Sunday’s Super Bowl epitomized the NFL season, with a dramatic finish, poor offensive line play and shady officiating.
The refs helped decide the Super Bowl with a shameful defensive holding penalty on a play that negated what should have led to a 4th and 8 with the game on the line.
This “holding” penalty gave the Rams a fresh set of downs, all but guaranteeing them a touchdown:
Refs continue to put together a disasterclass tonight pic.twitter.com/6O4tnbipRn
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 14, 2022
Not only is the call incredibly weak, but it’s inconsistent with how the refs had called the contest to that point. The officials had allowed defenders on both sides to get away with an aggressive style all game long.
Teams and players don’t ask the officials for perfection — they ask for consistency and competence. Sadly, the NFL’s refs are neither consistent nor competent.
Even worse, the Bengals never should have drawn a flag because that play never should have happened. On the same play, the officiating crew allowed the entire Rams’ offensive line to get away with the football equivalent of armed robbery. Take a look:
The defensive holding penalty against Cincinnati never should have happened anyway because the officials didn’t call an obvious false start on the entire offensive line. pic.twitter.com/U1itLG7RPA
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) February 14, 2022
Had the refs done their job properly, the Rams would have had to replay third down five yards farther back because of the false start. Instead, the officials handed the Rams a first down at half the distance.
There were other bad calls in the game, including a missed facemask on Tee Higgins. However, the late-game blunders are horrific and consequential.
We waited all year for bum refs to decide the game-winning drive of the Super Bowl. Inexcusable.