Addressing Bad Officiating in The NFL
By Ariella Jacobs - July 10, 2023

After Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith scampered for a 25-yard gain, Rams CB Jalen Ramsey delivered a late hit. That and DK Metcalf’s reaction, in which the star receiver put his hands in Ramsey’s facemask, clearly qualify as penalties. The sanctions would have been reduced if Metcalf’s retaliation had been reported. Ramsey’s hit was the only one that was called. Seattle should have had the chance to attempt the game-winning field goal in regulation, even though kicker Jason Myers missed it.

Additionally, there was a possible intentional grounding penalty that was not called in overtime. However, that was the most dubious of all. Smith was attempting to throw the ball away, and tight end Noah Fant of the Seahawks was the nearest receiver at a reported distance of 12 yards. The NFL regulation specifies that intentional grounding can only be declared when there is no chance that the ball will be caught. That is a personal choice. Although many other people and I think a catch was impossible, referees frequently err on the side of caution with calls that are that important. Leave it alone if it’s in doubt. Since the pass was incomplete, Seattle had already lost a down. However, it would have been referred to it as grounding on purpose.

Getty Images/ Denver Post/ AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group

Finally! Finally! NFL executives and coaches are starting to catch up after years of fan demand for adjustments to be made in the official NFL screening. According to one of ESPN’s sources, the NFL must improve how well it hires and develops its officials.

Impartial fans make the best judge of subjective decisions. They want to watch good, reliable football, and most of the time, they can tell whether specific calls were made or missed or whether they were inappropriate or shouldn’t have been made. The NFL will likely implement a program advising referees to watch out for specific signals of a penalty on particular plays, but that won’t address the underlying issue. The fundamental problem is that referees’ practices will mostly remain unchanged as long as there are subjective penalties.