If the NFL flexed officers like they do attractive matchups for prime time, the crews led by referees Brad Allen and Shawn Smith wouldn’t get a lot work below the brilliant lights.
Not after their performances in Week 7, when an unsually excessive variety of calls and non-calls throughout the league drew scrutiny from followers and guidelines analysts all questioning simply what the principles keepers on the sphere and the watchdogs at NFL headquarters had been watching.
Solely as soon as this century had there been an NFL recreation the place one workforce was flagged 10 or extra occasions and the opposite prevented penalties altogether. That occurred on Dec. 1, 2019, when the Raiders had been whistled for a dozen penalties to the Chiefs’ zero in a 40-9 loss to Kansas Metropolis.
Now, make that two video games.
Whereas Miami was flagged 10 occasions for 70 yards, the Eagles weren’t penalized in any respect in their 31-17 signature win over the Dolphins on Sunday evening, though there have been a few offsetting flags and loads of different occasions Philadelphia ought to have been penalized.
In Indianapolis, the Colts were on the verge of upsetting the Browns when backup cornerback Darrell Baker Jr. was known as for a pair of debatable penalties that helped Cleveland escape with a 39-38 victory.
A Colts takeaway was, properly, taken away by the primary phantom foul on Baker and he was whistled once more for move interference on the subsequent play despite the fact that the throw was uncatchable.
Indy was clinging to a 38-33 lead with 47 seconds remaining and the Browns had been going through third-and-4 from the Colts 13 when E.J. Velocity strip-sacked P.J. Walker, whose fumble was recovered by defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.
Baker was known as for unlawful contact on large receiver Amari Cooper, though it was Cooper who pushed down Baker as he made his approach into the tip zone, and it didn’t seem Baker did something to intrude along with his route or to benefit the whistle.
The ruling negated the takeaway and gave the ball again to the Browns on the Indy 8 after the 5-yard walkoff.
On first-and-goal on the subsequent snap, Walker threw the ball out of the again of the tip zone, properly out of large receiver Donavon Peoples-Jones’ attain.
Though the throw was uncatchable with out 10-foot stilts, Baker was known as for move interference, giving the Browns 4 probabilities from the 1-yard line to attain the profitable landing, which they did on their fourth strive with 15 seconds remaining.
That sequence stood because the lowlight of the abundance of debatable calls and non-calls that peppered Sunday’s slate of 11 video games. That’s, till the nightcap when the Dolphins and Eagles squared off in a matchup of 5-1 groups.
From this admittedly early, pre-Halloween viewpoint, it was simple to check the Dolphins-Eagles recreation as a prelude to Tremendous Bowl 58 in Las Vegas three months and three weeks therefore.
What had formed up as a sensational showdown, nonetheless, devolved right into a one-sided recreation of “flag” soccer with the Eagles getting away with blatant infractions and the Dolphins getting dinged each time the yellow penalties flags hit the bottom.
Among the many performs that drew followers’ ire was Allen’s crew lacking an apparent face masks on cornerback James Bradberry.
The worst name got here when the officers flagged Miami move rusher Christian Wilkins with roughing the passer for mainly enjoying two-hand contact on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Whereas 15 yards had been being marked off, former NFL official and present NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay chimed in to say that was a ticky-tacky name and that Wilkins had really pulled up and positively didn’t deserve a private foul.
“I say he hits him in a single step. He really pulls off along with his fingers, he doesn’t comply with via and blow up the quarterback. This simply isn’t sufficient for roughing the passer,” McAulay mentioned. “He simply places his fingers on him, a bit of shove, not sufficient for a foul.”
However the consummate name, really, on a weekend corresponding to this.