The Green Bay Packers Got Robbed By The Real Refs, Too
Jeff Triplette and his crew blew a call that almost cost the Packers the game, only a week after the replacement officials did cost them a game.
Let's set the scene: Green Bay leads the Saints 28-27 after Aaron Rodgers' 4th TD of the day, scored with 7:05 remaining in the game. Green Bay kicks off to New Orleans' Darren Sproles.
Sproles gets nailed, fumbling the ball away. But ref Jeff Triplette and his crew ruled that he was down before losing the ball — though it wasn't even close.
Use our rubbable GIFs to see for yourself. Sproles was fully upright when he let go of the ball, and it appears that Green Bay recovers, though there was a vicious scrum after the fumble.
Mike McCarthy was not happy. But because he'd used his two challenges earlier, Green Bay couldn't challenge the call, and New Orleans maintained possession.
New Orleans then drove down the field for a 43-yard field goal. HOWEVER, a Saints holding penalty meant that he had to re-kick, and kicker Garrett Hartley pushed the ensuing 48-yarder wide with just under three minutes remaining. Considering how well Aaron Rodgers played the rest of the day, there's a good chance that the Packers would've been able to put together a comeback drive to win. But they didn't have to. And we all learned an important lesson: the real refs handle the games faster, more smoothly, and more consistently than the replacement refs did, but they're still far from perfect.