The 2022 NFL season concluded last weekend as every team played its18th game. There has been a lot of tremendous football and entertainment since the campaign started in September. There were also many, many poor officiating decisions made over the course of the 250-plus football games played. There were penalties that should never be called in a million years and penalties that should be called every time but were not.
For your enjoyment (or perhaps your great displeasure) we have compiled the 10 worst calls we saw during the year. Here are the worst calls (and non-calls) of the 2022 NFL season.
Worst Roughing the Passer Call Ever Negates Chris Jones Sack and Fumble Recovery
The 2022 season featured many bad, questionable, and downright horrific roughing the passer penalties. The flag thrown for Chris Jones' takedown of Derek Carr in the final quarter of a tight nationally-televised Chiefs-Raiders game was the pinnacle of everything wrong with the concept of roughing the passer. There was not a single person on Earth, not even Raiders fans, who thought it was a good call. It ultimately didn't impact the outcome but it was just brutal no matter which way you slice it.
Jalen Ramsey Flagged For Standing Still as Geno Smith Runs Into Him
Ramsey got hit with an unnecessary roughness penalty for literally standing there as Geno Smith threw himself into the All-Pro cornerback in Week 18. While still in bounds! The atrociousness of the call is only amplified by its game-changing nature. A good lesson to the refs that throwing a flag because you assume you know what happened isn't always a good idea!
Jared Goff Successfully Sells Roughing the Passer Flag on Micah Parsons
As you probably guessed before clicking on this article, most of these bad calls were of the roughing the passer variety. Micah Parsons and the Cowboys fell victim to it in October against the Lions. Parsons flew in and hit Jared Goff square in the chest but did not wrap up and tackle him. He was still flagged for a late hit because Goff's chin flew upwards like Parsons had popped him in the mouth. Spoiler: Parsons did not and got flagged anyway. Tough sequence.
Missed Delay of Game on Patriots vs. Packers
Yeah, I realize that making a bad call and neglecting to make a good call are technically two separate things, but this was so bad I had to highlight it. Delay of game penalties are always iffy and usually the refs are late on purpose, but this Week 4 bungle was outright comical. The fact that the Patriots scored a touchdown to take the lead against the Packers as a result is just the cherry on top of the sundae.
No Pass Interference Called After Chase Claypool Tackled by Dolphins
The refs swallowing their whistles near the end of Bears-Dolphins in Week 6 is a great example of when letting the players play goes too far. Chase Claypool went up to grab a deep ball from Justin Fields as Chicago was trying to drive down the field and tie the ballgame. A Dolphins defender dragged Claypool down while he was in the air attempting to make a spectacular catch. No call, and the Dolphins would win shortly thereafter.
Falcons Awful Roughing the Passer on Tom Brady
Of all the very bad roughing the passer calls that plagued the first half of the 2022 season, this was one of the worst. Grady Jarrett took down Tom Brady on third down with less than three minutes to go during a close Bucs-Falcons Week 5 matchup. He got flagged. For what? We still couldn't tell you. A classic Brady call.
Commanders Lose to Giants Thanks to Uncalled Pass Interference
You know things are bad when the network's rules analyst (who nearly always sides with the officials) declares a bad call was made. Such was the case during the waning moments of the Commanders-Giants game in Week 15. Washington had several shots at the goal line down by eight with under a minute to go and its best chance at scoring a touchdown was negated by a Giants defender jumping onto Curtis Samuel and doing his best backpack impression. No flag could be found and the Giants would take home the victory. This no-call changed the playoff race.
Patriots Screwed by Forward Progress Call vs. Dolphins
The referees saved their best work for last. During New England's Week 17 matchup against the Dolphins, the Patriots defense forced Raheem Mostert to fumble. It got waved off because the officials ruled his forward progress had been stopped. Despite the fact that he was very much moving forward at the time of the fumble and had, at no point, been wrapped up by a defender. The kicker here is twofold-- forward progress calls are not reviewable and New England had lost the previous week due to the refs failing to call forward progress before a fumble.
Marshon Lattimore Mugged by Adam Thielen, Gets Flagged For DPI Anyway
When the Saints and Vikings played in London, Minnesota was gifted several freebies in the form of questionable penalties in their favor. None were more offensive than this defensive pass interference call on Marshon Lattimore, who got his facemask yanked down by Adam Thielen and got flagged for it. The call gave the Vikings the ball at the one-yard line in a close game and ultimately led to their victory.
Buccaneers Hit With Extremely Soft Roughing the Passer Flag vs. Saints
The Saints aren't always the ones getting screwed! No, sir. Sometimes things work out for them and they sure did in Week 2 against the Bucs. Several Tampa Bay defenders teamed up to take down Jameis Winston for a very normal-looking sack that also resulted in a fumble. They were flagged for roughing the passer, negating the turnover and gifting New Orleans a first down. A sign of things to come for Tampa Bay's season.