NFL: Officials Leave a Blackeye on a Great Championship Sunday

Sunday we had the NFL’s yearly event, Championship Sunday. In the past, we have had some of the best games of the playoffs on this day. This Sunday was no different. The Los Angeles Rad, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and Kansas City Chiefs did not disappoint. Some of the best football in the 2018-19 NFL Season was on display. However, the lack of competent officiating marred the good football. Something that we have seen all season. Let’s look.

Ghostly Roughing the Passer

In the AFC Championship game, with the Chiefs down three, the Patriots were driving to try to extend the lead. On a 2nd and 7 from their own 28-yard line, Tom Brady dropped back to pass. Feeling the rush, he had to throw the ball earlier than he wanted. See, Brady was feeling pressure from Chiefs defensive tackle, Chris Jones. The Pats offensive line blocked Jones on the play. In passing, Jones reached for the football and appeared to make contact with Brady. Clete Blakeman called for roughing the passer, making contact to the head. This gave the Patriots a first down on their 43-yard line. The drive would continue and the Patriots would score a TD to go back up by 10 points.

The Facemasks

Twice during the Rams at Saints game, NFL officials missed facemask penalties. The first was at the end of the first half. With the Rams trailing 13-0, QB Jared Goff hits Brandon Cooks down the left sideline for a 36-yard completion. On the play, Saints defender P.J. Williams grabs the facemask of Cooks while trying to scrape at the ball. No flag was thrown on the play. This would have added yardage at the end of the play. Nonetheless, the Los Angeles Rams would score on the next play.

Later in the game, Rams QB Jared Goff would have his facemask tugged on. Again, NFL Officials would miss the foul on the play.

The Hunted

With 4:57 left and the game tied Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints were driving for at least a game-leading FG. However, with 1:49 left, Brees would attempt to hit WR Tommylee Lewis on a quick pass to the right. Rams defender, Nickell Robey-Coleman simply did the unthinkable. He completely played the man and did not even see the ball. In fact, Coleman committed multiple fouls on the play. Pass interference and defenseless receiver could have been called. Instead, the officials did not throw a flag. This would have put the Saints inside the Rams 10 with a little over 1 minute left. Nevertheless, since the NFL Officials missed the call, the New Orleans Saints settled for a FG to take a 3-point lead.

The NFL Playoffs are to showcase the 12 best teams and the best officials from the season. While the best teams were definitely on display, the best officiating was not. By far, putting a black eye on some of the best football played this season.

How do you feel about NFL Championship Sunday? Leave a comment below.

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Sean Naylor
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