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.
White 3rd-12 conversion. Then Wilson gets rocked, as he is clearly in bounds pic.twitter.com/9lMBsE32R2
— Joe Blewett (@Joerb31) December 12, 2022
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.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 17, 2022
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.”
I mean… my goodness they want us to play flag football at this point .. https://t.co/cElcr1bvmT
— Jordan poyer (@J_poyer21) December 4, 2022
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.