Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/24/12

Sunday night’s game between the Ravens and Patriots was one of the most poorly-officiated games the NFL has ever hosted — for both sides. New England should not use the replacement refs as an excuse for why they lost the game, since the officiating was atrocious all around. There were 24 accepted penalties throughout the course of the game, and an NFL record 13 of those resulted in first downs. After the game, Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes had some harsh words for the officiating crew on Twitter.

Perhaps Spikes felt he could get away with saying something after his head coach straight up grabbed an official after the game, which will undoubtedly result in a fine and/or suspension. Roughly an hour later, Spikes told his followers to “relax” because he didn’t say anything about the “refs” and was talking about zebras.

On a night where Devin McCourty was called for a crucial defensive holding that was completely nonexistent and Jim Harbaugh was given an unsportstmanlike conduct penalty for trying to call timeout, the NFL should be embarrassed. There’s no respect for the replacement officials from players or coaches, and that is causing them to completely lose control of games. Sunday night was as good an example of that as you will see.

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