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Santana Moss: NFL officiating has been awful this season

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Wide receiver Santana Moss defended his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the third quarter of the Washington Redskins’ 24-17 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday, saying it was an expression of the frustration he’s felt toward officiating all season.

Moss was called for holding on Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas, and then for unsportsmanlike conduct for objecting to the penalty, with 8:04 remaining in the third quarter.

The unsportsmanlike conduct call was one of two by the Redskins in the game – cornerback DeAngelo Hall had the other on the first play of the fourth quarter – and wide receiver Pierre Garçon was also flagged for delay of game after he kicked the ball into the stands following a low throw into the end zone in the third quarter.

Moss turned to line judge Jeff Bergman after the play was over and, as he said Wednesday, “just said it was a B.S. call.” That negated the Redskins’ 13-yard gain on second-and-16, leading to a three-yard gain on third-and-18 and a punt on fourth down.

“I can give them a bunch of unsportsmanlike conducts, because we’ve been going through this all year where they haven’t gave us the call where we deserved it,” Moss said. “I mean, or, they give us a holding, or call us for a holding, when it’s crap. At the end of the day, you know, we’ve been going through it, so I have to learn how to handle myself in that situation a little better, but you know, you’re playing a game, you’re playing in the heat of the moment and stuff like that happens.”

Moss said his frustrations have been furthered by the inconsistencies he’s seen while watching other games this season, specifically with regard to other receivers and what can be ruled a catch.

Two weeks ago, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace made a 57-yard catch in a 20-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers that was reviewed and upheld, even though Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, said later that the pass should have been ruled incomplete because the ball hit the ground.

There’s also the infamous play made by Calvin Johnson in 2010 when, in the season opener against the Chicago Bears, he appeared to make a go-ahead touchdown reception with 24 seconds remaining but it was ruled incomplete when he slammed the ball in the end zone in celebration.

“[The officiating has] probably been worse this whole year as a total, not just [with] this team,” Moss said. “I’ve watched a lot of football this year, and it’s been the worst that I’ve ever seen. You know, you’ve got guys that’s catching balls, and they take two steps, get tackled and the ball come out after they hit the ground, it’s no good. Then they have a guy do it the next week, he gets the catch. Come on. Somebody has to change that rule.”

Moss took specific exception to plays where a receiver will make the catch, get both feet inbounds and then fall out of bounds, where the ball is either jarred loose by a defender or pops out upon contact with the ground.

“Someone has to change that,” Moss said. “I understand so many things are being changed, but at the end of the day, you know, some of that stuff is crap, so somebody who’s in the high position that can really watch this season alone and see some of the stuff that’s being called and haven’t been called, they can go and try and critique that because it’s been the worst, by far, since I’ve been in the league.”

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