In the final 1:54 of Super Bowl 57, Patrick Mahomes threw a pass intended for JuJu Smith-Schuster in the end zone. Before the ball was deemed incomplete, officials issued a holding call on Eagles CB James Bradberry. The Chiefs gained a first down as a result of the call, and they continued to move the ball until Harrison Butker made the game-winning field goal with eight seconds left. Super Bowl 57 had a controversial holding call, but in reality Bradberry admited he held him. With that in mind lets look at the Top 10 Worst Officiated NFL Games of the last 20 years.
Top 10 Worst Officiated NFL Games of the last 20 Years
1. Super Bowl XL: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks (21-10) – February 5, 2006. The game was marred by controversial calls that went in favor of the Steelers, including a touchdown that many believed should have been called back for offensive pass interference. Notable players included Ben Roethlisberger, Jerome Bettis, Shaun Alexander, and Matt Hasselbeck.
2. Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks (12-14) – September 24, 2012. The game ended on a controversial touchdown by the Seahawks, known as the “Fail Mary” play, where it appeared the Packers had intercepted the ball, but it was ruled a touchdown for the Seahawks. Notable players included Aaron Rodgers, Golden Tate, and Russell Wilson.
3. New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers (32-29) – February 1, 2004. There were several controversial calls in this game, including a pass interference call that led to the game-winning field goal for the Patriots. Notable players included Tom Brady, Adam Vinatieri, Jake Delhomme, and Steve Smith.
4. San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints (36-32) – January 14, 2012. The game featured several missed calls, including a clear pass interference on the 49ers that was not called, and a fumble recovery by the Saints that was wrongly ruled as an incomplete pass. Notable players included Drew Brees, Alex Smith, Vernon Davis, and Jimmy Graham.
5. Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys (20-24) – January 4, 2015. There were several controversial calls in this game, including a pass interference call against the Lions that set up the Cowboys’ game-winning touchdown. Notable players included Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Calvin Johnson.
6. Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-21) – February 5, 2006. The game featured several questionable calls, including a touchdown by the Steelers that many believed should have been overturned due to a missed holding penalty. Notable players included Ben Roethlisberger, Shaun Alexander, Hines Ward, and Joey Porter.
7. New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers (20-17) – January 22, 2012. The game featured several missed calls, including a helmet-to-helmet hit on a Giants receiver that was not penalized, and a fumble that was incorrectly ruled as an incomplete pass. Notable players included Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Vernon Davis.
8. Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals (45-51) – January 16, 2016. The game featured several missed calls, including a facemask penalty on the Packers that was not called on the game-winning play for the Cardinals in overtime. Notable players included Aaron Rodgers, Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer, and Randall Cobb.
9. Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions (13-10) – October 5, 2015. The game featured several controversial calls, including a missed call for an illegal batting of the ball that helped the Seahawks score their only touchdown. Notable players included Matthew Stafford, Kam Chancellor, Calvin Johnson, and Jimmy Graham.
10. Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots (31-35) – January 22, 2012. The game featured several missed calls, including a clear pass interference on the Ravens that was not called on the final play of the game. Notable players included Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and Rob Gronkowski.