The frustration felt by both players and coaches regarding NFL replacement officials has reached a boiling point.
With word coming down late Sunday that there was little movement between the NFL and NFLRA, the anger will only grow.
After the thrilling game between the Baltimore and New England — a contest the Ravens won on a last-second field goal — Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes fumed following a combined 24 penalties (Ravens: 14 for 135 yards, Pats: 10 for 83 yards).
"Can someone please tell these f------ zebras foot locker called and they're needed Back at work !!!! #BreakingPoint," Spikes tweeted.
An incensed Bill Belichick raced onto the field and tugged on the arm of line judge Esteban Garza after the game. He should expect a hefty fine.
As we’ve seen during the last three weeks, the problem lies with the officials - mostly taken from Division II colleges - not understanding all the rules.
Let’s review some of the blown calls after Week 3:
- 49ers-Vikings: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was granted two separate challenges in the fourth quarter. Trouble was Harbaugh used up all three timeouts so the challenges should have been denied by referee Ken Roan.
- Bengals-Redskins: In the final seconds, the Redskins were penalized 20 yards for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty rather than the normal 15 yards.
- Titans-Lions: Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch's helmet-to-helmet hit on Craig Stevens wound up as a 27-yard penalty in Tennessee's 44-41 overtime win. In OT, from the Titans 44, Jake Locker passed to Stevens over the middle for a 24-yard gain and Tulloch was flagged for the hit. Fourteen yards were added to the end of the play, which then was reviewed and overturned because the ball hit the ground. However, the penalty still is enforced. Instead of 15 yards, officials marked it off from the Detroit 44 — the wrong spot.
- Raiders-Steelers: Oakland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was rocked with a helmet-to-helmet hit by Steelers safety Ryan Mundy in the end zone during the fourth quarter. Remarkably, Heyward-Bey was carted off the field while no penalty was called.
- Cowboys-Bucs: Dallas quarterback Tony Romo fumbled twice in the third quarter that were not ruled turnovers, forcing Bucs coach Greg Schiano to used both of his challenges. The calls were reversed.
- Jets-Dolphins: Miami tight end Anthony Fasano was ruled to have made a catch near the Jets' goal-line and the call was held up after review, even though the ball touched the ground as he was tackled.
This list can go on for quite some time but you get the idea.
It’s getting ugly.