Houston Texans 20 Oakland Raiders 27
This game had the makings for an amazing contest between two AFC divisional leaders. Instead, it turned into a questionable affair decided by factors beyond the control of the opposing coaches and players.
The underlying, almost subconcious hope of every NFL fan is that their team’s players and coaches will determine the outcome of every game, for the betterment of the team and fanbase.
When a game is marred by bad officiating, which happens all too often in the modern NFL, fans get outraged.
When a game is marred by poor behavior of fans in the stands, it’s even worse (just search “Brock Osweiler laser pointer” for more info – and know Lamar Miller, Braxton Miller and other members of the Texans offense had lasers shined in their eyes by “fans” during the game.)
Raider fans are all too familiar with poor officiating changing the outcome of the game (search the Tuck Rule, among others).
Texans fans are just becoming familiar.
When the officials botched a sure touchdown by DeAndre Hopkins, then had two consecutive poor spots for first downs, one of which as reviewed – with clear visual evidence the ball was nearly a yard past the line to gain – and still not corrected, it leaves a bad taste with the fans.
Recently, there was a poll online asking fans to choose why they believed the NFL’s TV ratings were declining and the second most popular option selected was poor officiating (the first was players protesting the National Anthem).
With so many games being decided each week with questionable calls and so many players’, coaches’ and front office personal’s livelihood riding on the outcomes of these games, it’s time for the NFL to correct this issue before ratings decline even further.
As more and more rumors rise up of rigged games, corrupt and/or incompetent officiating, the NFL needs to do what it’s always done so voraciously: defend the brand and correct the issues that seek to destroy it.