Robert Saleh, NY Jets
Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

It’s one thing not to get the calls; it’s another thing to get fined for not getting them

Winners win the games; losers blame the refs.

That’s always been the case in the NFL. Yes, there is a relatively rare instance in which a single call directly influences the outcome of the game, but most of the time, teams have time to recover from a missed or bad call. Play better, and you don’t need to worry about it.

You could say that was true in the Bills-Jets Week 14 game, too. Buffalo was ultimately the better team on the field, making the plays when it counted. But one call after the game calls the entire NFL officiating mechanism into question.

This was a great throw by Mike White and a strong route by Garrett Wilson. Wilson gained the first down, took two steps out of bounds, and then was rocked by Jordan Poyer. On the live broadcast, it looked like a late hit. On the All-22, it looked like a cheap shot. Of course, no flag came out on the play.

Now, despite the lack of a flag, you’d think that the NFL would take some action on Poyer. He went high and hard when Wilson was already very far out of bounds.

Instead, it was the other way around.

Seriously? A guy gets hit on a cheap shot, tells the defender he didn’t like it, and he is the one fined? This is not even an in-the-moment decision; it comes down after reviewing the replay.

Compare this to the late-hit call on Josh Allen during Saturday Night Football, and it definitely appears that what the referee said to Garrett Wilson is accurate: refs give only brand-name players big-time calls.

This brings up the myriad of missed calls that the Jets have endured over the past number of weeks. Yes, every fan base thinks that the refs are biased against their team, and at times, every team is right about missed calls. But it’s getting to a point that it can’t be ignored.

After the game, Wilson said he was told by an official, “This isn’t Ohio State anymore.” That is a highly inappropriate comment from a referee, essentially telling Wilson that he’s not getting the late hit call because he’s a rookie. You can bet that Stefon Diggs would have gotten that call.

There have been a few of these calls over the Jets’ recent fugue. Yes, the Jets still have their own mistakes to blame for the losses to the Vikings and Bills, but the referees did not help their cause.

In the Jets-Bills game, besides the missed Garrett Wilson penalty, the Bills’ tackles decided that they might as well hold on every play if the call wouldn’t come the majority of the time.

Against the Vikings, Jordan Whitehead was called for a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty while laying a hit on Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, which prompted the aforementioned Jordan Poyer to tweet that the NFL wants players to play “flag football.”

 

Obviously, going back a few weeks, there were the missed illegal blocks in the back on the Marcus Jones 82-yard touchdown.

To reiterate, are these calls and no-calls the reason the Jets lost each game? Other than the Patriots game, in which the no-calls occurred on the game-winning play, the undeniable answer is no. In all three games, the Jets made other mistakes that cost them and did not execute the plays when they mattered.

However, when the calls pile up over enough weeks, it makes a Jets fan wonder. When a Green and White player is fined for being on the receiving end of an aggressive, cheap hit, that raises an immediate flag (pun intended).

The NFL must get the excesses of their officiating crews under control. It’s not just the Jets, but it does often seem to be the Jets. A sky judge may be a good idea, as well as dividing power rather than consolidating it in one man’s hands.

Garrett Wilson should appeal his fine. Jets players should receive the same protections as others in the league.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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Jim G
Jim G
1 month ago

I see this as a league-wide problem. Yesterday I noticed a clear hold by a Cowboys offensive lineman on a Zach Prescott TD pass which was not called. I don’t for a second believe that the official didn’t see it; he was right in the picture frame.

I also have come to believe that the “expert refs” employed by the TV stations have been reduced to apologists for the officiating. Last night at the end of the Giants game was one of the few times someone disagreed with a ref. What am I supposed to believe, my own two eyes or some lame, post hoc rationalization by a former NFL official wanting to be a celebrity.

Twice this weekend, refs blew the whistle on fumble recoveries which would have been returned for TDs: in the Vikings and Giants games. Where is the accountability? In short, there is none.

Charlie Winner
Charlie Winner
1 month ago

There have been some obvious bad calls that have come against the Jets, but the no-call against Poyer on Wilson was disturbing, especially with the ref’s remark to Wilson after the play.

If the League is serious about player safety, such fouls should be called because they are simply examples of macho, “looka me”, intent by certain players which could lead to serious injury.

biggestgarrettwilsonfan
biggestgarrettwilsonfan
1 month ago

It’s infuriating

jetsfan21
jetsfan21
1 month ago

The one that comes to mind to me is the pick 6 against the Pats…roughing the passer call. That BS call directly affected the outcome of the game. Would have put the Jets up 17-0 if I remember right. Instead takes away our TD and the Pats end up putting up points on the drive. That one hurt, and the Jets didn’t play well the rest of the game after that.

Jets71
Jets71
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

You’re right it was the correct call by the book, the problem is that is not always called. Zach got whacked in the head in NE, much worse and no call.