No singular team or player got screwed in Super Bowl 58. It's not that simple this time around.
I'm not shy about my criticism for referees across the league. While I understand that officials are underpaid labor who are unfortunately targeted for every mishap, from a false start to a missed pass interference call, this is also a job they love.
The NFL holds its officials to the highest standards, and thus the NFL referees association (the union associated with zebras in these parts) drives a hard bargain. We must never relive the days of replacement refs.
Considering the postseason blunders of years past, including the infamous Nickell Robey-Coleman pass interference which went uncalled in the NFC Championship Game between the Saints and Rams in 2019, NFL fans got pretty lucky on Sunday night. Bill Vinovich, who was the closest official who missed Robey-Coleman's pass interference, was one of the lead officials in Super Bowl 58.
3. Missed holding calls on 49ers star Nick Bosa
Nick Bosa, like most edge rushers, gets held a lot. If there's anything I've learned here in Pittsburgh (my home), it's that no one gets held as much as TJ Watt, or so I thought. Yet, any time I watch the Cleveland Browns and Myles Garrett, or the Dallas Cowboys and Micah Parsons, they suffer the same fate. The modern NFL has to give offensive linemen an edge against the behemoths. It's not written in the rulebook, but it's true.
Per the official NFL rulebook, offensive holding can be defined as:
"Use his hands or arms to materially restrict an opponent or alter the defender’s path or angle of pursuit. It is a foul regardless of whether the blocker’s hands are inside or outside the frame of the defender’s body. Material restrictions include but are not limited to grabbing or tackling an opponent, hooking, jerking, twisting, or turning him, or pulling him to the ground."
Given that very specific definition, it looks like Donovan Smith got away with one there.
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