After spending all day Tuesday dialing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's phone number and cheering the return of the real NFL referees to Lambeau on Sunday, Packer fans were rewarded by getting burned on big-play missed calls yet again.
Certainly Goodell's answering machine must have blown up, the phone lines to his office melted and his secretary shipped off to the padded cells which once housed poor shell-shocked WWI veterans. And though he offered a lame reason for the sudden contract agreement with the real officials and a limp apology to Packer fans we all know that it was cheese heat that forced his hand.
However, the real refs picked up right where the replacements left off by at least three critical and grossly obvious errors which nearly cost the Packers the game against the reeling New Orleans Saints. One of these was even challenged by coach Mike McCarthy and they still got it wrong. But it was the last one, a New Orleans fumble on a kickoff which was mis-called and was almost too much for the Packers to overcome.
In fact, after a late New Orleans missed field goal it took James Jones to make a blind, one-handed impossible reception to seal the game for Green Bay and bring them to a 2-2 record in another game that felt like a playoff game.
The Lambeau fans, fed up with the incompetency of officials, protested loudly again with several long minutes of extended boos aimed at the rusty refs on two or three different occasions after the blown calls.
Despite getting the shaft instead of the gold mine once again, Green Bay played strong enough in most aspects of the game to squeak this one out, 28-27. Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns, two to James Jones, and the Packers played stubborn run defense. The defense, however, failed to put a lot of pressure on Saints quarterback Drew Bees and also neglected ti bump the Saints' receivers at the line of scrimmage.
What the NFL needs are rules which can overturn blatant, obvious terrible calls for the current 'reviewable plays' and coaching challenge system is not working. With all the camera angles available now the NFL needs a system to be able to get the calls right whenever possible, even if those plays are not currently reviewable.
For if the second place Packers were not generally strong, the missed calls would have already really put their season in jeopardy.
Having come too close to disaster the second week in a row, it seems like their playoff run has already begun.