Much has been made about the lack of penalties called in Super Bowl LIV. There were 129 offensive snaps in the game, and not one offensive or defensive holding was called. The old saying goes, you can call holding on every play. In the San Francisco 49ers case, a few examples come to mind that feel like calls that have to be made in a game of that magnitude. By rule, you can’t put your hands on a wide receiver after five yards. That’s either illegal contact, defensive holding, or pass interference.
The 49ers scored a touchdown on the drive, which I’ve seen other people cite as a reason this non-call was okay. If that’s your train of thought, then there’s no point in having this discussion. That’s missing the point entirely. I’m not going to turn this into a “we were screwed” article because every fan thinks the refs are against them. I’m sure there were calls in the game that didn’t go Kansas City’s way.
Another play that has been talked about quite a bit is the deep 44-yard pass the 49ers defense gave up on 3rd & 15. Fans will tell you that Nick Bosa was held, and if that is called, the 49ers are Super Bowl champs. The refs aren’t going to call that. First, here is the play:
Bosa lines up outside of the left tackle. He tries to win with an inside move. The left tackle, Eric Fisher, takes Bosa where he wants to go. It appears to be holding from the broadcast angle, but if you look closely, Bosa uses his right arm as he’s trying to get upfield and puts it over Fisher’s right arm to disengage. That doesn’t happen, and fans have been crying for a penalty since. That play will never get called. Also, it’s not a hold.
All season the referees have been maddening because rules are put in place, but the rules aren’t consistent. What’s called one week likely won’t be called the following week. A pass interference rule was put in this past offseason, but coaches stopped challenging because nothing was overturned. By rule, what George Kittle did right before the first half ended was offensive pass interference. What drove me nuts is that it hasn’t been called all season. In a game-deciding play Wildcard Weekend, a more blatant push in New Orleans was ignored, but that was called? The Sanders hold above was more egregious than both plays, yet it was ignored. That’s why it’s easy to jump down the refs’ throats every game. The consistency is lacking.
There was a non-call that I’m surprised isn’t being talked about more where Jimmy Garoppolo was hit in the helmet as he was throwing. The point of all these rules was to make the game safer and to protect the quarterback. There are veteran quarterbacks in the league that if you lay a finger on them, a flag is getting thrown. There are about 10-12 quarterbacks in the NFL that are late hit seemingly every game but aren’t protected in the same way. Again, consistency is all anyone asks.
With all that in mind, I ask, would you rather the refs “let them play,” or would you enjoy a game with 15+ penalties with every ticky-tack call being recognized? It’s more enjoyable to watch when the game is flowing fast and not being stopped. What say you?
How would you rather watch the game?
This poll is closed
Let them play, only egregious penalties