Ultimately, it didn’t play a role in the outcome of the game but the San Francisco 49ers know they stole one when Randall Cobb had a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in Sunday’s 30-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.
Terrell Manning, a linebacker, was plain-as-day guilty of an illegal block that wasn’t called. Niners coach Jim Harbaugh went ballistic. Rightfully so. The score brought the Packers within eight points but they couldn’t close the gap in the season-opening loss.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tells Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin that he hopes the replacement officials get it cleaned up and do so quickly.
“There’s still disbelief,” Rodgers said during his show on 540 ESPN. “I can’t say it’s comical, but I don’t feel bad because we had some bad ones our way as well. But I’m just surprised that you missed that one.
“They’re under a lot of scrutiny, and the one’s we had last week deserved the scrutiny. You have to understand the rules.”
Ultimately, Rodgers is not convinced the replacements are truly qualified to work NFL games. He questions if they have a good enough grasp of the rules.
“You have to try to curtail some of your frustration I think. It’s just frustrating when you’re positive that there’s either a missed call, or that the rule was not interpreted the way that it’s supposed to be interpreted,” he said. “There were multiple instances of that, and when you watch the film back it’s frustrating. That being said, there were just some bizarre calls on both sides. Anybody who watches the TV copy, I mean I saw it from the sidelines, but we scored a touchdown on a legit (illegal) block in the back. I don’t know what happened on that. It has to hopefully get better.”
The officials are going to remain under close scrutiny as long as they are replacements. There were some plain bad calls in Week 1 but nothing that turned the tide in the outcome of a game. If that happens, all heck will break loose. You can bank on that.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune