While the first week of officiating was deemed “adequate,” the quality of the replacement referees work declined significantly in Week 2. There were numerous instances of sloppy work and nonexistent calls that it was hard to single anything out to be representative.
Until Monday night, that is, when Ken Roan’s crew lost control of the game in the first quarter, and it went downhill from there. Here is the rolling analysis:
A summary of our in-game tweets can be found on Storify.
I just knew there was going to be problems early in the first quarter (@footballzebras, 9:03 p.m. EDT)
Little bit of separation necessary after the FG. At this point, up to refs to put a lid on this, or they will lose control
And, on a 1st and 10 from the Broncos 15 in the 3rd quarter, Falcons quarterback runs for four yards and the Broncos commit a defensive holding penalty. Now, we know it’s a five-yard penalty, but since that was a gain by the offense, the 5 yards is tacked onto the end of the run. The officials erroneously spotted the ball 5 yards from the spot of the foul, netting 1 yard on the penalty.
The correct enforcement was applied after game supervisor Neely Dunn paged down to the field. There was a delay of four minutes between snaps because of the administration of the penalty. This is a huge advantage for the defense, as they ordinarily would have had less than a minute (with the penalty announcement and a 25-second clock) to decide on their defensive play call.
During the drive that the Broncos scored a touchdown before halftime, they got a five-yard boost from the officials. A defensive holding penalty was marked off as a 10-yard penalty instead of 5 yards. This is a major shortcoming with the replacement referees, who are used to the rules of college, and are under-studied on the differences in the NFL rules.
Incidentally, it is the duty of the game supervisor (tonight, Neely Dunn) to relay a correct spot to the field through the alternate official.
Pro Football Talk weighs in on the officiating even before halftime!
Will this be the game that brings the NFL back to the bargaining table?
:02 first quarter. That fumble scrum too way took long to resolve and the crew did a poor job of controlling the situation. First of all, you have to determine possession as soon as possible. At least one official, if not more, should orbit the pile and control the players. A fumble scrum is a very emotional time. Possession is on the line. Tempers are short. Determine possession quickly and keep the players not involved in the scrum away.
After further review, I think it is the Fox 40 Caul.
Edit: The referee switched back to a Fox 40 pea-less finger whistle for the second half.
The referee is using a different sounding whistle. I’ve never heard that style before.