October 25, 2021

The Buccaneers-Packers game was full of questionable calls

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Green Bay fans are going to have A LOT to talk about.

The Packers made one of the most controversial calls of the playoffs, electing to kick a 26-yard field goal on fourth down, rather than going for it and potentially tying the game. At first glance you might assume it was cowardice, and obviously the Packers lost, making it easy to question — but it’s not quite as clear cut as you might think.

—> TB (31) @ GB (23) The fourth down decision bot shows just a 1 percent difference in win chance by settling for the field goal, vs. going for it. In either case the Packers needed to get a defensive stop to win the game, and while an argument can be made that they still should have tried to tie it up, asking for a fourth down touchdown AND a two point conversion is a little much.

By kicking the field goal, Packers coach Matt LaFleur banked on being able to stop a rattled Tom Brady and give Rodgers one more chance to drive downfield to win the game. That was, until, the officials decided to start calling holding penalties.

Huge Pass Interference Call to give the Buccaneers a first down with under two minutes left to play in the NFC Championship #TBvsGB #NFL #NFCChampionship pic.twitter.com/6BDxNlsdMY

— Perfect 10 Sports & Betting (@perfect10sb) January 24, 2021>Make no mistake, this was a definite penalty — but the issue was circumstance. All game long referees made a concerted decision not to call holding penalties. Joe Buck even commented on how the officials were letting everything go in the secondary, but on the critical game-defining play the flag was thrown from the back judge and pass interference was called. This is the danger of “just let them play” unfolding, because it felt as though the game wasn’t even or fair, especially when Rodgers threw an interception to close out the first half on the back of a missed holding call.

Players gain an expectation on how to play based on the reaction of officials. To call the game one way all day, then change those expectations on the final drive left the whole game feeling icky.

The Buccaneers are the NFC Champions now. Their stunning defense managed to contain Rodgers, despite missing both their starting safeties. That’s reason enough to be lauded, but there will be bad feelings in Green Bay for a long, long time.

By: James Dator
Title: The Buccaneers-Packers game was full of questionable calls
Sourced From: www.sbnation.com/nfl/2021/1/24/22247632/buccaneers-packers
Published Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 23:43:47 +0000