The NFL's Explanations Were Almost as Bad As Some of Those Calls Last Night

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The NFL’s Explanations Were Almost as Bad As Some of Those Calls Last Night

Chicago Bears

One of my favorite things about watching the NFL is that I’ll always see something I’ve never seen before.

But one of my least favorite things about watching the NFL is that – sometimes – those things include officiating that is highly questionable (at best) and downright awful (at the worst). And while I don’t wear a tinfoil hat or claim the officials have it out for the Bears, the NFL’s officiating during Chicago’s prime-time affairs has been atrocious. The only thing worse than some of the calls that have gone against the Bears is the league’s public backing of its officials through social channels.

Here’s how bad it was last night. The NFL really tried explaining that penalizing a defender for tackling a ballcarrier is actually illegal:

A personal foul. On the defense. For a low block. Really? That’s a new one.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the rule. And I definitely get the spirit of the rule. After all, the NFL says it cares about the health and safety of its players. So protecting a player’s legs is in everyone’s best interest. But this was a super-whack call made on Teez Tabor. The only person he made contact with was Dalvin Cook. C’mon, now. That was absurd. This is almost a heinous as the James Daniels illegal block call that was made on the Bears’ last appearance on Monday Night Football. Nothing like taking an illegal block penalty while not blocking anyone. Now, we’ve got defenders trying to make tackles taking “illegal block” penalties. Will the wonders of the world ever cease to exist?

The answer is no. Because earlier in that game, the NFL found itself defending this bogus call:

OK, so where was the Back Judge on this call?

To be clear, Justin Fields isn’t a defenseless receiver. But forcible contact to the head and leading with your helmet are big no-nos in the NFL rule book. And yet, Fields gets crunched and the Bears don’t get a call. Either forcible contact to the head is a penalty or it’s not. If that is a penalty in the video above when the Bears were on defense, you’ll need more than a tweet explaining why it isn’t a penalty in the video below when the Vikings were doing the drilling.

Maybe Matt Nagy had it coming to him for his use of “magic words” on Monday:

“Happy Holidays!”

Ref throws flag.

“Merry Christmas!”

Another flag gets thrown.

“Thin crust is better than deep dish.”

Flags come cascading down from every angle.

“I’d like ketchup on my hot dog.”

Actually, this is worth a penalty, fine, and a trip to timeout.

At the end of the day, these are the same folks who took away a touchdown from Zach Miller and vocally backed their call on the field with waves of explanations from the head of officiating, only to confirm the obvious in a too-little too-late after-the-fact just months after the ruling. Frankly, I expect the same from the league when this gets addressed in a few months. There is precedent, after all.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.