favor it only seems reasonable they, the fans, would react. Of course only 2 fan bases can relate to the feeling of winning out in the regular season and 1 going the distance. Carolina fans will scream too if they lose on several controversial calls that go against them. It’s called human nature.

  45. Refs have been determining the outcome of games since there have been refs. Bad call in the 1st qtr might have more effect on the outcome than the last call of the game. it’s situational. Killing a drive that would put a team up 3 TDs in the 2nd qtr while giving the opposing team a chance to cut the gap to one score is bigger than putting 2 seconds back on the clock at the end of a game.But since the members of the short attention span generation have taken over we only want to focus on one play.

    What’s really wrong with the game now?

    Twitter (looking at you Mort)
    Facebook (really TB12, riding a Bronco?)
    Instagram
    Etc


  46. guadalahonky says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:48 AM
    Obe Wan Jabroni says: Dec 1, 2015 10:07 AM

    In unrelated news, the crew that jobbed the Patriots in Denver was just locked in for the Super Bowl.

    ———————————————————–

    Jobbed, lol. What a crock. The Patriots offensive line was called for holding twice because they tackled Von Miller twice.

    That’s not what pissed off Pats fans. This was:

    – Phantom OPI called on Gronk (would have extended drive)
    – Phantom DPI called on Chung (1st and goal instead of 3rd and 19)
    – Obvious hands to the face/facemask/forehead on Mathis NOT called on Denver’s 4Q TD.
    – Obvious hold/DPI on Talib NOT called in OT.

    Those are just the four that were slam dunks, there were others that were questionable or that other officials had to correct. I don’t think “the fix was in” – it was just a run of bad luck. It happens. Usually it’s more evenly distributed.

    The larger issue is that this is just one of many, MANY games this season where the officiating was the story or deciding factor, frequently via incorrect calls. It’s absurd, Goodell has lost complete control of the refs.

    It’s so bad NFL wide that I don’t think the refs themselves can be to blame, it has to be instructions from the NFL that are unclear, make no sense, and are arbitrary. Shocking that this could happen under Goodell and Blandino, I know.

  47. Mo’ Pro Babble says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:53 AM

    flutener333 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:03 AM
    Part time employees helping decide the outcome for a multi-billion company doesn’t seem like a viable business practice.

    Multi Billion dollar ….

    This is without a doubt my new pet peeve. Many multi billion dollar companies frequently train their staff to ask,

    Would you like fries with that?

    The money is not the issue. It’s like that Seinfeld joke about wishing we had never landed on the moon.

    If they can land a man on the moon then they should be able to … (insert comparison).

    It’s a human game, played and managed by humans. If you dump everyone who makes a mistake you’ll run out of people PDQ.

    Dump replay, dump challenge flags, learn to deal with unfair calls and disappointment. That’s how real football works. It’s not Madden folks.
    ——————————————————–
    Preach Brother! Worst thing that ever happened was replay. Either the officials have the power to run the game or they don’t. Why the hell does some smuck in NY decide on every call in every game? This reeks of corruption. I said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s time for congress to investigate the multibillion dollar entity that is the NFL and the possible ties to gambling.

  48. The NFL instantly corrects erroneous officiating reports……but refused to correct erroneous PSI reports that falsely damaged the NE reputation
    Goodell and his henchmen need to be fired….now

  49. Now they are reassigned to the Patriots and Eagles game,

    Coincidence… I think not.

    Roger smiles again!!!

  50. The common thread on here seems to be the phantom calls made that seem to favor certain teams in certain games…something I agree with. Seattle Pittsburgh 2005 Super Bowl, Vikings-Saints NFC championship, Cowboys-Lions and Packers -Cowboys playoff games last year. I’m somewhat biased but looking at two games this year Vikings-Packers and Bears -Packers …the Vikings had been the least penalized team in the league and all of a sudden the flags start flying…Bears had not had a penalty the previous week and the flags start flying.It is ironic that McCarthy bitched about officiating ; I guess he’d gotten used to having the calls go his way. My conclusion is that as I stated, certain teams get favored.

  51. Yes, some refs need to be replaced, but people mindlessly criticizing the NFL and Goodell ignore the unfortunate fact there is a refs union with a CBA that precludes the League from firing everyone.

  52. I know that officiating is terrible throughout the league.. HOWEVER, once and only once have I ever seen an official blatently cheat.. and IT WAS PETE MORELLI. Back in 2005 playoffs Steelers vs. Colts… Troy Polamalu picks off Peyton, rolls to the ground, gets up and knocks ball out with his own knee and falls on it. There was such clear posession it wasn’t even funny… Pete Morany makes up a B.S. excuse and says incomplete pass. He so badly wanted Peyton to get to the SuperBowl he INTENTIONALLY tried to rob Pittsburgh. Pete needs to be removed from NFL sidelines period

    Every time I want to complain about something that happened with Patriots. I think about every single whiny Steeler fan and I come back to my good senses. I realize that Patriots with Tom and Bill win 80% of their games. Life is good” On to Super Bowl 50″

  53. Patriots fans sure seem bothered by the officiating in their game last Sunday. I have some sympathy, but those weren’t “phantom” calls. Borderline/questionable, sure, but there wasn’t a complete absence of “penalizable” behavior from the players that got called. Did Gronk stick his hands in the chest of a defender to make his cut? Looked like it to me. Was a big deal? probably not, but I understand what the ref saw. Same on the defensive holding call… the dude’s hand was clearly on/under the receiver’s shoulder pads with possibly a slight tug back, if only briefly. Again, probably a little too quick on the flag throwing, but calling it a phantom call isn’t right either. Maybe blaming the refs helps the fans feel better, but the truth is if Brady was as terrific and Belichick as ingenious as Pats fans make them out to be, the score should’ve been 42-7 and the calls wouldn’t have mattered.

    As for this article, I’m confused. It doesn’t explicitly state what officiating screw up Morelli’s crew is being upbraided for. Okay, found it (from other sources)… the Cardinals/49ers game. (darn bloggers making me google stuff when they could’ve just said).

  54. sportsfan178 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 11:12 AM

    Twice it was intentional- i know im biased but in last weeks monday night game, they blew the whistle early. It sucked, it was wrong, but you replay the down- there are no ifs, ands or buts about it. You replay the down. They chose to give the patriots the reception b/c they felt bad- which they should have, but u cant blatantly cheat the bills b/c u feel bad. THEN they called rex for 15 yds when there was no penalty flag throw. The ref was right there, did not throw a flag, after the play, after the refs decided they blew the whistle too early, then they went back and claimed rex did something wrong. But if the ref on the spot didnt throw a flag (an no one else did either) then u cannot go back and decide to penalize someone. If there is a penalty u throw a flag, if u dont think its worth a flag u dont throw the penalty. Period. Those were both blatantly wrong calls to try and make up for another accidental mistake- which is not ok.

  55. I’ve got one possible explanation on why Goddell is not punishing is referees. They are doing just what he wants them to do… Imagine him Betting on teams under some other name and telling refs to make so and so teams to win.

  56. This is how Goodell dispense parity. This referees collective incompetence is getting suspicious and blatant. Integrity of the game? Sure…. Goodell spent millions going after the Patriots for ” integrity of the game”. Many believe that expensive garbage. Here and now the true integrity of the game is at stake and he shuffles and shifts the real problem. We know the real god of football… and he is petulant.

  57. Sounds like they’re still trying to keep cover on Sarah Thomas, the LJ on Morelli’s crew who didn’t call the false start when the line wasn’t set on the final snap a couple weeks ago. Suspending the crew would certainly spotlight the only female official… headquarters can’t let that happen.

  58. An earlier poster said he didn’t think the fix was in on the Pat’s/Broncos game. Well I disagree. I thought it was then and with the news that this clown show officiating crew being moved to Pats/Eagles it cements it in my mind. The league has determined it will not allow NE to dominate. Virtually handcuffed Gronk via OPI calls. Phantom DPI or holding calls and not calling clear cut roughing the QB when a player launches off the ground with both feet and tackles Brady by the head and neck. A bad call here a bad one there at critical times absolutely determines the outcome of games. Now it is clear that even replay is questionable at best with so called experts seeing a play one way and then the decision comes back the opposite. The league did everything it could to hamstring NE in the off season and failed. They have gone to the one sure fire, no appeals allowed way of beating them. Calls on the field that can be directly affected by the same league office that criminally set up the Patriots. I dare all haters to look at it with open eyes and minds. It’s blatant but haters revel in anything bad happening to NE and a lot of that was fueled by the league itself. Does anyone really believe a few questionable calls won’t go against NE this week? Time will tell.

  59. You know, if any one of us continuously sucked at our jobs, we’d get fired. I think we all need to apply to be NFL refs for the sake of job security.

  60. If the NFL is trying to derail the Pats with bad calls, they suck at it. After all their alleged effort to undermine the team, they’re still 10-1 and in first place in the conference? What Pats fans say must be true… Roger REALLY IS incompenent! Can’t even fix the games the way he wants them.

  61. Did Gronk stick his hands in the chest of a defender to make his cut? Looked like it to me.
    same on the defensive holding call… the dude’s hand was clearly on/under the receiver’s shoulder pads with possibly a slight tug back, if only briefly. A
    ===
    No. Gronk didn’t extend his arm. It was a “flipper” arm, and even if he did, THE DEFENDER INITIATED THE CONTACT BEYOND FIVE YARDS!

    That’s Illegal Contact. The fact that Gronk can slap off Illegal Contact at the break of his route doesn’t make it NOT Illegal Contact and it doesn’t make it not illegal.

    And on the Defensive Holding call? The receiver imitated the contact. If you’re looking for OPI, look there. Two arms out straight pushing off. The subsequent hold was trifling, at best.

    Those calls were absolutely positively wrong because they completely ignored who initiated contact. In both cases it was the non-penalized player.

  62. letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:47 AM

    What i think is the bigger issue is intent to make mistakes. They blew the whistle dead early- that happens all the time, a player fumbles just as the ref blows the whistle too early and it screws the other team. It sucked for the Pats, but it happens and you replay the down- thats the rule. The refs then made a conscious decision to allow the catch to happen- which to pats fans who ‘abide’ by rules to the T, like how the tuck rule was a rule even tho we all agree its dumb. But the refs gave them a completion when by rule it should not have counted, THEN the refs flagged rex for interference………even tho there was no flag. Im pretty sure u cant allow a play to develop, see how it ends, then go back and penalize a team when there was no flag throw. Both were conscious decisions by the ref to justify a mistake- but two wrongs dont make a right. Fire them.
    —————————
    You’ve been saying they didn’t throw a flag for the past week. There was a flag. Stop saying there wasn’t and go watch the play.

  63. I don’t understand, why not just make an NFL officials job full time like umpires in MLB? Let’s get these guys training year round to become the best that they can be….studying the rule book and taking classes, watching film on good calls and bad calls, etc….

  64. Greg Wilson has been a major factor in deciding the outcome of two prime time games this season.

    The batted ball no call and the Chung holding call.

    At the very least the NFL should do some type of investigation to ensure the integrity of the game. I’m not saying the guy is in the bag but the NFL should look into it just to make sure.

  65. fredegrar says:
    Dec 1, 2015 11:19 AM
    Patriots fans sure seem bothered by the officiating in their game last Sunday. I have some sympathy, but those weren’t “phantom” calls. Borderline/questionable, sure, but there wasn’t a complete absence of “penalizable” behavior from the players that got called. Did Gronk stick his hands in the chest of a defender to make his cut? Looked like it to me. Was a big deal? probably not, but I understand what the ref saw. Same on the defensive holding call… the dude’s hand was clearly on/under the receiver’s shoulder pads with possibly a slight tug back, if only briefly. Again, probably a little too quick on the flag throwing, but calling it a phantom call isn’t right either. Maybe blaming the refs helps the fans feel better, but the truth is if Brady was as terrific and Belichick as ingenious as Pats fans make them out to be, the score should’ve been 42-7 and the calls wouldn’t have mattered.

    As for this article, I’m confused. It doesn’t explicitly state what officiating screw up Morelli’s crew is being upbraided for. Okay, found it (from other sources)… the Cardinals/49ers game. (darn bloggers making me google stuff when they could’ve just said).
    ——————————————————————
    Fred, regardless of the semantics, those were two horrible calls that had a major impact on the outcome of the game, and that’s something that I think all fans would agree that we want taken out of the game. I agree that it’s up to any team not to blow a lead and leave themselves vulnerable to the zebras, but those two calls ultimately handed the game to the Broncos. And btw, yes, Brady is that good and Belichick is that ingenious….deal with it.

  66. We are all human so we all make mistakes BUT when you make them over and over in the same game against one team it looks like the game is fixed.
    When did Vince McMahon buy the NFL?

  67. The NFL keeps suggesting their response to poor officiating is a “punishment”. Rescheduling referees work times so they get off earlier &/or receiving paid time off in any other industry is considered a reward. Why would the NFL respond to a public outcry about bad officiating with responses that do absolutely nothing to prevent it from happening? Could it be that the NFL League office & NFLPA are conspiring to manipulate the outcome of certain games?! Why would the NFL League office want to conspire to manipulate games? Well, there are huge variances in the amount of revenue generated by various markets for certain teams & rivalries. The League has a vested interest in the outcome of those various games & manipulating the outcomes can increase demand for games designated as higher revenue generating. These “adjustments” (a win here & a loss there as a result of “bad” officiating) can increase revenue millions upon millions of dollars for each instance. Also, there is tremendous money in sports betting, both nationally & internationally, with betting lines that dictate winners & losers. If those with the power bet on games using referees to direct the score one direction or the other of the betting line that they sided with on that given game…well, the resulting revenue would mirror that of ‘Biff’s’ from ‘Back to the Future’ (ASTRONOMICAL).

    Believe what you want, but if there is anything history has taught us, it’s that those with the power, means & opportunity will far to frequently take advantage. I personally see this as happening now, within all Major Sports venues (NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, exc…).

    Making a profit is a justified goal & should not be frowned upon by society. However, making any profit should be accomplished only with a full disclosure to consumers of exactly what it is they are buying. If Sports are sold to the consumer as “Fair Play”, then manipulating the outcome of games would be misleading the consumer, false advertising. Would revenues remain constant if everyone knew the game’s outcome was being manipulated to be predetermined? I seriously doubt it.

    In short, I have 2 ideas that would help (not prevent) this issue:

    1) Congress needs to enact laws preventing Sports ownerships from receiving “anything of value” from any act or activity that is not fully disclosed to the consumers.
    2) Referees need to be either State or Federally licensed to participate in any games that requires a purchase for viewership. Retaining licensing would require that the licensed Referees maintain a reasonable expectation of accuracy.

  68. fredegrar says:
    Dec 1, 2015 11:19 AM

    Patriots fans sure seem bothered by the officiating in their game last Sunday. I have some sympathy, but those weren’t “phantom” calls. Borderline/questionable, sure, but there wasn’t a complete absence of “penalizable” behavior from the players that got called. Did Gronk stick his hands in the chest of a defender to make his cut? Looked like it to me. Was a big deal? probably not, but I understand what the ref saw. Same on the defensive holding call… the dude’s hand was clearly on/under the receiver’s shoulder pads with possibly a slight tug back, if only briefly. Again, probably a little too quick on the flag throwing, but calling it a phantom call isn’t right either. Maybe blaming the refs helps the fans feel better, but the truth is if Brady was as terrific and Belichick as ingenious as Pats fans make them out to be, the score should’ve been 42-7 and the calls wouldn’t have mattered.

    As for this article, I’m confused. It doesn’t explicitly state what officiating screw up Morelli’s crew is being upbraided for. Okay, found it (from other sources)… the Cardinals/49ers game. (darn bloggers making me google stuff when they could’ve just said).
    ———————-
    Did Gronk stick his hands in the chest of a defender to make his cut? No. He didn’t. His hands don’t touch him. They called him because bent arm “pushes off”. The thing you are missing here is the refs go to every team every year to go over the rule changes and what might have changed. They told teams what Gronk did would NOT be OPI. OPI would be the extension of his actual arm to create separation.

    On the “defensive hold”, first, the receiver creates the contact. The defender is allowed his position. Then, the receiver who is running a skinny post uses the defender to change his direction. He actually does more under the OPI rules than Gronk did. They both have hands on based on contact made by the receiver. that is not a hold.

  69. Those calls were absolutely positively wrong because they completely ignored who initiated contact. In both cases it was the non-penalized player.
    =============================

    I’ll take your word for it (I’m far too lazy to search up the replays), but that makes them bad calls, not “phantom” calls. That’s all I’m saying – the refs saw *something* and threw their flags. I’m not saying they were correct calls by any means. Every football game is littered with missed calls. It’s not as if the Pats are angels who’ve never been on the other side of the equation.

  70. This clown cost us a win against Arizona. His other lame friends gave a win to Raiders due to phantom hole. I have cancelled my tixs until these morons stop throwing bogus flags. Let them play Roger. You are ruining this game!

  71. imodan says:
    Dec 1, 2015 11:37 AM

    Are you insane? The league ‘wont allow NE to dominate’? How quickly u forget last week the refs HANDED u the game when they allowed the clock to run out against the bills and wouldnt allow us another play. The NFL has come forward and announced they screwed up and the Bills should have gotten another play. They gave you a victory and took away the chance Buffalo had. Please stop crying like a 10 yr old girl when questionable calls dont go ur way but are ok when the league admits they completely screwed the bills and handed the Pats a win. This weeks calls are questionable- last week there was no question and the league admitted they gave the game to the Pats.

  72. And btw, yes, Brady is that good and Belichick is that ingenious….deal with it.
    =====================================

    I’m dealing with it fine. Brady really is a great QB and I can’t even argue when people say he’s the GOAT. But only 24 points on the board? And their D let a backup quarterback come back from 14 down? You guys will be over the calls when your team gets back on track next week. They’ll probably run the table and get the 1 seed anyway. Not having to worry about a perfect season will make for less pressure when they get to the SB. Broncos (or refs if it helps sooth the pain of loosing) probably did them a favor.

  73. rynehawk says:
    Dec 1, 2015 9:53 AM

    So the solution is not to fix the problem, it’s to move it somewhere so that less people notice it. Got it.
    —————————-
    Exactly!

  74. I think it makes perfect sense why a shady crew was reassigned to a game in which New York could get an advantage… in way of a Washington loss in part due to bad officiating.

  75. yooperman says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:23 AM

    Sunday when I got home, I turned on the TV to watch some football. The very first play I saw was Sherman pushing the receiver, who then fell, and he made a easy interception. Then Wilson gets pushed “in bounds” and gets a roughing call. That is when I turned off the TV. I didn’t even watch Sunday night, which sounded like a good game. If the NFL can’t pay full time refs, I don’t need to watch any games that don’t involve the team I like.
    I don’t know if the refs were just plain bad that game or they wanted to get invited to Seattle’s summer picnic.
    —————————————–
    Thank you! I could have written the same exact first paragraph.

  76. This year has certainly taken the cake with the bad officiating. The Pats-Bronc game had some particularly questionable calls. I’m sure this crew won’t be “punished” since the Pats lost the game,right Roger? Admittedly,the Pats didn’t do what they needed to win,but the officials were horrible.

  77. How quickly u forget last week the refs HANDED u the game when they allowed the clock to run out against the bills and wouldnt allow us another play

    Dude u are off ur meds. Tyrod taylor couldnt throw for 15 yards at the end of the game….a hail mary with 2 seconds left is a sure thing to you?

  78. The officiating sucks, no question. It’s happened to EVERY team. Patriots fans you have the worst memories of all time if you think the league is ‘against’ you. How easy is it to NOT call the tuck rule (the dumbest rule ever implemented), but the league called it for you and it led to your 1st SB. How about JUST LAST WEEK when the game ended on a BS call against the Bills to hand the Pats the win. The league admitted it wasnt a ‘questionable’ call but flat out the WRONG call, that favored the Patriots. Please stop crying one game didnt go your way.

  79. Love all of these idiot Bills fans saying that the refs handed the Pats the game by letting the clock run out instead of allowing Buffalo a last ditch hail mary that probably has a 1% chance of success….but I’ll cut you some slack given you’ve had your rears handed to you by the Pats for over a decade now.

  80. pats74 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 12:50 PM

    Not just that play, other plays as well (like allowing a catch after the whistle was blown and a 15 yd penalty on rex when- NO flag was thrown and after the play they just decided to give the pats 15 yds). But regardless- the game ended on a BS call the league admitted was wrong and it benefited the Pats. It was not questionable (like the calls every pats fan is crying about from this week), the refs made a huge mistake that favored the Pats. Last week is over- but please stop crying that the league is against you when JUST last week a game ending flag happened in your favor, and it wasnt questionable in any way shape or form- it was just the wrong call.

  81. And btw, yes, Brady is that good and Belichick is that ingenious….deal with it.
    =====================================

    I’m dealing with it fine. Brady really is a great QB and I can’t even argue when people say he’s the GOAT. But only 24 points on the board? And their D let a backup quarterback come back from 14 down? You guys will be over the calls when your team gets back on track next week. They’ll probably run the table and get the 1 seed anyway. Not having to worry about a perfect season will make for less pressure when they get to the SB. Broncos (or refs if it helps sooth the pain of loosing) probably did them a favor.
    ——————————————————————
    24 points with basically me and you to throw to, no running game and a depleted offensive line against the #1 ranked defense at home, Mile High Stadium no less, in the snow. I realize that Denver had some injuries as well, but man that’s a hell of a performance…especially how he led them back to a field goal with one minute left.

  82. The Patriot fans are the biggest whiners. Get over yourselves. Of course their leader is Tom “I’m a victim of persecution” Brady tops them all. They should give a special time out at every Patriot game so that each player and fan of New England can wring their hands at the sky and say why me. Sorry, but the Patriots were putting their hands to the face of Miller all night long and called only once. And if you didn’t know it Gronk has a history of pushing off and that’s exactly what he did and their DB turned the Broncos’ receiver from his route with their hand hold beyond 5 yards. Hey when the Broncos played the Colts, the Broncos got all the penalties and the Colts got zero. You can’t take the mentality that every penalty on the opposing team is ok, but your team unless totally blatant is unwarranted. That’s just fanatical. Now have at it Patriot fans.

  83. pats74 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 12:55 PM

    Belicheck is ingenious- he can take a 2nd or 3rd string hack and win 11 games. Brady is the better than average qb who was blessed with that offense. Always at the top of the YAC yards list. Tom throws like he’s 28 still- b/c he never throws the ball more than 7 yds and only takes three step drops so he is rarely ever sacked- thats his secret. Tom lives off a HS football teams playbook- quick slants and screen passes to avoid interceptions. Its Belichecks blocking schemes that make that team- 100%. Brady on any other team would be an 8 or 9 win qb. If they didnt call tuck rule, they lose 1st playoff game that yr then next yr Bledsoe is back to starting and Brady is back up.

  84. This week was one of the worst for officiating in recent memory. The Bills, Cardinals, Steelers, and Bucs games were all horrendously officiated. The Bucs game in particular had at least 5 questionable calls, including a phantom defensive holding call on a CRUCIAL Colts fumble deep in their zone. Bucs would have had the ball inside the 10 yard line down only a TD. This must be addressed by the league, because I am sick of refs having such a big influence on the outcomes of games.

  85. I think we are all smart enough to realize that regardless of which team(s) we root for, this is bad for all of us.

    Because, if left unchecked, it’s only a matter of time before everyone on this thread will feel putrid results of the decrepit and misguided hands of errant officiating. Assuming, of course, we aren’t there already.

  86. Bad officiating is one thing. Biased officiating is another. People can tolerate some bad officiating here and there. Mistakes will be made. But when “star” players like Aaron Rodgers talks the officials into a penalty well after the play was over, that’s called bias. No other player gets a booth review like he did in the KC game. This is the kind of officiating that needs to quit.

  87. Speaking of bad memories, people forget the tuck rule was used against the Pats that same season, when they played the Jets. It was also 14 years ago and two years ahead of schedule for when Belichick had architected the team for perennial contention.

    In retrospect, SB36 was the bonus Super Bowl for the Pats. They definitely had a lucky streak (almost everyone does), and that includes the tuck rule (which was called correctly, lest we forget). Many of the regular season games that year were heart attacks and depended on bad teams missing field goals. Brady was very little more than a game manager in 2001, but Belichick liked him more than Bledsoe because he wouldn’t audible to a 40 yard go route on every 2nd down and alternating 1st downs.

    (He saved the short dump offs and draws for 3rd and long.)

  88. I believe that the officiating is almost universally bad by reading the comments from fans of other teams. The whole country saw the mess ups in the Pats-Bills and Pats-Broncos games because they were in prime time.

    And clearly the NFL is listening as evidenced by their switch of the weakest crew TO the Patriots next game. That’ll show ’em. The NFL obviously thinks the problem is complaining not horrible refereeing.

  89. The National Fake football League is not interested in “fixing” the problem because the current situation is keep Las Vegas happy. Also, viewership is still high and the sponsors are paying big $$$. Stop watching and the problem will fix itself.

  90. Because the Steelers are the number one whiners when it comes to the refs, it makes sense that they pulled the crew. However, the Steelers are going nowhere. Any team that keeps allowing 80 yd TDs has no right being in the post season as Tebow proved the last time the Steelers actually had a chance of winning a playoff game.

  91. They delayed the game for 6 minutes to figure out what down it was after the 9ers were called for too many men on the field and got it wrong costing the Cards a down, it was supposed to be 2nd down and the crew called it 3rd down. I was hearing it play out on the radio and the broadcast crew was dumbfounded at what they were seeing.

  92. bchap17 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 10:08 AM

    Get over yourselves. Your team lost! Perhaps you’ve forgotten about the Tuck Rule.
    *******************************
    Obviously you never understood it to begin with. Patriots were on the other side of a Tuck Rule call early that season against what would have been a Vinnie Testaverde fumble against the Jets. The play was called correctly.

  93. “…..I know that officiating is terrible throughout the league.. HOWEVER, once and only once have I ever seen an official blatently cheat.. and IT WAS PETE MORELLI…..”
    ===============================
    You are too young to remember the “Ben Drieth” playoff game between the Raiders and Pats. Though he was in the NFL for about a decade after that game, he never reffed a Pats’ game again.

  94. You think it’s a coincidence that they were moved to the Pats game??? If the Pats make it to the Super Bowl, the refs will cost them the win. Of course Roger will make sure it happens in a playoff game just to make sure.

  95. “….their DB turned the Broncos’ receiver from his route with their hand hold beyond 5 yards…”
    =================================
    What was bad about the call was the fact that on the Pats’ first play in O.T. you could clearly see Talib holding the Pats’ WR as he was cutting across the middle of the field. If they’re gonna make tacky calls, call it the same for both teams.

  96. To the Bills fan who was said Rexy did nothing wrong by standing on the white border during the Pats game -INCORRECT , the only personal allowed to stand there is the referees. Why Rexy wasn’t fined is beyond me. Imagine if it was Bill B. Standing where he shouldn’t instead of Rexy, it would have led the evening news!!

  97. I’ve been saying it since the reffing hatchet-job in the 2009 NFCCG: how does Morelli still have a job???

  98. letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 12:16 PM

    imodan says:
    Dec 1, 2015 11:37 AM

    Are you insane? The league ‘wont allow NE to dominate’? How quickly u forget last week the refs HANDED u the game when they allowed the clock to run out against the bills and wouldnt allow us another play. The NFL has come forward and announced they screwed up and the Bills should have gotten another play. They gave you a victory and took away the chance Buffalo had. Please stop crying like a 10 yr old girl when questionable calls dont go ur way but are ok when the league admits they completely screwed the bills and handed the Pats a win. This weeks calls are questionable- last week there was no question and the league admitted they gave the game to the Pats.
    —————————

    Admitting the clock wasn’t managed right and admitting they “gave the game to the Pats” are two very different things.

    Could the Bills have scored with that two seconds? Sure. But I don’t think most would give it great odds. Even with that, it really isn’t giving the game to the Pats. Now, if the Bills had scored but the refs said they were offside on the last play, ran off ten seconds and ended the game and it is later shown that the Bills weren’t offside, then sure. Otherwise, they took away a slim chance and made it none.

  99. letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 1:00 PM

    Brady on any other team would be an 8 or 9 win qb.
    —————————–
    So you’re saying Brady could make the Bills a winning team?

    Hey, the man is GOAT, but I don’t think anyone could make the Bills a winner.

  100. armoderate says:
    Dec 1, 2015 12:57 PM

    And if you didn’t know it Gronk has a history of pushing off and that’s exactly what he did and their DB turned the Broncos’ receiver from his route with their hand hold beyond 5 yards.
    ————————-

    Clearly, you don’t now football.

    The refs and the NFL go out every year to talk to the teams about rules changes and how penalties will be called – what they will be looking for, etc. The way Gronk “pushed off” using his arm bent at the albow like a flapping wing is exactly one of the ways teams were told would NOT be a penalty. Of Gronk’s 5 OPI calls this season, only 1 has not been of this variety. The Pats aren’t sure what to do as they have clarified how the play will be called and have been told by the league that the flapping wing isn’t supposed to be called. It isn’t even a push off. So, genius, what exactly is Gronk supposed to do? He is entitled to the route he is running just as the defender is entitled to his spot. The only other way he can run the route is if football becomes a non-contact sport.

    Regarding the “defensive holding”, again, you clearly don’t know football. The DB doesn’t initiate contact, the receiver did. The receiver is running a skinny post which means he is going to break toward the post. You say the defender “turned him” but that is the receiver making his break. He uses the defender as his break point. You might also notice he extends his arms against the defender, which is, you might have guessed, an element of OPI. So, the receiver creates contact, uses the defender as his pivot and extends his arms to create separation. There isn’t holding there.

  101. Soon, the teams playing won’t matter…it will be whose the refereeing group playing that day.
    Obviously, several refs are getting a tad long in the tooth…they need to retire. Second, I appreciate that throughout the season, the zebras have huddled in an attempt to get the right call. The teams ought to be able to use their challenges on penalties, as they do in the CFL. Way less BS. The refs decided the Pat-Broncs game….if Belliman could have challenged even one BS call…

  102. Makes no sense at all. If they can’t officiate one game properly, they can’t officiate any game properly. They should give the Pats their win back.

  103. Moronelli, Hockuli, Tripplette, Jerome Booger… the list of candidates for the 2015 Jim Tunney incompetence in NFL officiating award is growing – such competition – and these candidates could easily sink to a new level of ineptitude by the time the votes are cast after the Super Bowl.

    I just can’t wait to see which of these morons wins!

    And with the level of officiating reaching Tidy Bowl levels, we could have a new name or two added!

  104. mistakes? is that NFL jargon?

    every single AZ and Panter game is FOUL

    and AZ has the nerve to whine they got robbed by the officials in the last SF game?

    SERIOUSLY?

    WOW!!

    AZ defender INTENTIONALLY pushed an SF receiver down RIGHT IN FRONT OF AN OFFICIAL making sure the SF receiver didnt catcht heball

    CLEAR BLATANT PI and NOTHING

    then the goal line stand?

    WOW, 4 times on 3rd down they created phony calls!!!!

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