No one watches football for the officials. But if you were watching Sunday’s Bears loss to the Dolphins, the zebras became a major part of the discussion. Whether it was a missed intentional grounding penalty early or that non-defensive pass interference call late, Bears fans (and players) had plenty to gripe about.
But few have a bigger beef than Bears safety Eddie Jackson.
Because well before Chase Claypool didn’t get the benefit of the doubt on what should’ve been a defensive pass interference penalty on the Dolphins during the Bears’ final offensive drive, Jackson was called for a gut punch of a defensive pass interference penalty that kept Miami’s offense on the field.
In case you missed it, Shaw Media’s Sean Hammond has the play and a quote from Jackson in the aftermath:
Watching this on repeat makes me even more upset about both the call Jackson had to wear and the non-call that deprived us of a few more plays of Justin Fields running an offense averaging 31.3 poitns per game over the last three weeks.
I’m not sure if the NFL gives out fines like the NBA does when players question officiating, but Eddie Jackson isn’t wrong here. Via NBC Sports Chicago:
“I just feel like we’re held accountable, (the refs) have got to be held accountable in some type of way,” said Jackson. “Sometimes it’s unbelievable. I don’t know, you’ll just be lost for words because nothing’s going to happen. We’ve gotta take that loss. We’ve gotta live with that no call and it’s like we go home, they go home. If we say something about (the refs) we get fined. They make whatever call they want and be good.
“It’s really out of our control, but I just really want the league to start holding everybody accountable, players and officiating.”
Look … I’m not an official. Nor do I play one on the internet. But I did referee intermural flag football while on the campus of SIU Carbondale. And I learned a thing or two from some high school refs from my time covering the game as a younger reporter. My takeaway from it all is that there needs to be consistency in these calls. Jackson absolutely nails that point. Hopefully, he isn’t facing a fine for speaking truths.