4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 17 at Jaguars

Fans have questions with just two weeks of the regular season remaining.

Mike Macdonald
Mike Macdonald / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Officiating goes against Carolina Panthers

How does the NFL explain all the blatant missed calls right in front of officials? You even have a studio in NY watching to make sure calls are correct. – Stephen K.

I’m happy that Stephen brought this up. I’ve watched a lot of NFL games, both Carolina Panthers and around the league. This was one of the worst games I can remember from an officiating standpoint. So, let’s get into it.

What is a catch? It sounds rhetorical, but many fans and journalists alike have been trying to answer that very question for years since Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant’s controversial catch-no-catches more than a decade. From my point of view, the league has been very inconsistent with these types of rulings since then.

On the controversial catch by Green Bay Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs late in the fourth quarter, officials upheld the original ruling on the field despite the ball coming loose in his left hand as he was landing on the ground. NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson said in a pool report that there was no clear evidence that the wideout lost control of the ball while on the ground, hence why the play stood as called. 

I disagree with that assessment. In my eyes, you have to have full control through the catch while surviving the impact on the ground. If the ball doesn't survive, as there is video evidence that showed the ball coming loose, it should be ruled incomplete.

In that scenario, the Panthers force another three-and-out with all of their timeouts remaining. This might have allowed Bryce Young to lead his second game-winning drive in a row.

While this play may have been the most consequential of the game, it wasn’t the worst. Earlier in the matchup, edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos had a free shot on quarterback Jordan Love. The former second-round pick shoved him to the ground and, while looking harmless in doing so, was sequentially called for roughing the passer. 

At this point, make the NFL a flag football league. I understand that there is an emphasis on protecting the league’s most important position, but there needs to be consistency in these calls. This is a weekly occurrence and it's frustrating to watch as a fan and film watcher.