Give credit where it’s due — officials cleaned up their act in the NFL’s second week
This doesn’t mean the laundry which found its way onto the turf across the league in Week 2 was completely clean, however. Officials are still in their preseason. In Week 1, a game-changing offensive pass interference call cost the Dallas Cowboys a chance at victory over the Los Angeles Rams. To the Cowboys’ credit, they bounced back, pulling off an incredibly 20-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2. Not every team is able to recover, though, especially when what seems like a sure result — or at the very least a toss-up — is taken from them.
Week 2 didn’t offer as obvious of transgressions by the officiating, which is why they should be applauded. The human element is present in the gate-keeping of every professional sport. Expecting perfection from the zebras simply isn’t realistic, which is where I come in.
Honorable mention: Steelers frustration over the 10-plus penalties called against them in their win over the Denver Broncos even found its way onto Twitter. Pittsburgh linebacker Vince Williams hinted that the Steelers beat two teams on Sunday — the Broncos and the Zebras. Not so fast, Vince. While the sheer number of penalties called against the Steelers on Sunday was surprising, this isn’t the first time the discipline of Mike Tomlin’s team has been called into question.
The Steelers defense is physical, meaning some weeks it’s just gonna be that way. It’s not great reasoning, but having watched this one live, most if not all of the calls against the Steelers were up for interpretation. It’s just the responsibility that comes with being one of the best defenses in the league.
Honorable mention x2: Da Bears were unhappy with two calls in particular. The first and most obvious was a pick-6 from Eddie Jackson, which was called back because Jackson arrived just a bit early. He was unhappy, fans were unhappy, etc. Even the replay shows this is a bang-bang play and up for interpretation. The 50/50 call went against Jackson, and it’s tough to suggest it’s a truly terrible decision. Just watch the replay, Jackson arrive a wee bit early. Sorry.
Come on, guys. Just because the Bears had trouble beating the Saquon-less Giants doesn’t mean calls like these shouldn’t be made. It’s the modern NFL, such is life.
Still a personal foul! Daniel Jones gave himself up on a slide. In no way is it appropriate to dive on top of him. It’s absolutely soft, but it’s a call that’s been made for the past season-plus. Considering the two plays combined, I do understand the frustration.
Rant over. Now, to the real countdown.
1. Jadeveon Clowney was offsides
The Titans defeated the Jaguars by just a field goal on Sunday, with arguably the most important play being an interception by Harold Landry in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. At the time, the Titans held a 33-30 lead. However, should that interception have counted in the first place?
Officials miss encroachment penalties all the time, but in the most important moments of the game, they ought to be looking for such things. Clowney is a solid yard across the line of scrimmage. It’s not helpful that the former No. 1 overall pick is a big name and recently signed to a huge contract by Tennessee. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is…Jacksonville. Jaguars fans were not happy, and rightly so. A five-yard penalty does not ensure the Jags would’ve tied the game, or go on to win. The officials keeping their whistle silent, however, eliminated that second chance completely.