Roger Goodell takes surprising stance on state of NFL officiating

Goodell’s response came following his annual address to the media before the Super Bowl. 

He’s wrong, of course.

In 2022, no on-field officiating call was as egregious as the blown pass interference call against the Saints in the 2019 NFC Championship Game. Nor was there a call as embarrassing as the replacement refs’ “Fail Mary” in a Green Bay-Seattle “Monday Night Football” game in 2012. 

But officials botched plenty of calls this season.

On Nov. 14, 2022, CBS Boston posted an article titled “NFL officiating has another baffling day in big moments on Sunday.” Writer Michael Hurley noted that officials had failed to review what should have been an incomplete Josh Allen pass in a Vikings-Bills game. 

The NFL admitted to several other officiating mistakes this season, including a missed pass interference call in Week 15 in a Commanders-Giants game.

In Week 9, following the Bears’ 35-32 loss to Miami, the league released a statement noting officials erred blew two pass interference penalties — both costing Chicago.

In Week 5, it issued a statement noting the Titans were wrongly flagged for pass interference against the Commanders.

In Week 1, officials missed an intentional grounding penalty that should have been called against Eagles QB Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia’s closer-than-expected 38-35 win over Detroit.

This sampling doesn’t include dozens of controversial roughing-the-passer penalties that marred many games.

There’s a simple explanation for why Goodell isn’t calling for sweeping changes to the league’s officiating structure.

Above all else, the commissioner is in charge of making sure the league makes money and that poor officiating doesn’t impact the bottom line. Last year, the league set a record with $11 billion in revenue.

But how much better would the league be if it invested more in officiating, such as full-time officials, and an even greater use of technology?

The answer is as obvious to fans as all those other missed calls.

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