2019 NFL Playoff Game Thread: NFCCG

dcmissle

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It's awesome. They aren't addressing any of the missed calls that hurt the Rams. It's just that one play. And only that one play.
It’s not balanced but on balance it is worth it. It’s ridiculous to have this level of officiating in a CCG. The League has to do better.
 

Dollar

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It’s not balanced but on balance it is worth it. It’s ridiculous to have this level of officiating in a CCG. The League has to do better.
Have they announced the SB crew yet? I thought the LAC-NE div game had the best officiating I've seen all year.
 

BigSoxFan

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Football Zebras' take: http://www.footballzebras.com/2019/01/saints-unable-to-run-clock-after-no-call-pass-interference/

Payton needs to man up and move on from this. none of this happens if he runs 3 times and makes Goff try to get into FG range with a minute left and no TO.... I don t think he could have done. Or Brees plays well in the 2nd half. etc.
No team plays a perfect game. You can always point to “hey, you should have done X better”. But the bottom line is that the refs missed the most obvious DPI in the history of NFL playoffs and it completely changed the outcome. In the moment, I agree that Payton needed to focus and put it behind him. However, now that he can reflect on it, they got absolutely jobbed. You spend your entire year being consumed by the sport and then in the biggest moment, ref incompetence takes the W away. That has to be incredibly difficult to take, especially when your QB is like 100 years old.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Payton partially put himself into that position by not running down the clock.

to compare, the Pats were screwed on non-call on a pick play, Bill threw his tablet in disgust on the sideline. didn't change our focus.

this sucks all around. this might be an ugly run-up to the SB for the NFL
 

heavyde050

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The best answer may be what BB suggested a few years back and making all plays reviewable.
Awful penalty, challenge it and get it right.
 

kenneycb

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Payton partially put himself into that position by not running down the clock.

to compare, the Pats were screwed on non-call on a pick play, Bill threw his tablet in disgust on the sideline. didn't change our focus.

this sucks all around. this might be an ugly run-up to the SB for the NFL
As opposed to Tyreek Hill being one of the prominent players on a SB team?
 

DeadlySplitter

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The best answer may be what BB suggested a few years back and making all plays reviewable.
Awful penalty, challenge it and get it right.
I think let each team have one special challenge a game for penalties. Make them state which penalty to review as well.
 

kenneycb

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The Saints sounded absurdly mentally weak. Sportscenter just said that they felt they already lost and couldn't concentrate in OT. Like the Raiders except the Tuck Rule was correctly interpreted.
 

E5 Yaz

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I think let each team have one special challenge a game for penalties. Make them state which penalty to review as well.
But in this case, no penalty was called. Challenging a play where there was no flag could open up an entirely different can of worms
 

BigSoxFan

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But in this case, no penalty was called. Challenging a play where there was no flag could open up an entirely different can of worms
Agreed. NFL would never go for this. The best solution is to get your officiating staff to make a call that a 7 year-old could make.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I was reminded of the missed facemask on Goff when looking up other reactions - Rams arguably should have had more points there. The dpi/personal will get the attention and because we know what 99% would have followed from it as it was directly at the end of the game... but Saints are walking a treacherous road if they stew over the one call all off-season.
 

PayrodsFirstClutchHit

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The Saints sounded absurdly mentally weak. Sportscenter just said that they felt they already lost and couldn't concentrate in OT. Like the Raiders except the Tuck Rule was correctly interpreted.
The Tuck Rule game is a good comparison, In this case, the Saints got the ball to start OT and Brees threw a pick. That is being completely ignored in all of the post game analysis. The narrative is the Saints were robbed of a trip to the SB by this call and no amount of blame is going to Payton/Brees.
 

Seels

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As big a missed call as that was the game should have been a blowout. It amazes me that this missed call is taking all the heat off Brees, who was garbage for the majority of that game.
 

Gambler7

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As big a missed call as that was the game should have been a blowout. It amazes me that this missed call is taking all the heat off Brees, who was garbage for the majority of that game.
It's amazing all of the discussion wasted on Brady and a decline this year and no one has made any mention of Brees. The last month or so he has not been good at all and could not push the ball downfield.
 

Boston Brawler

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I don’t know if making penalties or non-calls reviewable/challengeable is something the NFL can do without messing it up.

Why can’t they make the replay official or someone in New York radio in to the crew after something very obvious (missed) or have the head official call in to them after something questionable (before the call is announced)? Take the extra 30 seconds to confer with them after they have seen a few angles and make the call. If we can take the time to ensure the game clock is correct, you can do it with penalties.
 

Average Reds

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The Tuck Rule game is a good comparison, In this case, the Saints got the ball to start OT and Brees threw a pick. That is being completely ignored in all of the post game analysis. The narrative is the Saints were robbed of a trip to the SB by this call and no amount of blame is going to Payton/Brees.
There is no question that the Saints had absolute control of this game and let it slip away. Of course, it is also unquestionably true that they (likely) had the game taken from them by an utterly botched call.

It’s not an either/or situation.
 

johnmd20

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There is no question that the Saints had absolute control of this game and let it slip away. Of course, it is also unquestionably true that they (likely) had the game taken from them by an utterly botched call.

It’s not an either/or situation.
But a case could be made the Saints were in that position specifically because the refs missed a facemask call on Goff. If that was called, I assume the Rams would have scored a TD and not kicked a FG. That changes everything.

The Saints had 15 ways to win this game with good play. They got screwed on one other play. So there is plenty of blame to go around, starting with the horrendous play calls before the PI that was not called.

The Patriots got hosed on a bunch of calls and the Chiefs got hosed on that Brady roughing the passer. Teams play on, despite referee incompetence. Some teams implode. The Saints imploded, despite the fact that they had PLENTY of chances to win the game after the horrific non call.

To point to that one call as the reason the Saints lost is to ignore everything else.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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As big a missed call as that was the game should have been a blowout. It amazes me that this missed call is taking all the heat off Brees, who was garbage for the majority of that game.
Brees was bad for the last quarter of the season. Their defense carried them to the NFCCG.

Two 300 yard games after week 11 and some seriously pitiful yards per attempt.

http://www.nfl.com/player/drewbrees/2504775/gamelogs
 

BigJimEd

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If I'm a Saints fan, I'm hoping word of injury comes out this week. Otherwise you're concerned Brees had a tired arm.

But a case could be made the Saints were in that position specifically because the refs missed a facemask call on Goff. If that was called, I assume the Rams would have scored a TD and not kicked a FG. That changes everything.

The Saints had 15 ways to win this game with good play. They got screwed on one other play. So there is plenty of blame to go around, starting with the horrendous play calls before the PI that was not called.

The Patriots got hosed on a bunch of calls and the Chiefs got hosed on that Brady roughing the passer. Teams play on, despite referee incompetence. Some teams implode. The Saints imploded, despite the fact that they had PLENTY of chances to win the game after the horrific non call.

To point to that one call as the reason the Saints lost is to ignore everything else.
Excellent post. NFL officiating is poor. It's inconsistent. It's frustrating but teams have to put it behind them and overcome it. Not fair but unfortunately it's been that way for years.
I'm in the minority but I think there were several worse calls/ non-calls just this weekend. From the end zone angle, it looks brutal but from other angles, he's early but it is a lot closer.
Still a miss call that really should be obvious. I'm not arguing that.
Let's see if this makes the NFL take a better look at its officiating
 

johnmd20

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If I'm a Saints fan, I'm hoping word of injury comes out this week. Otherwise you're concerned Brees had a tired arm.

Excellent post. NFL officiating is poor. It's inconsistent. It's frustrating but teams have to put it behind them and overcome it. Not fair but unfortunately it's been that way for years.
I'm in the minority but I think there were several worse calls/ non-calls just this weekend. From the end zone angle, it looks brutal but from other angles, he's early but it is a lot closer.
Still a miss call that really should be obvious. I'm not arguing that.
Let's see if this makes the NFL take a better look at its officiating
One thing I am not hearing much about was that terrible pass by Brees on first down on the series that led to the non PI call. Thomas was open and he was in the middle of the field, so a catch there burns either a time out or 40 seconds on the clock. Instead Brees absolutely choked on that pass and threw it at Thomas' feet. Incomplete. Clock stops. I repeat, CLOCK STOPS.

Mistakes were made. Ok, I'm gong to go further. If the Saints do the smart thing on that drive, they run Kamara three times. It would have burned all of the Rams time outs, plus an extra 50 seconds. So the Rams would have gotten the ball back with 40 seconds and no time outs, not 1:41 and one time out. At best, because Kamara could have gotten the first down. 40 seconds and no time outs is a much much bigger hill to climb, on the road, for a 24 year old QB.

That's humongous. Payton can cry all he wants about the refs but fuck him. He made multiple play calls that were horrendous, which there is no excuse for. At that point, the key was the clock and the time outs, not yards. Payton played for yards and blew it. Brees also absolutely blew it on that first down pass. So despite the stupid play call, which is on Payton, Brees choked, which is on him.

Look in the mirror Sean.
 

Super Nomario

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If I'm a Saints fan, I'm hoping word of injury comes out this week. Otherwise you're concerned Brees had a tired arm.
Tired arm would be a bad sign, as he got Week 17 off and the Saints had a bye.

One thing I am not hearing much about was that terrible pass by Brees on first down on the series that led to the non PI call. Thomas was open and he was in the middle of the field, so a catch there burns either a time out or 40 seconds on the clock. Instead Brees absolutely choked on that pass and threw it at Thomas' feet. Incomplete. Clock stops. I repeat, CLOCK STOPS.

Mistakes were made. Ok, I'm gong to go further. If the Saints do the smart thing on that drive, they run Kamara three times. It would have burned all of the Rams time outs, plus an extra 50 seconds. So the Rams would have gotten the ball back with 40 seconds and no time outs, not 1:41 and one time out. At best, because Kamara could have gotten the first down. 40 seconds and no time outs is a much much bigger hill to climb, on the road, for a 24 year old QB.

That's humongous. Payton can cry all he wants about the refs but fuck him. He made multiple play calls that were horrendous, which there is no excuse for. At that point, the key was the clock and the time outs, not yards. Payton played for yards and blew it. Brees also absolutely blew it on that first down pass. So despite the stupid play call, which is on Payton, Brees choked, which is on him.

Look in the mirror Sean.
I don't have an issue with the playcall. Rams' entire D was within five-six yards of the LOS, and only two guys on the side of the slant. Thomas' guy was picked off, Ginn was in position to block his own guy, and there was no safety help deep. That might be a TD with a good throw. Or maybe Thomas gets the first and takes a dive and the Saints just run it into the line a couple times and kick the FG.
 

johnmd20

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I don't have an issue with the playcall. Rams' entire D was within five-six yards of the LOS, and only two guys on the side of the slant. Thomas' guy was picked off, Ginn was in position to block his own guy, and there was no safety help deep. That might be a TD with a good throw. Or maybe Thomas gets the first and takes a dive and the Saints just run it into the line a couple times and kick the FG.
I don't either. But it was a playcall that left the possibility the Rams wouldn't have to use a TO. So it was a risk and at that position in the game, it was a huge risk. Three runs and the game is probably over because either Kamara gets the first down or they burn almost all of the clock. Of course, Payton would have probably Ingram, who wouldn't have gone anywhere, because Payton is the smartest guy in the room. Except when he's not.

Further, Brees BLEW the throw. So in the game of finger pointing, the Saints have to accept the fact that they should be pointing some fingers at themselves. For the playcalls and for the lack of execution.

Brees doesn't blow that throw, and nobody is talking about a PI non call. And Payton whining about a non call when he made a number of mistakes is laughable.

edit - just to add to this. The Pats took some tough calls, too, and every single time Brady needed to deliver a huge pass on 3rd down, he delivered. He's the anti Brees.
 

Ale Xander

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Statement from Gayle Benson, Saints owner.

"Yesterday’s result is still difficult to accept for all of us. I am thoroughly disappointed by the events that led to the outcome of yesterday’s game. Getting to the Super Bowl is incredibly difficult to do and takes such an unbelievable commitment from a team and support from its fans. No team should ever be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field. As is clear to all who watched the game, it is undeniable that our team and fans were unfairly deprived of that opportunity yesterday. I have been in touch with the NFL regarding yesterday’s events and will aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies to ensure no team and fan base is ever put in a similar position again. It is a disservice to our coaches, players, employees and, most importantly, the fans who make our game possible. The NFL must always commit to providing the most basic of expectations - fairness and integrity.
Our entire team is humbled and grateful for the support shown by our fans over the course of the season. It has become common for teams to proclaim that they have the “best fans in the NFL”. I do not believe there is any debate, however, that we truly have the most inspiring, committed and passionate fans in all of professional sports. This is true whether you are from New Orleans or part of our family of fans from the entire state, region and country.

The truth is we are more than team and fans- we are a family. As a family we celebrate together, support each other and sometimes suffer together. This past season has been especially meaningful to me as we honored my husband. I will never be able to fully express my appreciation for the way all of you have supported me and our team in honoring Tom Benson’s legacy. I know he is proud of this team and our fans.

While the way this season ended has left us all frustrated and disappointed, I am comforted knowing we will respond the way our community always responds - with resilience, fierce determination and love for each other and the Saints.

I have had many blessings in my life, perhaps the greatest is being born in New Orleans and having the opportunity to be a part of the Saints family with you. Next season starts now and I can’t wait to share it with you again. - Gayle Benson
 

DeadlySplitter

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again, Bill would NEVER let this linger for a second, no matter how bad the call was.

Payton is a really good coach, but his flaws got exposed big time yesterday. And it may be time to start developing the next QB after Brees.
 

patinorange

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Run the ball three times dummy. There’s a fair chance you get the first down to end the game or worst case, the Rams have very little time and no time outs to tie it up. That horrible call is covering up some really bad decision making.
 

Captaincoop

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But in this case, no penalty was called. Challenging a play where there was no flag could open up an entirely different can of worms
They need to somehow clean up the PI calls. Maybe simplify the rule so that fans and officials are both clear and on the same page about it.

Still wouldn't solve what happened yesterday, which was gross incompetence...
 

johnmd20

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Run the ball three times dummy. There’s a fair chance you get the first down to end the game or worst case, the Rams have very little time and no time outs to tie it up. That horrible call is covering up some really bad decision making.
I've been saying this for two days now. The Saints got screwed on one call, no doubt. But they benefitted from other calls. And if they just ran the ball three times, the Rams would have had 25 seconds at most. Or the Saints could have kicked with 3 seconds left if they got the first.

Finally, and this needs to be repeated, the Saints got the ball in overtime. They had a chance and they blew it.
 

BigSoxFan

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I've been saying this for two days now. The Saints got screwed on one call, no doubt. But they benefitted from other calls. And if they just ran the ball three times, the Rams would have had 25 seconds at most. Or the Saints could have kicked with 3 seconds left if they got the first.

Finally, and this needs to be repeated, the Saints got the ball in overtime. They had a chance and they blew it.
I’ll never understand that first down call by Payton after the Ginn bomb. The Rams had 2 timeouts left and it was under the 2 min warning. You run it 3 times, bleed the clock, and give the ball back with under a minute to go. Instead, the Rams started their drive with 1:41 and 1 timeout. That was absolutely coaching malpractice. The non call was terrible but it never should have gotten to that point.
 

johnmd20

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I’ll never understand that first down call by Payton after the Ginn bomb. The Rams had 2 timeouts left and it was under the 2 min warning. You run it 3 times, bleed the clock, and give the ball back with under a minute to go. Instead, the Rams started their drive with 1:41 and 1 timeout. That was absolutely coaching malpractice. The non call was terrible but it never should have gotten to that point.
And despite the fact that it did get to that point, the Saints, in their extremely loud dome, couldn't stop a 24 year old quarterback from driving into FG range.

And then even after that, the Saints got the ball in OT. All the complaints you hear about Tom Brady in OT is that he's never given a chance to the other team. They say that is unfair. Well Brees could have done the same thing, and he threw an INT, at home, in his comfortable dome.

There's plenty of blame to go around, and the ref blew it, but the Saints are acting like that is the sole reason they lost. That statement by the owner was laughable. She really poured it on.
 

Harry Hooper

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again, Bill would NEVER let this linger for a second, no matter how bad the call was.
Lingering worked so well for the Falcons.

This is like the "tuck rule" call for the Raiders. The losing team absolves itself of any responsibility for the loss even though there were other opportunities to win.
 

BigSoxFan

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And despite the fact that it did get to that point, the Saints, in their extremely loud dome, couldn't stop a 24 year old quarterback from driving into FG range.

And then even after that, the Saints got the ball in OT. All the complaints you hear about Tom Brady in OT is that he's never given a chance to the other team. They say that is unfair. Well Brees could have done the same thing, and he threw an INT, at home, in his comfortable dome.

There's plenty of blame to go around, and the ref blew it, but the Saints are acting like that is the sole reason they lost. That statement by the owner was laughable. She really poured it on.
Yup. I could easily see a hangover next year for them. Also worth mentioning on the OT INT play is that Michael Thomas decided to complain to the ref about Johnson's contact instead of playing defense on the throw.
 

Dehere

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The first down call after the two minute warning made complete sense in the context of what you’d seen from Brees for the first two thirds of this season and for the last ten years. You absolutely trust that Brees to make that throw and effectively end the game.

With the Brees we saw in the second half of that game, however, you run the ball three times.

I think Payton, who is sort of in awe of Brees IMO, just didn’t see his guy correctly in that moment.
 

BigJimEd

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That is pathetic nin
They need to somehow clean up the PI calls. Maybe simplify the rule so that fans and officials are both clear and on the same page about it.

Still wouldn't solve what happened yesterday, which was gross incompetence...
Is the rule complicated? I think it's pretty straight forward. There is some judgement in that it includes the phrase "significantly hinders". But I don't think they want to get rid of that and include all contact since many complaints are that some call it too strict.

As you said none of it matters in this case. This was a case of refs "letting them play" in the playoffs thinking the timing was close. I think it was closer than most but not that close. Just one of many wrong calls this weekend
 

BigJimEd

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Yup. I could easily see a hangover next year for them. Also worth mentioning on the OT INT play is that Michael Thomas decided to complain to the ref about Johnson's contact instead of playing defense on the throw.
Wouldn't surprise me. At least Brees did say they had plenty of opportunities to win the game and didn't make the plays.

That letter from the owner is hilarious. This is Goodell's NFL. I wouldn't be surprised to see an organization demand a call overturned and game replayed from that spot in the next year or two. No responsibility.
 

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Big picture is that there's no excuse for that non-call and there's no doubt that it took a win away from the Saints. What happened before or after is totally irrelevant to the impact of that easy call. Payton could have done 1,000 different (and better) things before and after that fiasco and it's still a robbery because it doesn't change the facts of that moment. Saying "he shoulda", or "what if" has no bearing on what actually happened, which was the Saints getting a championship taken away by an enormously incompetent decision. This wasn't a judgment error or a blocked view error. This was a game-changing event...that changed the game.

Payton doesn't have to make the right clock management decision there. Brees doesn't have to make a better throw in OT. Why?, because they both belonged on the field receiving a trophy regardless of any other consequential event. Something is broken in the NFL and they better fix it.

...and I call that this board would be livid over the non-call on the pick if the Pats had lost (one drop on a 3rd down), even though Brady could have not thrown 2 (really 3) interceptions and the team could have kicked a field goal. Those events had nothing to do with the pick non-call, which was a much more difficult decision than the obvious head to head and PI tackle.
 

DrewDawg

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And because this is 2019, there may be a lawsuit on behalf of Saints season ticket holders.

 

BigJimEd

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Big picture is that there's no excuse for that non-call and there's no doubt that it took a win away from the Saints. What happened before or after is totally irrelevant to the impact of that easy call. Payton could have done 1,000 different (and better) things before and after that fiasco and it's still a robbery because it doesn't change the facts of that moment. Saying "he shoulda", or "what if" has no bearing on what actually happened, which was the Saints getting a championship taken away by an enormously incompetent decision. This wasn't a judgment error or a blocked view error. This was a game-changing event...that changed the game.

Payton doesn't have to make the right clock management decision there. Brees doesn't have to make a better throw in OT. Why?, because they both belonged on the field receiving a trophy regardless of any other consequential event. Something is broken in the NFL and they better fix it.

...and I call that this board would be livid over the non-call on the pick if the Pats had lost (one drop on a 3rd down), even though Brady could have not thrown 2 (really 3) interceptions and the team could have kicked a field goal. Those events had nothing to do with the pick non-call, which was a much more difficult decision than the obvious head to head and PI tackle.
Of course we would but we are also fans. As a coach and an organization it's a little bit different. Control what you can control. Look at where you can improve. That's generally what good organizations will do. Payton will probably re-focus and maybe he gets the rest of the team to put it behind them.
But during the game it sure looked like he lost focus or more precisely was focused on something that was over and out of his control.

Those other issues and mistakes affect the game as well. People want to gloss over those other missed calls as if they don't matter. That missed face mask call could have cost the Rams a chance at Superbowl. Not sure why we are ok with one but not the other. If the Rams lost and put out a statement like that, they would basically be labeled sore losers.

I do agree the NFL needs to fix their officiating. They've needed to do that forever really. I've said for years I believe it is the worst among professional leagues.
The fact that there were so many missed calls just proves it. This whole weekend and most of the playoffs have been poor.
Hopefully this will force them to take a good comprehensive look at their officiating. But I'm not optimistic. I'm guessing they'll make a re-active change that will ultimately make little difference.