Top 5 NFL Week 3′s Most Controversial Decisions


The NFL’s replacement referees should be getting better with more practice, right? Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be true, as the officials really botched things up in Week 3.

These guys didn’t get every call wrong, but their inability to make consistent calls and keep the game flowing continues to frustrate players, coaches and fans alike.

We’ll take a look at the most controversial penalties of Week 3 and determine whether or not the officials made the right calls.

Order! Order in the Court!

After last week’s plethora of scrums, it was clear right off the bat that the officials were intent on putting things in order.

Midway through the second quarter in the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts, Antonio Johnson jumped offsides and creamed Blaine Gabbert before the ball was ever snapped. He was rightfully called offsides, but then when the Jaguars offensive linemen jumped in to protect their guy, the officials called unnecessary roughness.

If anyone should have been called for unnecessary roughness, it should have been Johnson for the way he drove Gabbert into the ground without even having the ball in his hands, but the officials wanted to restore order and called the penalty on the Jags.

I get the premise, but in my opinion it was misguided.

My Hat Is off to You, Sir

This one kills me.

Tony Romo is scrambling around, looking for an open receiver.

Kevin Ogletree tries to get open, but for some reason, one of the refs throws his hat down into the endzone right underneath Ogletree’s feet.

Aikman makes a really good point about Ogletree’s ACL. That ill-aimed hat toss could have ruined his season.

These officials are supposed to throw their hats down on the field to signal certain things, but they can’t be throwing them down into the field of play where athletes are trying to work.

Extra Timeout, Part Deux

San Francisco 49ers head coach is a slick operator, but he should have never been allowed to challenge this play.

The 49ers had already used up all three of their timeouts, which negates their ability to challenge any plays. That didn’t stop these officials from going through the entire process—one that ultimately led to a reversal that favored the 49ers.

Worse still is the fact that Toby Gerhart was already completely stopped when the ball came out. The officials had blown the play dead, and it should have stayed dead.

Remember, this isn’t the first time this has happened this year…

Indisputable Evidence?

Pierre Thomas made an incredible one-handed catch for a touchdown that was ruled a touchdown on the field. Jeff Fisher challenged the ruling, and the call was overturned.

I don’t see indisputable evidence that Thomas didn’t have full control of the ball when it hit the ground. From my point of view, he had that ball all the way. The referees aren’t supposed to overturn a call unless the video evidence is indisputable.

No Flag on This Play?

This hit on Darius Heyward-Bey could be used as an instructional video on what the NFL doesn’t want to see from defenders.

Ryan Mundy launched into Heyward-Bey helmet-first, breaking one of the biggest rules in the NFL right now. Heyward-Bey was completely defenseless to protect himself from the blow, and he had to be carted off the field.

These refs didn’t see it that way. No penalty flag was thrown.

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