Refs Need Coaches To Explain Rules To Them In Bungled Final 2 Minutes Of Saints–Panthers

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Another NFL playoff game, another crew of officials who apparently don’t know the rules.

This time around, refs on hand appeared to fail on at least three instances just in the final two minutes of a 31-26 New Orleans Saints victory over the Carolina Panthers in the wild-card round.

It all started with Mike Adams’ interception of Drew Brees with 1:51 left.

Because it was fourth down, it would have been wiser for Adams to drop the pass for an extra 16 yards of field position ahead of a potential game-winning drive.

The thing is, he did drop the pass.

Plays within the final two minutes of each half are subject to review by league officials. But apparently no one in the New York office thought to even consider overturning or even reviewing the pick.

The crew’s next two screw-ups came on a single play.

A probably-concussed Cam Newton was flagged for intentional grounding on this pass, in which he appeared to have escaped the pocket.

Though, according to tight end Greg Olsen, officials couldn’t agree as to whether Newton had left the pocket before unloading, which would have wiped out the penalty.

Either way, what happened next might be the most glaring sign officiating incompetence: The crew forgot that an intentional grounding penalty comes with a 10-second runoff. Forgot.

They needed coaches on the Saints sideline—who have plenty else on their minds—to tell them the damn rules of the sport they purport to officiate. Head coach Sean Payton ran onto the field to explain it to them, the officials who are paid to know the rules.

Great work, guys.