Tag Archives: Football

How bad calls from NFL referees continue to decide the outcome of games

In a forever-changing game, there is one reoccurring problem that has NFL fans like myself shaking their heads in disappointment. That problem is that on almost a weekly basis, at least one game is plagued with terrible calls that, on some occasions, have even decided the winner of a game. While some may argue that this is a common problem that can’t be solved, there is no doubt that bad calls in important division games and playoff games have fans calling for a solution. In this piece, I will provide examples of the worst cases in which NFL referees’ bad calls have decided essential games.

Embed from Getty Images

Roughing the Passer

Many would argue that the quarterback position is the most critical position on the field. Increasing the frequency of roughing-the-passer calls prevents the league’s star QBs from being injured and calling to the backup QBs. In the wake of this, these calls’ consistency is questioned. NFL fans have seen times when a seemingly legal hit is called roughing the passer, and an illegal hit is not called. The official rule is that any hit to the legs or around the head area warrants a roughing the passer call. Defenders are allowed “one step” toward the QB after the ball is thrown, and more than one step warrants a roughing the passer call. Defenders also cannot hit a QB with their full body weight. While these rules seem fair and straightforward, NFL referees have shown otherwise.

One example of a bad roughing the passer call was a week 5 matchup of the 2022 regular season between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons. While the Falcons were trying to make a comeback late in the 4th quarter down six, star Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett made a huge play, sacking QB Tom Brady. Jarrett wrapped up Brady and spun him to the ground, a seemingly ordinary sack that would have forced a Buccaneers punt on 4th down. This was flagged for roughing the passer and gave the Buccaneers a first down, allowing them to chew the rest of the clock out and stall out a Falcons comeback.

Embed from Getty Images

Pass Interference

Another penalty that causes controversy for NFL referees is the pass interference calls. Like the roughing the passer penalty, pass interference gets called on an inconsistent basis where sometimes it gets called when it shouldn’t, and other times it doesn’t get called when it should. Pass interference rules state that a defender cannot initiate illegal contact that causes an unfair chance for the WR to make a play on the football. Holding, pulling, pushing, tripping, grabbing the facemask, and tackling the WR are examples of what would be called pass interference.

An example of a missed call was the 2018 NFC championship game, late in the 4th quarter, a wheel route throw from QB Drew Brees to Wide Receiver Tommylee Lewis was disrupted early from a hit by Rams Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. Instead of a pass interference call that would have set up the Saints’ offense with first and goal, they faced a 4th and long and had to settle for a field goal. Brees would throw an interception in overtime and allow a game-winning field goal to send the Rams to the super bowl. Many fans believe the Saints got cheated out of a super bowl appearance based on this one play alone.

Embed from Getty Images

Catches and Non-Catches

NFL referees seem to have different ideas on the criteria for what is a catch and what is not. While roughing the passer and even pass interference have been more recently arising problems, the catching criterion is a problem that has been ongoing for a long time. The NFL states that if a receiver maintains possession going to the ground and the ball comes out after, it is a catch, but if the receiver doesn’t maintain control and the ball hits the ground, it is not a catch. While it can usually be determined if a receiver has possession or not, there are some cases in which a ruling is disagreed upon.

One example was a 2014 NFC divisional game between the Packers and Cowboys. With time winding down and the Cowboys finding themselves at a 4th down, QB Tony Romo takes a deep shot to WR Dez Bryant, which is caught. Bryant took a few steps towards the end zone with the ball securely in his hands before going to the ground, where the ball popped up but back into his arms. This was initially called a catch but was overturned after a review. This was especially surprising because, in terms of reviews, NFL referees need a clear view that the initial call was wrong, which there appeared to be none. Under the “rules” set by the NFL for catches, this should have been a catch.

It is clear from these calls that NFL referees have made that something needs to change. Two of these instances were in the playoffs and were the deciding factor in both games. NFL fans agree that action needs to be taken to prevent this from happening again because bad calls happen more than they should.

Embed from Getty Images
Stephen Avara, Junior

Stephen Avara is a junior member of the Multi-Media Journalism class.

“Our goal is to be playing on Nov 18 at Navy-Marine Corp Stadium”

Mount Saint Joseph Football started their conference schedule with a dominant 40-0 win over Loyola Blakefield, a 35-14 win over Gilman, a 23-7 win over McDonogh, and a 33-22 win over defending champion, Calvert Hall. The Gaels have clinched home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Junior Quarterback Winston Watkins has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, helping push the Gaels to victory.

Photo of #51 Nick Paxton, #3 Bryce Cox, #6 Winston Watkins

In an interview with The Baltimore Banner, Head Coach Dominic Damico said, “We’ve had really good preparation (for the conference season),” he said about a team that lost a close game to St. Ignatius of Ohio before suffering a 52-14 setback to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power Our Lady of Good Counsel. “We were ready to play.”

The Gaels’ defense gets the first-down stop.

Many believe the Gaels have already faced the best teams they will face all year. The loss to Good Counsel really helped motivate MSJ. With their wins against Loyola Blakefield, Gilman, McDonogh, and Calvert Hall they are currently the number #1 seed in the A Conference.

The Gaels prepare for battle.

The Gaels starting defense has been stellar, only allowing 29 points in A-Conference play. With these dominant performances, it’s hard to deny the excellent form of the Gaels’ defense, with a combined 128 tackles and 20 sacks this season by Sahir West, Deshaun Merrick, and Nick Paxton.

Through 4 games, the Gaels have dominated their opponents. The Gaels this year have a mission in mind and are focused on reaching their ultimate goal – a championship. Coach Damico says the reason for this start is that “We have a great group of seniors who have bought into the culture, they practice hard and play hard in the game.” He also added, “The focus of this group is getting better every week.”

The Gaels led on the field by #11 Sahir West.

With this new focus and constant improvement, Coach Damico said, “we have set the bar very high for this group; our goal is to be playing on Nov 18 at Navy-Marine Corp Stadium.” Also, with the added motivation of a first-round exit last year, they have shown they want to take what’s theirs.

Nicholas Paxton is a Senior Member of the Multi-Media Journalism Class.

A new look – How the Ravens’ offseason made them potential contenders

Embed from Getty Images

The people of Baltimore have much to look forward to in the future with their professional football team. Coming off a losing streak at the end of the 2021 season, the Ravens’ team morale was low. They were decimated by injuries and some would agree they lacked talent on some parts of the defense. Heading into the offseason, they knew what they needed to improve and responded accordingly.

Free Agency
Embed from Getty Images

The Ravens started the offseason by deciding what players they wanted to resign and what players they wanted to let go. Even last year, they had under the radar talent that they would’ve liked to keep but didn’t have the money. They lost proven role players like Safety Deshon Elliot and Guard/Center Bradley Bozeman. They decided to give the money they had to players like Pro Bowl Fullback Patrick Ricard, Defensive Tackle Calais Campbell, and Inside Linebacker Josh Bynes. These moves have effectively saved money that they could possibly use to resign star Quarterback Lamar Jackson. 

Embed from Getty Images

Eventually, the Ravens had moves to make for free agents. They had some issues in the secondary and some weak pass-rushing last season. Without the Ravens paying their long-time DT Brandon Williams, even their incredible run defense needed some support. Their first move was S Marcus Williams. Williams made a name for himself on the New Orleans Saints being one the lockdown safeties of that playoff-level team. The Ravens were eyeing the opportunity to snag a younger safety for cheaper and were able to get Marcus Williams for a 5-year, $70 million deal. They also brought back a familiar face in DT Michael Pierce who played for the Ravens only a few seasons ago. They also helped out Lamar Jackson by signing veteran tackle Morgan Moses and improving a position that was a struggle for the Ravens last year.

NFL Draft
Embed from Getty Images

Soon enough, it was time for the NFL draft. The Ravens knew what they needed to improve coming in. They had limited money to spend in the offseason and still had some positions they would like to improve. They started by drafting S Kyle Hamilton out of Notre Dame. This was a massive upgrade at the safety position as Kyle Hamilton allowed 1 TD in 819 career college football snaps. They later traded Wide Receiver Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals for their first-round pick. The Ravens used this pick on Iowa product, Center Tyler Linderbaum. The Ravens have had problems with this position in the past but they feel they might have found a guy who can consistently play this position at a top-tier level. Later-round picks, like Michigan’s star LB David Ojabo, is a high-risk high reward draft selection as Ojabo was a projected first-round pick before his unfortunate injury in his last season at Michigan.

Injuries and an unfortunate sequence of events led the Ravens to a disappointing 2021 season where they saw their first losing record since 2015. With all of the offseason moves, the Ravens look to put last year behind them and find success this upcoming season.

Stephen Avara, Junior

Stephen Avara is a Junior member of the Multimedia Journalism Class

Could this be a championship season for MSJ Football?

The Varsity Football team is primed for a stellar MIAA season this year. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

The Varsity Gaels Football Team looks primed to compete for the MIAA championship. The Gaels have arguably the best defense in the MIAA (with an average of 12 points given per game last year). With an explosive offense led by Junior Quarterback Winston Watkins, with many talented wide receivers, running backs, and offensive lineman. 

The Student Section always shows up for game time. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

With being the #29 team in the nation in 2019 (Pre-Covid), and being the #2 team in the A conference in 2021, they knew that this season would be a dominant one with most of last year’s starters returning. With multiple schools losing their best players due to transferring, MSJ has managed to keep its core players. Thanks to this, Saint Joe has a fantastic opportunity to reclaim their title as best in the MIAA. They have a team full of hungry players who remember the sting of their Semi-Final exit last year. 

The plan for the season is complete domination, with the team’s focus continuing to dominate through all 4 quarters. With the addition of 6 new coaches, this year’s team looks more like they will reach the ultimate goal.

Varsity Football is led on the field by Joe Gael. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster
Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

The team is looking forward to having games against great teams to prepare them for the championship. They played St. Ignatius in a match many thought would be a blowout and MSJ held its own. Even though they came up short, they opened a lot of eyes. The team also has a game against the #35 team in the nation, Good Counsel. 

The Gaels will come into league play starting off hot on September 24, against Loyola Blakefield. Then for the rest of the season, all of the other games are league games. These games will determine if they will reach their ultimate goal. MSJ looks to claim the #1 seed to ensure home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

Nicholas Paxton is a senior member of the multimedia journalism Class.

How the 2022 NFL off-season has raised the bar for years to come

Embed from Getty Images

The 2022 NFL off-season has been one of the greatest known to date, with a large majority caused by contract drama. There is no doubt that money was always a factor for NFL players, but has it ever been this bad? Report after report has shown that when one of the best players in his position gets paid, other players feel the need to compete for a spot as the highest player in the league as well. 

Tyreek Hill, after leaving one of the best teams in the league, was traded away to the Miami Dolphins, allowing him to be the top-paid receiver in the NFL. Hill makes a whopping $30 million a year! After receiving this news, players like Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs also felt the need to get paid big bucks. Davante Adams left the Green Bay Packers and his beloved quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, after requesting a trade due to Rodgers receiving a contract that pays him $50 million a year. Adams wanted the money, and that’s precisely what he got. He was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, making $28.25 million a year, while joining former college teammate Derek Carr.

Embed from Getty Images

And if those numbers aren’t crazy enough, Deshaun Watson, after not playing in the NFL for an entire season because of 27 sexual assault allegations, was traded to the Cleveland Browns, where he is set to make $250 million in his contract. This sets the bar high for NFL contracts because many players and fans don’t think he deserves the money. Following this contract drama, Kyler Murray added more fuel to the fire and demanded a contract extension. He removed all of his Cardinals-related Instagram posts, which caused a stir in the media. Kyler Murray ended up receiving a three-year, $105 million contract. It even said in his contract that he had to watch 4 hours of film a day to comply with his contract’s rules.

In the NFL, the quarterback is the highest-paid position, with all top 10 highest-paid players being a QB. Expectations are high for superstar quarterbacks, but the question is, how much money is enough? Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, considered an average quarterback by most metrics, makes $35 million a year, while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is still on his 5th-year option, waiting for a major contract. The MVP-winning QB has addressed contract rumors and has made it public that he wants the money. Jackson allegedly turned down a 6-year, $250 million contract, because only $133 million was guaranteed. Ravens fans, try not to worry though; Lamar Jackson is locked in this season, and has his sights on winning a Super Bowl. Raven’s GM Eric DeCosta said the Ravens will try again next year and hopefully get their star QB a top deal.

Embed from Getty Images

The growth in the NFL over the years has been one to remember. The explosion in money being thrown at offensive playmakers in the league has outpaced other sports. Even backup QBs in the NFL have made well over $15 million in total income. As a football fan, it is exciting to watch the game unfold, but the off-season wheeling and dealing is a game itself. The saying “don’t hate the game, hate the player” is in full effect in the NFL this year.

David Cohn is a Senior Member of The multimedia journalism class.

Bengals Eli Apple criticized and blamed for Super Bowl loss

With the end of an unforgettable season for the Bengals, everyone is now starting to place blame on who cost them the game. One notable person that is being criticized is the Bengals cornerback Eli Apple.

Embed from Getty Images

On Super Bowl Sunday, the Rams started the game with an early touchdown, which was followed by a 29-yard field goal from Evan McPherson. Then the Rams answered back with a touchdown but failed their 2-point conversion. Soon after the Bengals landed a touchdown putting the game at 13-10 at half. Right at the start of the third quarter, the Bengals scored a 75-yard touchdown to Tee Higgins, and soon after they scored a field goal to put them up seven. The Rams scored a 41-yard field goal, and later scored a touchdown to Cooper Kupp to put them ahead 22-20, and after the extra point, 23-20. The game ended as Joe Burrow went down by sack, which turned the ball over to the Rams, ending the game in a Rams victory.

Embed from Getty Images

The Bengals cornerback is taking a large amount of backlash, mostly because people do not really know who to blame for the loss. Eli Apple was paired up with Cooper Kupp, a phenomenal player, and winner of OPOY and Super Bowl MVP. As we know, Cooper Kupp had a quality game, but had an average game with 92 yards, 8 receptions and 2 touchdowns. The main reason he is taking backlash is from the game winning touchdown, but that is really it. Eli Apple has since responded saying this, “All glory to God for blessing me immensely this season to share the field with the best group of men I’ve been around” and he also said, “Truly grateful to my teammates, Who Dey Nation, and my coaches for embracing me as family. Proud of the rigorous work we put in to make this season a special one. Yall reawoke a fire in me that will only make me stronger and I’m beyond excited to unleash that demon again to exponential levels on any opp that lines up across from me next season.”

Embed from Getty Images

Eli Apple seems like he just had a bad game and will be ready next year.

Thomas Moore is a Freshman member of the Quill.