Despite management-friendly scribes swearing to the contrary, the NFL's replacement officials made some enormous errors yesterday—some of which affected the outcome of games and at least one that directly led to a starting quarterback being knocked out of the game. That's not to mention losing track of time outs, which we covered last night. In general, most of the mistakes were of the purely-boneheaded (calling blocks in the back on punt teams, for example) variety, and there were far more than we could illustrate here. We'll try to do this every week, with your help; if you see a replacement referee blunder, tweet at us or use the #scabwatch hashtag.
Patriots vs. Titans
Officials mistook an incomplete pass for a fumble—a ruling reversed by the replay booth—which meant that they didn't blow the play dead. On the runback, which should never have happened, Titans quarterback Jake Locker was hit and knocked out of the game with an injured shoulder..
Jaguars vs. Vikings
Chris Kluwe stood up for the replacement referees (headed up by Robert Dalton) at his game, but there were two big misses. Here's Jared Allen timing his jump perfectly yet being penalized for it.
Eagles vs. Browns
Both teams took equal punishment from referee Kent Roan and his crew. Here's Roan penalizing the wrong player for being offside, an extremely simple penalty but a mistake that wasn't corrected (thus being a permanent, and unfair, mark against Winn's record).
Colts vs. Bears
Jay Cutler was forced to call time out because referee Wayne Elliot forgot to reset the play clock after a penalty.
Redskins vs. Saints
Referee David Scott's crew bails out Robert Griffin III on a fourth-down play with a phantom pass-interference call in the end zone. The zebras' enthusiasm for throwing flags had a great deal to do with Griffin's phenomenal first-game numbers.
Falcons vs. Chiefs
Just one gripe about this game, though it's a big one. Julio Jones made a touchdown catch that should have been brought back for pass interference, but the play was missed by Mike Shepherd's crew.
Rams vs. Lions
There is an ineligible interior lineman downfield two yards from the line of scrimmage at the time the pass is thrown. (Admittedly, it's not his fault, but rules are rules.) This touchdown won the game for the Lions, who have Donovan Briggans's crew to thank for the victory.
49ers vs. Packers
Oh holy hell, where do we start? Referee David White's crew was horrendous, and we couldn't possibly highlight all their mistakes. Our favorite, though, is this punt in which the 49ers are charged with a block in the back despite being the punting team. Apparently Green Bay rushed the kick backward.
Steelers vs. Broncos
Last night's finale capped off an evening of terrible officiating, as referee Gerald Wright's crew proved inept and confused throughout the evening. Here's the crew running away from the ball, which is snapped before the umpire reaches his position (which is supposed to be a penalty on the offense) and while a Steelers player is still trying to get off the field (which is supposed to be a penalty on the defense).
Again, this is by no means a comprehensive list. The regular refs make plenty of mistakes, but they generally don't misplace the two-minute warning or award nine-yard first downs. If the NFL wants to keep arguing that the scabs don't make a difference, it needs to ignore a lot of video evidence.