Green Bay Packers

Officiating In the Packers-49ers Game Hit A New Low

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan (USA TODAY Sports)

For a team with a reputation for getting favorable treatment from the refs, the Green Bay Packers sure didn’t get many calls thrown their way this past week.

I am not saying the Packers didn’t get any calls. A couple of pass interference penalties in the first half were pretty soft and benefitted them. And the Green Bay defense we are used to seeing every year showed up again and let the San Francisco 49ers march the ball down the field several times. The refs aren’t 100% to blame, but it’s pretty close. The Packers won in amazing fashion, but this game should have been over by the end of the third quarter.

How many times do I need to watch Aaron Rodgers throw dimes all over the place, only to see him look on in horror as the defense allows teams to get back into the game? Or needing to run time off the clock, and for some reason, there are three throws for more than 20 yards? Football is a frustrating game to watch, to begin with. Now you add in maybe the worst year of officiating I have ever seen. And we are only in Week 3.

Sure, a bunch of the coaches were behind the new taunting penalty, but it’s something that should have never happened. You’re telling me that when a player runs as fast as he can against an opponent and makes a huge play, he can’t wave his pointer finger for a few seconds? It’s like they don’t know adrenaline — and fun — exist.

The officiating on Sunday Night Football was unacceptable. I am going to focus on two plays in particular. There were so many, though. Remember when Jaire Alexander touched Jimmy Garoppolo and got flagged for roughing the passer? Remember Jimmy G’s obvious intentional grounding right before halftime? Good times. But these two calls should be, and need to be, looked at by the NFL.

The Davante Adams Hit

In another dimension, Davante Adams was hit more squarely in the head, and the Green Bay Packers are without their top receiver for at least two weeks for concussion protocol. He could have even been gone for the season. That’s how bad this hit was on Adams.

There is no question this was a foul. Adams was a defenseless receiver in the middle of the field and already had two defensive players on him; there was no reason for a third to come and full speed and smash him in the chest and neck area. There was no debate about it on social media. I’m so annoyed I agree with Colin Cowherd.

They even said it immediately on the broadcast. The line judges, who are usually farther down the field, are starting to position themselves differently this year. It doesn’t make sense. To be that close and not be in position is unacceptable. Imagine a home plate umpire just walking to the on-deck circle and standing there for some pitches. Calls will always be missed, but you can’t call something on Alexander for touching the quarterback and then miss an obvious illegal hit like this.

And I want them to play. I like big hits. But it is also about safety, and that hit wasn’t safe. There is no way that player wasn’t targeting. The primary issue is that they called all these other ticky-tack fouls on the Packers’ defense throughout the second half. The NFL has to be better than that.

Packers Called For Tripping

I’m still belly-laughing at the call of tripping.

Adrian Amos rushed the quarterback with five and a half minutes left in the game and the Packers only leading by three. He was clearly being held. After Garoppolo fell to the ground, a flag was thrown. Almost everyone thought it was a holding call. Because, you know, he was held.

And then they call tripping on Amos. Al Michaels was shocked. He did extend his leg and trip Garoppolo. It is an actual rule. But it’s still hilarious it was called. He was being held. If your job is to rush and tackle the quarterback, your goal is to do it no matter what. I get that it’s potentially dangerous, but who wouldn’t stick out their leg as a last-ditch effort while being held?

It’s a penalty that is rarely called, but the fact that it was called while the official could clearly see Amos was being held is hilarious. Tripping is called, on average, .22 times per team per year. That is a rare penalty. Rule 3, Section 40 is not used often. Again, it’s a legit penalty, and Amos did stick his leg out. There is no denying he did trip Jimmy G., but the fact that so many ridiculous flags were being thrown and that he was clearly held while it was happening makes it preposterous.

If anything, two off-setting penalties should have been called. But these types of calls ruin the game. A player can’t celebrate a good tackle or touch the quarterback or stick out a leg, but they can hit a defenseless receiver in the middle of the field?

The Packers were lucky this time. Before the action in those final 37 seconds, it was a classic Packers loss. Some terrible calls, some bad luck, and the other team marching down the field with time expiring. The refs should not be dictating the game. They are there to enforce the rules, not determine a game’s outcome.

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