Posts Tagged ‘NFL officials’

What We Learned After Week 9 In The NFL

November 9, 2009

09000d5d81406e36_gallery_600– The Giants will not be making the playoffs after losing at home against the Chargers. I’m already writing them off, especially with such a brutal schedule the rest of the way.

– The Cardinals continue to be one of the most unpredictable teams in the NFL. After losing 34-21 at home against Carolina, they go on the road and spank the Bears 41-21.

– The Buccaneers will not go winless this year. Way to go, Bucs!

– The Packers are officially in trouble of making the playoffs this year. Losing to the Bucs could be devastating. It at least shows the Packers are not serious contenders this year.

– The Saints defense has scored more points than the Browns offense so far this year. Just for this statistic alone the Browns are officially the worst team in the NFL this season.

– Seahawk fans may not feel like their team actually won yesterday. After being down 17-0 to the Lions in the 1st quarter the Seahawks managed to scrape out a win, but not after playing a pretty poor game against one of the bottom-dwellers in the NFL.

Matthew Stafford is playing like a rookie QB.

– The Chicago Bears will not be making the playoffs this year.

– The Titans have not been officially eliminated from playoff contention. Just sayin’.

Other Observations-

– The Bengals defense is playing better than their actual numbers are showing. They had arguably their most impressive game of the season against the Ravens this weekend, shutting down Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense for most of the game in a huge divisional showdown. The secondary is playing a lot better of late.

– I’ve touted the Ravens as contenders all year, but losing like they did against the Bengals has to be pretty concerning for Ravens fans everywhere. The offense isn’t progressing as the season goes on and the Ravens defense is clearly aging and the team is not adequately replacing the older players. Losing Rex Ryan has been huge. I’m not ready to completely write this team off, but it’s not looking good.

– The Texans played their hearts out against the Colts in Indianapolis. If not for a goal line fumble and/or a missed FG in the last seconds of the game, the Texans might’ve won, but that’s what separates the best from the rest. The Texans still haven’t taken that next step. I do have to question some of the overly safe playcalling by the Texans offense in this game. A lot of run plays on first and second down even though the Colts were missing half their starting secondary and the fact that the Texans are a passing team.

– The Colts beat the Texans to remain undefeated but consider this – Peyton Manning had 40 passing attempts in the first half (!!!) and threw for over 200 yards but the Colts were only up 13-3 at halftime. That is precisely why I’d be surprised if the Colts make it to the Super Bowl. For an 8-0 team the Colts haven’t exactly be overly impressive.

– The Miami Dolphins know how to play against the Patriots. Even though they lost 27-17, the game was a lot closer than the score indicates. The Pats defense seems to struggle against the Wild Cat formation and the Dolphins defense knows how to play against the Pats passing game. They just single covered Randy Moss and covered the short passing game, which is the Pats bread and butter. Almost worked Sunday, but not quite.

– It looks like the Cowboys defense may have finally turned a corner over the past few games. Constantly underperforming for most of last year and into this season, the Cowboys defense is finally playing up to it’s potential. Defensive line is getting good pressure on the QB and the secondary, which has long under achieved, is finally playing great.

– Bad coaching decision of the week – Trailing the Cowboys 20-13 with just under 5 minutes left in the game and with NO time outs left, Andy Reid elects for the team to attempt a 52 yard FG. The ball barely breaks the crossbar. Why is this a bad coaching decision? Well, for one it’s a 52 YARD FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT. There’s a decent chance your kicker won’t even make the field goal, which would give the Cowboys the ball near midfield. But even if he makes it (which he did) the Cowboys get the ball with just over 4 minutes left, your team has no time outs left and all the Cowboys have to do is pick up a couple first downs to run out the clock. Which is precisely what they did. But even if you force the Cowboys to punt you will have no time outs left AND you still need a TD with little time left! Andy Reid can put together a good team but his on field decision making and clock management is very questionable at times.

– Horrible officiating watch – There were a number of bad calls on Sunday. In the Texans-Colts game there was a horrible unnecessary roughness call on a Texan defensive back when he hit Dallas Clark around the shoulder pads as he was attempting to catch a ball. Why is that a penalty?? There was a strange defensive offsides call on the Texans defense that helped the Colts to keep a drive alive. I sure didn’t see it on the play. Of course CBS never showed a replay so we’ll never know for sure whether there was offsides or not on the play.

In the Lions-Seahawks game there was a pass interference call on a Lions DB, even though a.) the ball was uncatchable and b.) if anything there was offensive pass interference on the Seahawk WR on the play when he grabbed the Lions DB. The Seahawks would go on to score on that drive.

In the Dolphins-Pariots game the Dolphins had to challenge a play where Miami QB Chad Henne was hit as his arm was going forward and lost the ball but the refs called it a fumble and the Pats recovered it. It’s totally ridiculous that a team has to use a challenge on a play where it’s clear and obvious that the play is not a fumble. There was horrible pass interference call on a Pats DB, when Miami’s WR Ted Ginn basically ran into him. Last time I checked a DB is allowed his space on the field. Is there a rule that I’m not aware of where a DB has to get out of the way of a WR? Pretty sure that’s not in the rulebook.

In the Cowboys-Eagles game there was horrible unsportsmanslike conduct call on Eagles DB Assante Samuels, even though he helped up the player he was supposedly taunting! I still don’t understand how the Eagles didn’t get a first down on the QB sneak by Donovan McNabb in the fourth quarter. Just a horrible spot by the refs. The Eagles challenged the spot on the field but it was bizarrely upheld, even though it was clear that McNabb had gotten the first down.

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Bobby’s Thoughts on the Midway Point and Predictions for the Rest of the Season

November 7, 2009

– The New York Jets will not be making the playoffs this year, losing at home to the Dolphins last week is a huge blow, knocking the Jets down to 4-4 instead of 5-3. Their remaining schedule is tough enough to prevent them from getting in (they’ll basically have to go 7-1 or at the very least 6-2 just to get a Wildcard spot). Sorry, Rex Ryan, the Jets aren’t going to the Super Bowl this year. Although I do expect to see a Sports Center clip of Ryan saying something crazy in a post-game news conference later this year.

– The Denver Broncos will not have a second half collapse like the Jets had last year, although they may end up with a record not quite as impressive as their current 6-1 record.

– What happened to Brandon Jacobs? It seemed like the media have totally forgotten about him and maybe for good reason. He has just under 4 yards a carry, just 2 TD’s and seems to be getting less carries as the weeks go by and is on pace for just over 1,000 yards, which isn’t that impressive really.

– Speaking of the Giants, they are not making the playoffs unless the Cowboys and Eagles implode, which could happen.

– The Cardinals have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way, look for them to finish 9-7 or 10-6 which will be more than good enough to win the NFC West. Of course the Cardinals could easily end up 7-9 and miss the playoffs all together, this team is fairly unpredictable, but they do have an easier road than their closest competitor, the 49ers.

– If I were Jim Zorn I’d kick Dan Snyder in the nuts. Yeah, he’d get fired and possibly arrested, but wouldn’t it be worth it? The chances of Zorn being succesful in Washington with Snyder as owner is about the same as being successful as a  head coach in Oakland with Al Davis as owner. It just ain’t happening.

– If I were Philip Rivers I’d kick Norv Turner in the nuts. Yeah, he’s get fined and probably traded, but wouldn’t that be good for Rivers? Having Norv Turner as your head coach means you’re not going to get to the Super Bowl. Ever.

– Speaking of Rivers and the Chargers, I see San Diego fighting tough through the second half of the season, but it won’t be enough. With games against Philly, the Giants, Denver, Dallas and Cincy, I see the Chargers finishing 8-8 or 9-7 and just missing that last playoff spot (that spot is going to the Texans, who will make their first playoff appearance in franchise history).

– The Green Bay Packers are clearly at least a year away from being one of the better teams in the NFL as last week against the Vikings showed. They may make it into the playoffs but they’re not doing any damage if they get there this season. O-line needs to be improved, defense is still adjusting to a new 3-4 scheme, young players are still learning their roles, WR’s need to be more consistent. They may be really good next year, though. I will however have to change my Super Bowl prediction.

– What ever happened to Terrell Owens? Oh, that’s right, he went off to play for the Buffalo Bills which is like the NFL equivalant of being sent off to a Siberian prison. The less I have to hear of him, the better.

– Remember when former KC head coach Dick Vermeil said it was time for RB Larry Johnson to take the diapers off? It was true and funny then and it’s still funny now! And Johnson still needs to take those damn diapers off!! I think it might be too late actually.

– It’s almost like the defending SB champs the Steelers aren’t even playing this year, everyone is talking about the Saints, Colts, the Pats, the struggling Giants, the Ravens beating the Broncos. The Steelers are just quietly flying under the radar. The Monday night game in Denver could be bigger than a lot of people realize. If Denver wins, it could help them regain momentum and a possible #2 seed in the playoffs, but if Pittsburgh wins they in fact could end up with the #2 seed considering the relatively easy schedule they have the rest of the way. Huge game.

– If I were the Browns I’d consider firing Eric Mangini at the end of the season. I don’t see anything that he does that helps this team.

– The officiating in this league has continued to be a joke this year. I’ve given up posting weekly officiating posts. Just not worth it.

– You can just tell the media wants to jump back on the Cowboys bandwagon, but they’re a little scared. I’d be scared too with Tony Romo at QB and Wade Philips as head coach.

Biggest Surprises of the Year (In a Good Way)

1. Denver Broncos (6-1) – This one is a no-brainer. New, inexperienced head coach, new QB, new coaching staff. No one picked them to start the season like this. So far, so good.

2. Indianapolis Colts (7-0) – No doubt some picked the Colts to do well, but sitting right now at 7-0 with a new head coach, no running game, questionable defense and injuries is pretty impressive and pretty surprising. I guess Peyton Manning is the MVP of the league.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) – I thought the Bengals would be tough this year, but most certaintly didn’t see them starting off 5-2. With a bend but don’t break defense and a new ball-control offense the Bengals are finding ways to win games this year. Marvin Lewis is having one of his best years as a head coach so far.

Biggest Surprises of the Year (In a Bad Way)

1. Tennessee Titans (1-6) – Another no-brainer, who would’ve thought the Titans would be 1-6 right now? No one. Losing Albert Haynesworth might’ve been a bigger blow to the team than previously thought.

2. Carolina Panthers (3-4) – Considering how good Carolina looked last year it’s pretty surprising to see them play this bad for most of the season this year. Maybe it’s time to find a new coach.

3. New York Giants (5-3) – The Giants have a winning record but considering how badly the team has played in the past month it’s a little surprising.

Super Bowl Prediction

Steelers/Saints

Horrible Officiating Watch, Week 4

October 6, 2009

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Baltimore vs. New England Ron Winters and his officiating crew is by far the worst crew in the NFL. Just God awful, the NFL should be more than a little embarrassed by their performance in this game and just about every game they do. Horrible roughing the QB call on defensive end Haloti Ngata of the Ravens on a huge 3rd down incompletion early in the Ravens-Pats game, in which the Pats would go on to score a TD to take the lead. Tom Brady is out of the pocket and Ngata puts his hand up to block the pass and is called for barely touching Brady’s helmet. What is Ngata supposed to do in that situation? Change the way he plays and not put his hand up in fear that he’ll make incidental contact with a QB’s helmet thus giving the opposing offense more of an advantage? Ridiculous.

There’s another horrible roughing the QB call on LB Terrell Suggs when he barely makes any contact with Brady. I guess the NFL passed a memo to officials stating “Anyone that touches Brady will get flagged.” On this play, Brady actually waved to the official for a flag AND GOT IT. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WAY TO GO, WINTERS!

Phil Simms, who covered the Ravens-Pats game, is a compete moron when it comes to these horrible calls, stating “you can’t protect the players enough”, uh, it’s FOOTBALL, where guys are hitting each other at full speed and they do wear pads!! He says the “players will adapt to the new rules” and ruin the game in the process?? So far they haven’t “adapted” since some of these rules run totally opposite to what football is and what these guys have been taught throughout their careers as defensemen.

Another horrible call in the game was an offensive P.I. call on Ravens WR Derrick Mason on 1st down completion that is called back. There’s was no push off, just brief incidental contact as Mason ran an in and out route.

Also, it’s apparent that the Pats are allowed to run pick plays and never get called for it like some other teams.

I’m not one to put too much into “Spygate” I give the Pats full credit for their SB wins but this game was totally one-sided in terms of officiating, and it’s not the first time this year the officials favored the Pats in a game. The NFL should be embarrassed by this. It’s good to see Ravens head coach John Harbaugh mentioning it in his post-game press conference and some in the media pick up on it. Hopefully Winters and his crew are suspended. Doubtful, though since the NFL hasn’t done anything to improve officiating over the last few years.

In other games –

Seattle vs. Indianapolis – A lot of dubious illegal contact and holding calls on the Seahawks in the 1st half of the Seahawks-Colts game. Of course CBS never showed any replays of the penalties in question so we’ll just have to assume the officials did a great and fair job in some early crucial downs in the game(yeah, right).

New York Jets vs. New Orleans – Horrible helmet to helmet call on FS Darren Sharper in the Jets-Saints game where he lead with his shoulder. Just ridiculous.

Dallas vs. Denver – Horrible PI on Denver CB Andre Goodman(?) on a big third down incompletion in the 4th quarter giving the Cowboys a 1st down. If that’s pass interference then I guess any sort of contact at all between WR and CB is not allowed anymore in the NFL. If anything it was offensive pass interference with a push off from the Cowboys WR. Horrible job, officials.

The next play the Cowboys get a phantom holding call after a big run. I guess this is the NFL’s way of making up for the previous bad call? How about not calling the initial BS pass interference call on the previous play instead?

Bad Officiating Watch, Week 2

September 25, 2009

officials.signalsCincinnati vs. Green Bay – In the first half of the game, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers scrambles out of the pocket towards the right sideline looking for a receiver downfield, Cincy’s  OLB,  Brandon Johnson closes in and ends up hitting Rodgers less than a split second after Rodgers gets rid of the ball. Roughing the passer. Un-frickin-believable. What does the NFL want Johnson to do in that situation? Simply let Rodgers throw the ball without being hurried? I honestly think that’s what they want, to open up offenses even more and make opposing defenses as soft as butter.

New York Giants vs. Dallas – On the Giants eventual game-winning drive late in the 4th quarter, the refs and NFL try their hardest to give the Cowboys a win in their first game ever in Cowboys Stadium. On the first play of the drive from their own 25, the Giants complete a 17 yard completion, BUT the refs call a holding call on Guard Rich Seubert, even though no holding took place, they also call tripping on WR Derek Hagan on the SAME PLAY. Replays showed that too was indeed a bogus call. I guess after that the refs said “Cowboys, it’s up to you now, we’ve done all we can to help you get an opening game win in your new stadium”. Final score Giants 33, Cowboys 31.

Pittsburgh vs. Chicago – I really wish there was a way fans could contact the NFL front office because this is getting out of control. Here we have some video of SS Tyrone Carter of the Steelers putting a vicious hit (which I guess isn’t allowed anymore in the NFL) on TE Greg Olsen of the Bears and dislodging the ball for an incomplete pass. Carter appears to lean with his helmet, BUT clearly hits with his shoulder and arms as the replays show. Still, I was shocked there was no penalty on the play, GOOD JOB, refs! However, Carter was fined $5,000 for the hit this week, EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NO PENALTY ON THE PLAY. Fans everywhere this kind of ridiculousness is going to ruin the NFL, it’s already starting to.

Bad Officiating Watch, Week 1 – UPDATE

September 15, 2009

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Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh – 2 horrible calls, Troy Polamalu is called for pass interference when he does nothing but stand his ground and looks back for the ball, Titans WR tries to run through Polamalu, grabbing at Polamalu’s jersey, the ref throws flag, should’ve been offensive pass interference. A defensive player is allowed his space, just as an offensive player is, horrible, horrible call.

Max Starks, Offensive Tackle for Pittsburgh is called for holding on Titans DE when does nothing but push the Titan player into the ground after the Titans player simply falls down after losing his balance.

Buffalo vs. New England – 2 horrible calls, Patriots NT Vince Wolfork is called for roughing the passer after tackling Trent Edwards by the legs as Edwards THROWS THE BALL. Not AFTER, but AS Edwards throws the ball. HORRIBLE CALL. What is a defensive player supposed to do in that situation, just give up on the play?? What a joke. Here’s a video below of the play in question. I hope Dick Butkus never sees this, he might have a heart attack.

Bills safety Donte Whitner is called for Spearing (15 yard penalty) when he hits a Pats WR that is clearly not down yet and clearly does not lead with helmet.

I’m sure I missed a bunch of other horrible calls from Week 1. If anyone knows of any other bad calls from Week 1,  let me know and I’ll post them!