The NFL’s Replacement Refs Keep Trying To Ruin Football

Phantom penalties! Mistaken fumbles! An abject disregard for players’ safety! Here’s the best of the NFL’s replacement refs in the second week of football.

1. Our first stop is Jets-Steelers. Ike Taylor, #24, lines up on Santonio Holmes. Ike Taylor covers Santonio Holmes without any contact. Ike Taylor gets called for pass interference.

2. Possibly the penalty was meant for #25, Ryan Clark? But his hit is as legal as they come.

3. Also in that game, Isaac Redman is tackled by Yeremiah Bell, and the ball’s stripped. Initial ruling is down by contact.

4. Upon closer inspection, it looks pretttttty likely that the ball came out.

5. And even still, it turns out that Redman had been down a few yards back, which the officials were also supposed to look at.

6. The refs’ decision? Play stands. Which is the only completely wrong option. Rex Ryan was genuinely baffled.

7. Now for Seahawks-Cowboys. On a scramble by Russell Wilson, Seattle WR Golden Tate turns and puts the crown of his helmet straight into Sean Lee’s face — a totally illegal hit.

8. I mean…

9. To make matters worse, Tate gets up and celebrates as Lee remains on the ground.

10. So what was the call? A personal foul on THE COWBOYS for pushing Wilson out of bounds a hair too late. WE CAN’T HAVE THAT KIND OF HITTING IN OUR TWO-HAND TOUCH FOOTBALL GAMES.

Golden Tate got away with nothing, though there’s a good chance he’ll be fined this week.

11. Over to the Eagles-Ravens game, where this obvious forward pass is initially ruled a fumble.

12. The ball travels five yards in the air. Vick’s arm is moving forward. It shouldn’t take a video review to ensure that the Eagles don’t get robbed.

13. And most crucially, a touchdown that would have given Baltimore a two-score lead — and probably the win — was nullifed by a pass interference call that should have gone against the Eagles.

Nnamdi Asomugha never gets his head around and never makes a play on the ball — that’s clear-cut pass interference. Even if Jacoby Jones pushed off, which he doesn’t appear to have done to any significant degree, Asomugha’s failure to play the ball means that there should have been either no call or pass interference against Philadelphia.

14. And then, as Jim Harbaugh vehemently protests the call, there’s this.

That guy in black is a ref, too. It appears that he needs to force the primary referee back onto the field to keep calling the game. But I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here. It’s just so weird.

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