Mike Pereira rips Jeff Triplette and crew for “horrible” performance

Getty Images

The Titans and Chiefs played a great game to kick off this year’s playoffs, but former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira did not like what he saw from the third team on the field.

Pereira blasted referee Jeff Triplette and his crew for a poorly called game, writing on Twitter afterward that they didn’t handle the game like a playoff crew should.

“Horrible way to start the playoffs. I hate to say it but this was not a good performance by the crew. Teams and fans deserve better,” Pereira wrote.

Among the issues:

— Triplette blew the play dead immediately when Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson hit Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, ruing forward progress had stopped and the play was over. Replays appeared to show that Mariota had fumbled.

— On Mariota’s touchdown pass to himself, Triplette wrongly announced that Mariota was an eligible receiver because he was in the shotgun formation. In reality, the ball had been touched by a defensive player, which means every player on the field was an eligible receiver.

— After one penalty, there was a long delay while the officials conferred repeatedly, trying to figure out the right place to spot the ball.

— On a Titans first down, the ball was spotted about three yards short of where it should have been, forcing the Titans to challenge.

— Triplette announced that one Titans penalty was on No. 11. The Titans didn’t have a No. 11 on the field because the player with that number is Alex Tanney, a backup quarterback who is on injured reserve and wasn’t suited up for the game.

— In the final minutes, Derrick Henry tackled, was clearly down and one official blew a whistle. But after Henry went down the ball was stripped from Henry and Johnson picked it up and ran to the end zone, and the other officials allowed the play to keep going even though one had blown it dead. Replay eventually got it right, but once one official had blown it dead, it should have been over there.

Triplette has long had a reputation as the NFL’s worst referee. That was on display to a playoff audience on Saturday.

102 responses to “Mike Pereira rips Jeff Triplette and crew for “horrible” performance

  1. Anyone who watched the game doesn’t need Pereira’s analysis. It was beyond bad.

  2. It truly an insult to the fans of the NFL to trot out Ref’s like Triplette in a playoff game. Playoff officials are “rewarded” playoff games because they did a great job during the season.

    What are we supposed to think?

  3. .
    The Rams game wasn’t much better. The 4th down pass to Watkins was both holding and pass interference on the same play. It deprived the Rams of even a shot at winning.

  4. If Triplette has such a bad reputation, why is he working the playoffs? Hopefully he won’t be working any more playoff games.

  5. The game was poorly officiated, but that was no excuse for KC to blow it. Calls were blown both ways.

    And no one can stand Pereira anymore. Beyond obnoxious.

  6. The spotting of the ball about three yards short of where it should have been was one of the more bizarre things I have seen this season.
    That being said, Titans waxed the Chiefs in the second half for a well deserved victory!

  7. I couldn’t believe when I saw that Triplette was officiating. How did he get a playoff game?

  8. Triplette has stunk for years. My question is this: How does he get a PLAYOFF game?

  9. You can’t really say that one play costs a team the win or lose but….. Calling the play dead on the Johnson sack and what was a clear recovery by the chiefs cost them 3 pts. In a game where they lost by 1 that hurts a little knowing you made the play and got hosed

  10. The NFL’s policy is to reward the “highest rated officials” to call these games, rather than the best teams of officials.
    In effect, this was a “all star” team. This raises two questions:
    1) Are these guys the NFL’s “best”? Yikes!
    2) Officiating is a cooperative activity. Is it better to have a group of officials who don’t work together throughout the year, or would it be better to rete them as teams, and keep these teams together during the pressure situation the playoffs? I want to how many of the difficulties in yesterday‘s game ( and in other post-season games) Might be attributable to a lack of cohesion that might come from just throwing these teams together.

  11. All of this doesn’t change the fact that the Chiefs and Andy Reid spit the bit again. Reid will never win a championship, for what ever the reason. If you’re up by a score of 21 to 3 at home against this Titans team, you can’t lose this game. But the Chiefs did just that and have no one to blame but themselves.
    Yes, the officials had a bad game, but the Chiefs had a worse one.

  12. Triplett has been an abomination for years. Lots of botched call history. How is he still working?

  13. Fortunately they were equally bad on both sides and didn’t decide the game. Throw the un-reviewed Kelce fumble in there too.

  14. Yesterday I turned the game on to watch. When I saw Triplette officiating, I knew he would blow the game with bad calls. My team didn’t make the playoffs so I quit watching.
    Has this man ever ref a game where he didn’t make bad calls?

  15. The NFL must not think Triplett is a bad referee. The NFL thinks he is.one of the top 4 in the league or he wouldn’t be officiating a playoff game. Then again, he might be top 4 and the rest are even worse.

  16. “Triplette has long had a reputation as the NFL’s worst referee.”

    Man, this goes back a long…long…long time. Yet, he’s still working for the NFL?

  17. You forgot to add the quick whistle on Tennessee’s two-point conversion attempt when Mariota fumbled as he attempted to escape the pass rusher.

  18. How did Triplette and his crew get selected by the NFL to work a playoff game? I thought it was based on merit. If that’s true does that mean that the NFL thinks that Triplette and his crew are among the top four in the league?

  19. While I realize these refs are getting paid, everything they do is under a microscope.
    Triplets might be the worst of the bunch, but it’s a job that nobody is going to be happy with. No matter what they do.

  20. This just another game in the long season in which the officiating was very, very poor. After studying the officiating throughout the year over many games, one can easily determine that many (> 25%) are decided by either actually calls on the field, of a lack of calls on obvious infractions. Some say “it’s just part of the game” – they are correct, but it certainly appears as if officiating has become worse and worse over the last decade or more.

  21. Tripplet’s body language alone is grating, and then his constant mistakes….how does he get these big games…..seniority?

  22. Short of the Derrick Johnson hit these all seem like ticy tac complaints.

    Mariota was still eligible and more importantly behind the line of scrimmage, there was a penalty on a titan just not 11 (which, getting the wrong number happens EVERY game), the spot needed replay (again EVERY game), and Henry was down by contract.

    Looks like none of these things would have changed and who knows if the fumble would have either.

    I think I wouldn’t be so upset with the officiating and maybe focus on the coaching

  23. Rules & Refs need a complete re-evaluation offseason. Let’s hope it doesn’t cause anymore issues in the playoffs, not good for the game.

  24. Clearly the hapless Triplette must know where some of the NFL’s “bodies” are buried and he leverages that weekly (even postseason!) to get plumb officiating assignments. Can’t think of any reason I see him all the time.

    He’s like Columbo, bumbling and head-scratching his way from play to play. Only thing missing with Trips is a raincoat.

    Has no business being on the field. Even for a Browns game.

  25. The NFL has a real problem with the apparent lack of accountability among refs. I agree with Mularkey, they should have to answer Q’s after fames. The NFL akso neesx to get rid of some of these consistently terrible crews.

    BTW- the forward orogress calls could be one of the most bizzare botch jobs I’ve ever seen. On what planet does a QB getting sacked have anything to do with forward progress. That call is made when a player is stood uo and then pushed backward. Not simply when a guy gets blasted and goes down.
    Another terrible miss was Kelce fumbling the ball when he got concussed. The ball came out and the Titans clearly recovered but it wasn’t reviewed by the booth.

  26. Pretty easy fix…hire full time refs, pay them well, and fine them when they screw up. The NFL makes more than enough each season to pull this off. Do it.

  27. It was an all-star crew, M. Pereira. And they are supposed to work seamlessly? They did not adversely affect the outcome of the game – unlike other crews have. Try blowing a whistle at Arrowhead amidst a desperate scrum at game’s end and see how many hear it. It wouldn’t get the time of day in October.

    Too much huffing and puffing from someone who has the armchair luxury he has. I have heard him before and he’s wrong about 20% of the time. Mr. Perfect.

  28. I don’t understand how Triplette or Pete Moralli or however you spell their names are even aloud to officiate any games in the NFL. They are terrible and their is no repercussions really for poor officiating. they can’t give us that poor excuse that they are graded on every call crap and if they do bad they miss out on officiating big games in the playoffs because we all end up seeing them

  29. Of all these listed, only the first one makes a difference in the game.

    Some are really nitpicky. They called the wrong player number? Oh my, the world is ending. They took too long to spot the ball? Better to get it right and take the extra time.

    And the way the crowd erupted when the Chiefs thought they had a fumble, I bet no one on the field could have heard the whistle anyway.

  30. As long as the league allows the people acknowledged as the worst refs to keep reffing, especially in playoff games, any claims it makes about “grading” performance and rewarding the “best”, will be seen as completely hollow. But maybe that’s what we deserve for having elected someone who epitomizes that concept.

  31. With Triplette’s ruling, no QB can ever fumble again in the pocket since their forward progress is stopped the very micro second they are not moving forward. Horrible officiating combined with poor 2nd half coaching cost the Chiefs.

  32. These days I pretty much take events like this for granted. I see them so much I just expect them. I figure its on the teams to not be in a position where the refs can screw them out of a game and if the team does get in that position they just need to accept that risk is there to live with and play accordingly.

    Btw, when a team gets themselves blown out in a game or in a second half that is never the fault of the refs. (IE Chiefs, Falcons, a few others…)

  33. Not much to add but feel compelled too for those folks who lost money on the game and feel awful about it … sorry, that’s the NFL!

  34. After all that, the only one that impacted the game was the first. The issue there was the whistle. Nothing mattered after that. That comes down to the league’s actions to prevent the QBs from getting their skirts dirty.

  35. Triplette has been awful for years. Saved himself by becoming the head of the Ref. Association. Fans and teams have complained for years about his games getting out of control, usually at the kickoff.

    But to fully understand why the NFL thinks we are all stupid … the League hired this bum as a permanent referee this past summer.

  36. Why is this a surprise? Triplette is always rated one of the worst refs year in and year out. The fact that this is well known annually, it’s crazy that somehow he ended up leading a playoff game crew.

    I’m pretty sure that the refs grade out at whatever levels and they then get the appropriate postseason games – and that tells us everything we need to know.

  37. So, Pereira, would you rather have NFL crews without replay or frame by frame replay according to the rule book that Riveron is doing? You seem to want to attack both now that you’re not on the NFL payroll.

    What Pereira wants everyone to think is that he’s really smart, a genius, and only he can fix it. Where have we heard that before.

  38. People are missing even a larger problem here. The NFL has around 130 officials they use every Sunday. They always work in crews until the playoffs. . In order to get a playoff game as an official you have to be one of the highest graded out at your position. These gentlemen are on paper at least some of the best the league had to offer. Either the person evaluating these guys needs to go, the grading system needs to be changed or more likely, we need a deeper talent pool.

  39. How did tripplett get to ref a playoff game? I thought the NFL had standards for playoff games. This is the guy that blinded Orlando Brown with his flag, and he’s just a lousy ref.

  40. Sounds as if Pereira has personal issues with Triplette! Watched the game, none of the calls were bad calls, Mariotta was in the grasp, Henery was clearly down! Nit picking criticism by Pereira! Not a fan of either team!

  41. Triplette’s crew is regularly amongst the worse in the NFL. Why the league would assign them a playoff game is beyond me…. Oh wait, Goodall is commish. Now I get it.

  42. Based not only on this performance, but his entire career, perhaps we’ve finally seen the last game ever officiated by Jeff Triplette.

  43. I just dont understand it, Not trying to be rude but it was a terrible game for the zebras. Also Jeff just looks terribly out of shape, even his jog looks like it strains him. The NFL needs to have better.

  44. Not the reason the Chiefs lost but definitely contributed. Missed holds on both teams all afternoon, beyond botched calls, terrible spots…

  45. I couldn’t believe Jeffie Sue Triplette and Ed Hockuli were doing playoff games – these two are routinely horrible – on this day Triplette was worse than usual and Hockuli was merely average (but an upgrade from his usual foolishness).

  46. For the actions in the game between the Dolphins and Bills, Triplette and crew should be fined along with the players for letting the game get out of control. I haven’t seen it addressed but I think Triplette was high that game. He was constantly laughing and smiling. I believe there was a play that extended past the whistle in that game too. Possibly the Landry fumble that was overturned on review. Triplette should not be officiating peewee soccer let alone NFL games. He is consistently bad and impacts the game. The outcome of a game should be decided by the play of the teams involved, not by the refs.

  47. Yeah, the forward progress stopped on the fumble was laughable. I have never seen a forward progress call like that. He got hit and ball came out. He wasn’t like he was trying to run and his “progress” had been stopped. He was stationary looking for a receiver to pass the ball and got rocked (backwards yes) and the ball came out immediately.

    One they forgot to mention as well was not replaying the play were Kelce got injured. Certainly looked like a fumble to me. At least review worthy.

    Also, what ever happened to the “emphasis” on defensive holding? Did they stop caring about it once they were able to get Manning his ring? Dieon Jones hold at the end of the Rams Falcons game was a freaking bear hug. Not that it would have changed the outcome.

    But in general, defensive holding is as bad now as I have ever seen and it is a toss of a coin whether they call it or not. Easily the most inconsistently called penalty in the game today.

  48. waynefontesismyfather says:
    January 7, 2018 at 5:50 am

    No dog in that fight but totally agree, botched game by the refs. Whenever I see Triplette on the field for a Detroit game my first reaction usually involves some foul language.

    I feel your pain. I suspect we all do. Holy Moly! This might be something we ALL agree on!

  49. If you want a horrible performance, watch Andy Reid make halftime/in game adjustments. Up three scores at home and Hunt carries the ball TWICE in the second half. Belichek would fire himself if that happened.

  50. The number 1 reason that I know Jeff Triplette is a bad ref is because I know Jeff Triplette’s name! The best refs are anonymous refs! They just do their jobs correctly and never get in the way of the game…in any sport!

  51. The NFL doesn’t care about officiating. They will yank a player off the field in heartbeat over an allegation but an official consistently making bad calls actually witnessed by millions every week, nah, thats not doing harm to the leagues rep.

  52. And what will the NFL do about this? Absolutely nothing. Probably will give them all a raise and have them call the SB this year.

  53. Kelce fumbled with less than two minutes in the first half and the officials didn’t even take time to look at it.

  54. This sounds personal on Pereira’s part.

    What was done yesterday was about the level of performance that we have come to expect . . . for better or worse.

    P.S. What were the refs supposed to do to stop the run back on the the fumble/non-fumble . . . the Titans were not able to stop it. In other words, the guys actually paid to tackle were not able to stop him, what were the refs going to do other than blow the whistle which the article states one of them did.

  55. moezilla says:
    January 7, 2018 at 8:19 am
    Pretty easy fix…hire full time refs, pay them well, and fine them when they screw up. The NFL makes more than enough each season to pull this off. Do it.
    Nope. It wont work.
    After they get paid even more, people like you will get even more upset at bad calls.
    There is no such thing as perfection. The closer you get, the harder it is to obtain.

  56. I know the pass to himself was not reviewable, but he was past the line of scrimmage when he threw it.

    The refs definitely helped the Titans on this one.

  57. I have lost respect for Periera.
    While I enjoy his insight when a play is under review, he goes too far in his criticism.

    He should be forced to ref a game and forced to watch comments about his performance.

    Must be nice to sit up in a booth and get paid to rip his former co-workers.

  58. If Pereira was in charge of the ref’s years ago, why didn’t he get rid of Triplett then? This has been going on since the 90’s with Triplett being a terrible ref.

  59. Well, actually, it seems exactly like most of the officiating I saw during regular season. And. let me add, I was completely surprised and on alert the minute I heard that Triplett was the head official!!!!! That official who often seems to have (favorites) has gotten a many a coach fired.

  60. I know the game is really fast and they will make mistakes, but I still don’t get how they make obvious mistakes after viewing replay. And on another note, there was a first down yesterday that was reviewed. The spot of the ball was TWO YARDS OFF. 3rd and 2 was supposed to be a first down. WT?

  61. They say they hire the best referee crews for the playoffs. If this is one of the best crews, what does that say about the NFL’s officiating?

  62. Finally, the nincompoops at the NFL finally did something. But an entire year of effort has been flushed down the toilet, due to their incompetence. A year that can never be replaced. But the NFL is a circus act, and issues like intercom system, sound, playing field conditions v player safety claims, and a bunch other long standing problems could resurface again at any time.

  63. The Mariota fumble/non-fumble call was WAY off mark but that aside, it wasn’t just Triplette. Playoff games shouldn’t be a ‘pro bowl’ game of officiating. These guys don’t work with each other throughout the year and then are individually put together for a playoff game. You have to mesh as a crew.

  64. NFL fines players for this type performance yet these official walk home scot free. NFL this was a playoff game not Cleveland losing another game.

  65. C’mon. He may be bad, but he can’t hold a candle to Jerome Freaking Borger. Now THAT guy is the worst.

  66. Hate to think how many games were corrupted by Triplett and his crews over the years. I know he’s screwed my Bengals more than a few times. Good riddance!

  67. what a peace. what ever happend to not talking about another mans job?? as far as im concerned triplet did a great job. think about it. your talking about him and his crew and not the other refs.

  68. proflonghair says:
    January 7, 2018 at 8:26 am
    With Triplette, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

    Ain’t that the truth!! Fanned x 1000!

  69. The fact that Triplette got this assignment says more about the league than it does about him. The NFL is making the IOC and pro wrestling look good by comparison.

  70. I’m not a KC fan & not excusing their chokejob but Triplette’s quick whistle cost me big-time twice — Mariota clearly fumbled when he got drilled/sacked late in the 2nd Qtr. KC wanted to challenge the play but he claimed that Mariota’s forward progress was stopped (an excuse that Triplette pulled out of his backside). Tennessee kicked a FG on the next play.

    And he should have let the play continue on the 2pt conversion too as Mariota was still trying to pass the ball. KC probably would have scored 2 on the fumble-return & reclaimed the lead.

  71. This is what happens when you have a guy like Al Riveron running the show, he figures Tripplett is an All Star but then again, Al thinks he knows the rules of the game. Thankfully Tripplett is done. I only wish the same could be said for Riveron.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.