Carolina Panthers got two terrible officiating calls late
The officials inserted themselves into this game late and made two game-changing decisions down the stretch. A controversial roughing the passer call on Brian Burns gave the Cleveland Browns late life in a hit that was void of any ill intent and the referees should have let go.
Add in a missed intentional grounding call and Baker Mayfield should have had his revenge against the Browns. The officials made late decisions in key moments that bailed out the Browns from collapsing and gave them the chance to hit a deep field goal that won the contest.
Rarely is blaming the officials for any defeat the right move. Carolina fans have a viable complaint in this game and should feel robbed despite being second-best for most of it.
Even if the officials make the right decision on one of these calls, it changes the outcome of the game and gives the Panthers a comeback triumph. This could have built some momentum heading on the road to the New York Giants in Week 2.
However, if we are being completely honest, it isn’t just the officials that cost the Panthers this game. They certainly had the final blow, but everything leading up to some critical moments in the closing stages put Carolina in a difficult spot, to begin with.
The Browns would have felt aggrieved had they not come away with bragging rights. Especially considering how much their defense dominated for three quarters.