OK, I give up. Tap-Out. No Mas. It’s time for the National Football League to seriously negotiate with its professional officials and send these replacements back to the NAIA or high school or pee wee or wherever they came from.
I gave them every chance, every opportunity I could. I even wrote last week that while they stink to high heaven, they’re no worse than the clowns that normally call NFL games.
After this week: Bring in the Clowns. The officiating in the NFL was so consistently rotten in Week 2, that if the executive of the NFL isn’t embarrassed, it’s blind. My personal favorite came during the Cleveland Browns-Cincinnati Bengals game when the FOX announcers said, “I wish we could show you a replay of that penalty, but we can’t find it.”
There pass interference calls in three of the games I watched that were phantom calls. There was one against the 49ers in the Detroit-San Francisco game on Sunday night that was so manufactured, it was as if the NFL office in New York just said to the officials, “Call more pass interference penalties, we don’t care if they’re really penalties or not.”
It’s brutal. These are no longer football games. In their zeal to be seen on TV, the officials are just throwing flags randomly. The games have no flow. Just when an offense starts rolling, flags fly. And the officials’ management of the clock is worse than Mike Tice with two minutes to play. Tice’s clock-management was so bad, the Vikings eventually fired him. It’s now time to fire these replacement officials.
And no, I’m not going to stop watching football games because the officiating is lousy, but I do have to admit, I was more interested in half a dozen baseball games than the NFL yesterday simply because the officiating took all the fun out of watching football.
As it is, all 14 games were played on Sunday and some of them were actually quite interesting. Let’s review:
Indianapolis 23 Minnesota 20
Adam Vinatieri kicked a 53-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give Andrew Luck his first career win. Minnesota rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the final 5 1/2 minutes. Of course, neither of these teams will win five games this season.
Buffalo 35 Kansas City 17
The Bills C.J. Spiller rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns. For those Bills fans who thought Ryan Fitzpatrick was done, guess again. He threw two touchdown passes including a 49-yarder to Stevie Johnson. Spiller is a stud!
Carolina 35 New Orleans 27
Cam Newton threw for 253 yards and a touchdown and ran for a career-high 71 yards and a touchdown as Carolina left New Orleans at 0-2 for the first time since 2007. “Bountygate” didn’t hurt the Saints offense, but it’s crippled the D. Drew Brees completed 31-of-49 passes for 325 yards and a touchdown.
Miami 35 Oakland 13
Veteran Reggie Bush carried 26 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns while Miami’s rookie QB Ryan Tannehill completed 18-of-30 passes for 200 yards and a TD. Reggie Bush. How cool is that? He was great once and he might be great again. The Dolphins are 1-1 while the Raiders fell to 0-2, but remember, the Dolphins beat a bad team at home, this win doesn’t mean all that much.
Arizona 20 New England 18
Kevin Kolb threw for a touchdown and ran for another, but New England kicker Stephen Gotkowski missed a 42-yarder with no time left to lose it. Pats coach Bill Belichick will be pissed. The Cardinals improved to 2-0 while the Patriots failed to get the job done earlier in the game.
Houston 27 Jacksonville 7
Arian Foster ran for 110 yards and a touchdown. Ben Tate added 74 yards and two majors. The Jaguars garnered only 117 yards of total offense – a franchise low. Houston might be the best team in the AFC.
Cincinnati 34 Cleveland 27
Adam (Pacman) Jones returned Cleveland’s first punt of the day 81 yards for a touchdown. And Dalton threw three touchdown passes. For Cleveland, Trent Richardson became the first Browns rookie ever to run for more than 100 yards (109) and score a TD on a run and a pass in the same game. If Cleveland had a quarterback, the Browns would compete.
NY Giants 41 Tampa Bay 34
After throwing three first half interceptions, Eli Manning went 31-for-51 for 510 yards and three touchdowns as the Giants outscored Tampa 25-7 in the fourth quarter to come back from a 14-point deficit to win. Tampa can stop the run game, but they have no answer for a great passing game.
Philadelphia 24 Baltimore 23
Michael Vick scored the winning touchdown with less than two minutes to play. So much for the Turnover Ratio. Philly has turned the ball over nine teams in two games and won both of them.
Seattle 27 Dallas 7
Marshawn Lynch carried 26 times for 122 yards and a touchdown. Seattle’s special teams made two huge first quarter plays that led to 10 points. Newspapers across America ripped the Cowboys but would somebody please give the Seahawks some credit.
St. Louis 31 Washington 28
RG3 took the Skins out to a 21-6 lead but Sam Bradford was the answer. The only North American First Nation’s player in the NFL (I bet Bradford hates the nickname “Redskins”) completed 26-of-35 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
Pittsburgh 27 NY Jets 10
Ben Roethlisberger completed 24-of-31 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns while Mark Sanchez completed only 10-of-27 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Tim Tebow had one carry for 22 yards. The Jets offense was horrendous. How about, Tebow starts in Week 4? Remember, don’t ever let what happened in Week 1 cloud your vision. Mark Sanchez was brought back to reality against the Steelers.
San Diego 38 Tennessee 10
Chargers tight end Dante Rosario caught three touchdown passes as Philip Rivers went 24-for-32 for 284 yards and three TDs. The Chargers retired Junior Seau’s No. 55 before the game. He would have loved his Chargers on Sunday.
San Francisco 27 Detroit 19
Yes mainstream media, coaches Jim Schwartz of the Lions and Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers shook hands. That ended almost a year of stupid media hype about some made up Hand Shake Bowl (not even marginally humorous). Gawd, the media has a passion for just beating B.S. to death. In the game, which was much more important than a stupid hand shake, Niners QB Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis for a pair of TDs as Smith extended his franchise record of passes without an interception to 216.
Atlanta 27 Denver 21
On Monday Night Football, Matt Ryan threw his 100th career touchdown pass while Peyton Manning threw three first quarter interceptions as the Atlanta Falcons hung on to beat the Denver Broncos 27-21. Manning brought the Broncos back from a 27-7 third quarter deficit with two fourth quarter touchdown passes but it was too little, too late as Atlanta became the sixth team in the NFL to improve to 2-0 (with Philadelphia, San Diego, Arizona, San Francisco and Houston). Denver fell to 1-1.