Regardless of how you feel about NFL referees, replacement or otherwise, I don't think it would be fair to complain about the officiating in Sunday's game vs. the Green Bay Packers. The Saints were the beneficiaries of more than one referee error yet they still manage to snag defeat from the jaws of victory for the second straight week.
So I had SB Nation's awesome gif team put together a few gifs of the more egregious missed calls as we recap some of these key plays. Plus a couple of others just for funsies. I also asked them to give me gifs for all of the Saints dropped passes from this game but they told me there were too many and SB Nation just didn't have enough bandwidth to support the files necessary. Zing!
Seriously, though, I almost started feeling bad for the Packers and their fans. They just can't seem to catch a break lately when it comes to the referees. Then I remembered everything the Saints have been through the past eight months and the feeling evaporated.
Here is Marques Colston's touchdown catch in the first quarter to tie the score at seven apiece. I think he clearly pushed off his defender (note the subtle shove) but no flag was thrown. Of all the missed infractions from the game, this one is the most questionable and up for debate. What do you think?
This is Jimmy Graham's third down "catch" that gave the Saints a first down, kept the drive alive and allowed them to score three points. Green Bay challenged and I've got to tell you I was shocked when the didn't overturn the call. Were they watching the same film? I thought it was pretty damn obvious. Here's too different angles.
Then, of course, was the Darren Sproles kickoff return fumble, an obvious missed call. Officials ruled him down before losing possession, which clearly isn't true, but the Packers had no challenges remaining to get the referees to take another look.
We couldn't leave out the Malcolm Jenkins facemask/eye gouge that took Aaron Rodgers out of the game for a single play. That play wound up being a Packers fumble and ignited a clear momentum shift in favor of the Saints that they almost rode to victory. Almost.
And just for the hell of it, here's Drew's touchdown celebration with Chase Daniel. They screwed up the timing of their jump initially and psyched each other out, which gave me a laugh. Kinda hard to tell from this gif, though.