There’s no real way around it, this has been a historically bad season for NFL officials. Save for the few weeks that they went on strike and were replaced by less qualified referees in 2012, you would be hard-pressed to think of a stretch where there has been more inconsistency across the board for NFL refs than these last few weeks.
There have been countless examples of teams getting screwed by bad calls from the Bills, to the Ravens, the Patriots, the Lions, you could probably find at least one egregious call for nearly every team that has either directly cost them the game or at least put them severely behind the 8-ball at some point this season.
Referee Pete Morelli is one of the most respected officials in the game, but his crew has been having a bad year. Morelli’s crew oversaw the Steelers-Chargers Monday night game when 18 seconds was ticked off the clock on to a dead ball. They also missed the Jaguars not being lined up properly in their game against Baltimore which would have ended the game in the Ravens’ favor, but instead gave Jacksonville game-winning field goal.
The final straw apparently came on Sunday, as Morelli’s crew oversaw an Arizona-San Francisco game that was riddled with errors and drew the ire of both sides.
According to Pro Football Talk, Morelli and his crew have been taken off the Sunday night game between the Colts and the Steelers, a primetime game which will have a significant audience. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that Morelli instead will officiate the Patriots-Eagles late afternoon game.
Morelli’s terrible 2015 can be dated back to the last NFL season, too, as he also happened to be the official during the controversial Lions-Cowboys playoff game in January (to which Matthew Stafford accused him of “home cookin'”).
I’m sure New England and Philadelphia fans are thrilled to hear his crew has been reassigned to their game.
(Via Pro Football Talk)