It has been a troubling week for the NFL and its officials. It appears the troubles continued through Monday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers visited the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. Late in the 4th quarter the Chargers kicked a field goal putting themselves up by 3 with a score of 20-17 and 2:56 remaining in the game. On the ensuing kickoff the clock appeared to have gone from 2:56 to 2:38 without a play occurring on the field. The clock operator took 18 seconds off the clock on a touchback when the clock was not supposed to run down. The Steelers eventually marched down the field to win the game on a Le’Veon Bell touchdown run as time expired to give the Steelers a 24-20 win over the Chargers. This is the second week in a row where officiating almost cost a team a win.
During the contest between the Seahawks and Lions, Calvin Johnson was going in for an apparent go ahead touchdown when Kam Chancellor caused a fumble and a Seahawks player batted the ball intentionally out of bounds. The call on the field was a touchback however according to the NFL rule book; “a player can not intentionally bat a ball out of bounds” and, based on the rule the ball should have been awarded back to the Lions with another chance to win. The Lions lost the game resulting in a 0-4 record while the Seahawks improved their record to 2-2.
It is my opinion that Officials are paid too much money not to know the rules and pay attention to game changing plays. The average NFL salary during the 2013-214 season for Officials was $173,000. These types of errors can cause not only devastating loses, but potentially cause a team a shot at the playoffs. An apology a day later from the league admitting an error will not bring back the win and will not sit well with teams and fans. These is not justification in not knowing the rules for your job!