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“They threw the flag at us, and there was half of the (Bengals) team on the field,” Shanahan said. “I was disappointed in that.”

Earlier Sunday, the players’ union posted an open letter to team owners calling on them to end the lockout of the regular officials that began in June when their contact expired. The NFL used replacements in 2001 for one week before a new deal was reached.

This year, criticism from coaches and players has mounted for the replacements, who come from lower college levels or from other leagues such as Arena Football.

There have been numerous complaints by players and coaches — certainly more than when the regularofficials work — and Sunday was no different. In one particularly embarrassing episode an official was removed from working a New Orleans game last week because he posted photos of himself in Saints gear on Facebook.

Then there were more questionable decisions Sunday.