Panthers' Mitchell critical of officiating

Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell criticized the officiating during a 23-10 playoff defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

In particular, he was upset about an unnecessary roughness penalty assessed to him in the first quarter for a late hit on wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

"I can't wait to play them [again] with a new set of refs in a new game," Mitchell told Carolina reporters. "That was a terrible cal. This is playoff football, the National Football League. That was a terrible call. The ball was not on the ground. The replay showed it was still in the air. The receiver actually had an opportunity to bend over and catch the ball. It was a terrible call. A terrible call. One more time, a terrible call."

Boldin wasn't flagged for a head-butt later in the half, but Captain Munnerlyn was penalized in a similar play.

"It was just ridiculous," Mitchell said. "A couple of things weren't called the same way. I made a good play taking his legs out, and he gets up in my face and head-butts me, which is the same exact thing you saw Captain Munnerlyn do."

"It was the exact same play," Mitchell said. "One team gets the call, the other doesn't. I guess that's human error in football."

"There were some things in the first half that really bothered me," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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