NFL pulls Pete Morelli crew from Sunday night game after Week 12 errors (Shutdown Corner)

The NFL once again has yanked officials from a key game after mistakes they made the week before. Head referee Pete Morelli and his crew originally had been assigned to Sunday night’s Indianapolis Colts-Pittsburgh Steelers game but were pulled from that assignment following a poorly called game by them between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday. One of the more egregiously bad calls in the game was a roughing the passer call against the 49ers’ Qunton Dial on Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer on what looked to be a routine sack. Two other big errors in the game included a missed delay of game call that should have hurt the Cardinals, plus some real confusion in the first quarter over what down it was in the game. As reported by PFT , Morelli’s crew will be assigned to a non-primetime game elsewhere on the Week 13 slate. What does this tell us?  Well, first of all the league is admitting yet again that some officials had a bad day at the office. But we also must take the timing of the game into consideration. What’s significant is that the NBC game between the Colts and Steelers should earn some of the biggest ratings of the weekend and that the most heavily bet NFL games tend to happen at night. The league wants to sweep this bad-officiating issue under the rug as much as possible. A week ago, we made our list of the five worst calls of the NFL season — and could have had an addendum or two after Week 12, to be honest — and two of those five calls later resulted in the league yanking officials from future games. The side judge responsible for the clock issue in the Steelers-Chargers game was suspended, and the back judge from the Lions-Seahawks game (with a missed illegal batting call) was moved off Colts-New England Patriots the following week. Morelli’s crew also was involved in the controversy-marred playoff game last year between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys that featured a few dubious calls. Even if you believe that too much is being made of bad officiating this season, the fact that the league is taking direct action in response to controversial calls is pretty good evidence that things aren’t being handled properly. – – – – – – – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm

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