NFL officiating could be historically bad in 2024-25 season

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest complaints critics have about the NFL and sports, in general, is the inconsistent decisions from the officiating crews. Referees have the power and control to sway the outcomes of each individual game. While there are far more plays than just one bad call that ultimately determine the difference between a win or loss, there’s no denying the impact of a big penalty or non-call that can swing the momentum of any given moment.

The NFL isn’t alone. They, like other sports, have faced plenty of criticism over questionable decision-making by its referees. When the 2012 referee lockout occurred, officiating was arguably the worst the NFL has ever seen. Unfortunately, the upcoming 2024-25 season could be treacherous too.

Kalyn Kahler’s latest piece on The Athletic highlights a worrisome stat that should have all coaches, players, and fanbases cautious about the officiating we’re about to witness this fall.

“This season, an abnormally high number of inexperienced officials will take the field: 27 will have three years or less, and a third of the 120 officials have five years or less. Twelve officials retired after 2022 (every departure is characterized as a retirement), and 10 officials retired after the 2021 season, just the second time that 10 or more officials left in back-to-back years.”

Kalyn Kahler on ‘abnormally high’ NFL officiating turnover

As Kahler points out, the majority of officials agree that it takes them roughly five seasons to become comfortable in their role at the NFL level. Considering how much bigger, faster, and stronger the athletes are in the pros, it’s no surprise that a large adjustment period is needed, not to mention all the rule changes that occur each and every offseason.

In other words, if you find yourself cursing at the TV later this season after a ref makes a call you don’t agree with, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Related: NFL QB Rankings 2024: From Patrick Mahomes to Gardner Minshew

Mentioned in this article:

More About: