'Boomer And Gio': Where's The Consistency In NFL Officiating?

Discuss Controversial Calls In Jets And Pats Games

Boomer and Gio
December 09, 2019 - 10:35 am

The NFL's decision to make pass-interference calls and no-calls reviewable hasn't resulted in fewer people complaining about officiating.

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WFAN's Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti opened their show Monday morning discussing a couple of controversial plays in the Jets-Dolphins and Patriots-Chiefs games Sunday. 

A booth review was key in Gang Green's 21-19 win over the Dolphins. After Sam Darnold's third-and-18 pass to wide receiver Vyncint Smith fell incomplete, the officials reviewed the play, which initially had no penalty called, and then flagged Dolphins cornerback Nik Needham for pass interference

Without the call, the Jets would've been faced with a fourth-and-18 from Miami's 46-yard line. Instead, Sam Ficken ended up kicking the game-winning, 44-yard field a few plays later as time expired.

A few hours later, in the fourth quarter in New England, the Chiefs got away with pass intereference on Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. New England coach Bill Belichick was unable to call for a review because he was out of challenges, and unlike in the Jets-Dolphins game, an automatic booth review was not possible because it happened outside of the game's final two minutes.

The Chiefs won the game 23-16.

"There were games all over the league yesterday, as there are every week, where there are just mindbogglingly inconsistent calls," Esiason said. "And that's the thing that really frustrates everybody. So you have a call in the Jet game that gets overturned by the replay office because it's under two minutes, and (Dolphins coach) Brian Flores is going to have an aneurysm on the sideline. And I get it. Right? I totally get where he's coming from because I guarantee you there's probably five or six times, if not more, during the season the same thing has happened to them and they did not get the benefit of the replay review from Park Avenue. I guarantee it.

"And then later on in the day, you see Phillip Dorsett basically get mauled at the 5-yard line ... and because it's outside of two minutes and because Bill Belichick has used both of his challenges ... he can't challenge that play and that play stands," Boomer continued. "So that's the inconsistency part of it, where the NFL fan is, like, 'OK, that's obviously pass interference.' We all know what clear and obvious is. But there's only one arbiter of all of that, and that's Al Riveron (the NFL's senior vice president of officiating)."

"And his opinion has changed, which is the bigger problem," Gregg Giannotti, Esiason's co-host, said. 

"So beginning of the season, first four or five weeks, a defensive back could be stabbing a wide receiver, something doesn't get called, they review it, doesn't get overturned," Gio said. "Now all of a sudden, you're getting buzzed down from the top to review pass interference under two minutes, and they're actually overturning the thing at a critical point in the game."

Added Esiason: "As somebody who's been living and breathing this now for 20 years and watching it and commenting on it, it's just really frustrating."

Boomer added that the more egregious call in the Pats-Chiefs game was when New England wide receiver N'Keal Harry was ruled out of bounds at the 3-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Replay clearly showed that Harry was inbounds before stretching the ball across the goal line.

Again, Belichick was out of reviews. New England ended up settling for a field goal. 

To listen to the open from Monday's "Boomer and Gio" show, click on the audio player above.