If you've watched any NFL football this year, odds are that you've noticed the horrendous officiating that has plagued the entire league. It's really hard to watch any game nowadays without seeing a big officiating error, as it's just expected at this point. The league has their own grading system for officials so that they can ensure that they are properly disciplined if they miss enough calls, but they occasionally do take other measures too, such as removing a crew from a game.
That is what has happened for week 13, according to Pro Football Talk. PFT's Mike Florio reports that Pete Morelli and his crew have been pulled from the Sunday Night Football matchup on NBC between the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they will instead be assigned to another game.
Morelli's crew officiated last week's game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals and, well, did a pretty awful job at it. Niners Nations' David Fucillo wasn't too impressed:
Morelli's crew was an absolute train wreck on Sunday. Their mistake on Quinton Dial's roughing penalty was egregious, but it was nothing compared to the embarrassment of taking ten minutes to figure out whether or not it was third down early in the game. They had numerous instances of embarrassing behavior that has no business on the football field.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians also wasn't impressed. "The officials were struggling -- mightily," he said after the game, according to ESPN. "They can't count to three." Arians was referring to a play that Fucillo noted as well, as the refs were confused as to which down it was at one point early in the game. Arians clearly wasn't happy with the officiating, either.
49ers guard Alex Boone didn't hold back either. "I'm not too worried about getting fined," he said, according to Niners Nation. "I thought those refs sucked." It was a comedy of errors for the crew that kept FOX's Mike Pereira busy trying to explain the calls, and it wasn't just not knowing what down it was. There were other bad calls as well, such as the huge roughing the passer penalty in the fourth quarter.
So the Colts and the Steelers won't get Morelli and his crew this weekend, probably in large part because of it being a primetime game. Had the game been at 1:00, I have doubts about whether the NFL would have cared enough to take action, but they can't afford to let the entire nation see their bad officiating. So the Colts will see a different referee this Sunday, but considering the state of NFL officiating, I'm not sure that means a whole lot.