New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur has acknowledged frustration with NFL officials throughout the season, sending multiple pieces of film to the league for review and explanation.
What’s come of those inquiries is anyone’s guess, but following a 30-27 overtime victory against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, the league can expect another package from Shurmur.
It was another underwhelming performance by the referees in Week 13, highlighted by a wildly questionable roughing the pass penalty on safety Sean Chandler that helped set Chicago up inside the 10-yard line and later, an even more questionable pass interference call against cornerback B.W. Webb.
The penalty against Webb gave the Bears a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, which they turned into a game-tying touchdown with no time remaining.
Those were just two of Sunday’s debatable calls, and the two that stuck in the craw of Shurmur and the Giants.
“I was going with it was uncatchable, that’s what I saw. I saw the ball was thrown way high. It was so far away from me, even as loud as I yell at the officials, they couldn’t hear me and then it just played on,” Shurmur told reporters after the game.
“I think the ball was too high honestly. The refs make their calls, but I think it was a bad call. They have to ref the game and use their discretion. There’s not much we can do to fight against it. We both have a right to the ball and that ball was over his head, but if they still want to keep the flag on the field, it stays on field,” safety Landon Collins added.
Webb was a little less subdued when he was asked about the penalty.
“He didn’t say to me. Not a word. Not a word. He just told me to walk away, so that’s what I did,” Webb told Newsday. “If I was the ref, I wouldn’t have thrown .”
The call, which was wrong from every angle, directly impacted the outcome of the game. That has been a theme this season for officials and it’s not been exclusive to Giants games. The league has a legitimate issue with officiating and their lack of action is disconcerting.
For another example, look no further than a blatantly missed call earlier in the fourth quarter when the Bears were given at least 2-3 additional seconds to snap the ball after the play clock had run out, allowing them to gain seven yards instead of losing five and pushing them to the brink of field goal range.
They later scored on the drive.
The Giants won the game so most of these bad calls will get overlooked, but in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles, that was not the case. Nor was it the case in a Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers when safety Landon Collins was called for a game-changing roughing the passer penalty — a penalty the league later acknowledged was incorrect.
The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have to act. No longer can they sit on their hands and hope this pans out. They’ve already fired one official mid-season, and if we’re being honest with each other, more terminations should be coming.