.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

A zebra of any other stripe...

 So, Packers fans, before you go screaming off the deep end on how your team was jobbed against the Seattle Seahawks last night, take a chill pill. I realize it's too late for many of you, but at least spend a couple of minutes in the sauna or something.

In one, yes ONE, aspect you have a legitimate beef. Golden Tate should've been called for pass interference for his two-handed shove. The NFL replacement officials have been pass-interference wacky for the last two weeks, calling almost anything longer than about 15 yards that isn't caught pass interference, including last night's game. To have not called that on Tate is beyond me.

The "take-away" by Green Bay is a non-issue. There wasn't enough visual evidence to overturn the "simultaneous possession" call.

Also, lest you forget, Packer fans, you didn't score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Yeah, the Seattle defense is pretty good, but if you can't score more than one offensive touchdown, that coming 54 minutes into the game, it's hard to say you lost a 60-minute football game based on one call.

For a team that prides itself on being one of the most explosive offenses in the game, 268 total yards isn't exactly anything to write home about, particularly when it was awarded five first downs by penalty (the Seahawks were awarded four).

Interestingly, in several Week 3 box scores I checked while writing this, there were no stats for how many first downs by penalty listed. Not that it's that hard to figure out, but the fact that those aren't there — a pretty relevant stat, NFL stat keepers  — speaks volumes about what the league itself thinks of the replacements' job performances.

Now, I'm not trying to defend the replacement officials here. Week 1, they were OK, not great. I've seen the real NFL officials have much worse weeks than the replacement officials had on opening weekend.

Last week was pretty rough.

Week 3 was a debacle.

The suspect call at the end of Monday's game wasn't even close to the worst call I've ever seen. The "Jets scored a touchdown because their quarterback's helmet got into the end zone even though the ball was two-thirds of a yard short of the goal line," made by regular league officials in 1998, was the worst call I've ever seen.

This week, however, was horrific. In Monday's game alone, there were 24 accepted penalties. There were also 24 penalties in the disputed Patriots-Ravens game Sunday night — the Patriots, one of the least-penalized teams in the NFL, were flagged 10 times for 83 yards, although the Patriots had several chances to make plays that would've staved off a fourth quarter collapse and made none of them, so Bill Belichick's rant after the game was as unjustified as the Packers' protest at Lambeau Field is today.

It's time for the NFL to bring its seasoned referees back. Don't worry, there will still be plenty of controversial calls.

But it will be the pros making them.