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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers probably would not have won Sunday, regardless, but their game against the New Orleans Saints featured two awful mistakes by the refs.

Jeff Duncan of The Athletic was doing film study of the Week 11 contest, which the Saints won 34-17 over the Bucs. During his study, he found two glaring issues that should have resulted in penalties for the Saints.

Midway through the first quarter, the Saints should have been called for delay of game when the play clock struck zeroes well before the ball was snapped.

That is not nearly as egregious as what you’re about to see, though. Early in the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay was facing 4th-and-1 from New Orleans’ 49-yard line, down by 10 points, 27-17.

P.J. Williams was lined up well on Tampa Bay’s side of the line of scrimmage. He’s so far offsides that his hips are where the ball is. No penalty was called on him, however, despite the fact that an official was standing right in front of Williams — oblivious to the infraction.

Now, this play absolutely had an impact on how the fourth quarter played out. The Bucs went for it, and instead of getting a first down due to Williams lining up offsides, Mike Evans was called for offensive pass interference. The Bucs were backed up 10 yards and punted, rather than continued their drive into Saints territory.

Head referee Brad Rogers has some explaining to do after his crew botched these so badly. Who knows what may have transpired in this game had those two penalties been correctly called and assessed?

NFL officiating is a white-hot mess these days. The pass-interference review system is a damn joke, and we’ve seen too many games decided by refs who seem to have no clue in crucial situations.

Jesse Reed
Managing Editor at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.