NFL officiating continues to be under intense scrutiny this season.
The referees in the Philadelphia Eagles-Detroit Lions game on Sunday missed a blatant facemask penalty late in the second quarter on a kick return when Eagles’ Miles Sanders had his helmet ripped off by Lions’ Miles Killebrew.
Killebrew came in from Sanders’ right to make the tackle, but instead latch onto his facemask and twisted it around while Sanders’ head jerked in a funny motion.
With all eyes on Sanders returning the kick, a flag was somehow not thrown.
Oh, it gets worse.
The back judge who could have made the call was Todd Prukop — whom fans may remember from last year’s NFC Championship Game when he missed a blatant defensive pass interference that would have clinched the game for the New Orleans Saints.
Needless to say, Philadelphia was incensed over the non-call on Monday morning, and 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi ripped into Prukop specifically.
“How do you miss that unless you are blind?” Cataldi asks. “What if I told you the guy who missed that, the back judge on that crew, is the same guy who missed the pass interference in the New Orleans game playoffs last year? Todd Prukop. That guy is the worst official in American sports!
“After he was so bad on the play they had to rewrite the rule allow a challenge on pass interference. They kept him in on a crew.
Explain that to me … Explain that to me that a company with a guy that has proven to be that terrible stays on a crew so he can miss that facemask yesterday.
… How are these officials who you know stink, how do they stay employed?”
On Thursday, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tweeted he could no longer watch the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans because of the excessive amount of penalties called.
It prompted the NFL to meet with officials to discuss holding penalties.
In Week 2, the referees incorrectly called blew a play dead on a fumble in the Los Angeles Rams–Saints game, taking a touchdown away from the Saints.
While everyone likes to pile on referees, there is no question these calls, or non-calls, have been egregious and is something the league will need to address.