The NFL has a serious officiating problem

Referee blunders continue to be the story of the 2019 NFL season

Louie DiBiase
October 15, 2019 - 12:58 am

Photo: Jeff Hanisch - USA TODAY Sports

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Instead of talking about a back-and-forth battle between two really strong NFC North contenders on Monday, once again National Football League officials have stolen the headlines as a result of incompetent decision making that decided the game. 

It has been the biggest story of the 2019 NFL season, and that is extremely frustrating for everyone involved. 

The Detroit Lions should be infuriated with their 23-22 loss in Green Bay to the Packers on Monday. While Aaron Rodgers made some jaw-dropping plays to get Green Bay a win, the Packers can thank the referees more than anyone for their win. 

Officials face a lot of unfair blame for the result of games, but it is part of the job. There will always be some blunders through human error (unless robot officials become a thing).

On Monday night, however, all of the criticism was warranted. 

If one didn't know any better, they would think the referees had a lot riding on a Packers win. It wasn't just one bad call or missed call either. This was, from front-to-back, one of the worst officiating jobs the NFL has ever seen, and the Lions suffered as a result. 

A Packers touchdown that should have been taken away after an automatic review.

An obvious pass interference call that did not get called or get challenged as a result of referees refusing to overturn even the "clear and obvious" plays that the challenge rule was put in place to change.

An "illegal use of hands to the face" penalty on the final drive that helped put Green Bay in field goal range. 

This was the second head scratching call on Lions defensive end Trey Flowers for the same "foul" that resulted in points for the Packers. 

Simply put, the referees are a problem in the NFL more now than ever. Games are being decided by their decisions.

There is no consistency to their approach, there are simply too many ticky-tack calls that take away entertaining plays or don't even have an impact on the play, and the product is suffering.

Games have become unwatchable, at times. 

More power needs to be taken away from the referees. The only rule that allows a coach to challenge a referees penalty call is decided by, guess who, those same referees. As a result, only a handful of pass interference challenges have been overturned, even if the officials clearly were wrong in their decision. 

Whether it's making officials full-time or adding some sort of sky judge/booth official that reviews calls or non-calls, serious action needs to be taken to fix this catastrophic problem the league is dealing with. 

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