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Joey Bosa can likely expect a call from the NFL front office this week, and it probably won’t be an inexpensive one. The All-Pro pass rusher is both enjoying the Los Angeles Chargers giving the Las Vegas Raiders their first loss of the 2021 season and aiming sharp criticism in a couple of directions. Derek Carr is the recipient of one of his haymakers, after the Chargers sacked him four times to take a 28-14 victory at SoFi Stadium (a place Jon Gruden has his gripes about) on Monday night, but league commissioner Roger Goodell won’t take issue with that — unless they find a way to penalize him under the new taunting rule. 

It’s what Bosa is seeing from NFL officials that has him furious, to say the least. On Monday, the Raiders were standing on their own 37-yard line with three minutes and 59 seconds to play in regulation, and the Chargers trying to hold onto a 14-point lead to close out the game. Carr missed on a pass attempt on first-and-10, and Bosa was livid after what he believes was a blatant missed holding call. He’d left the officials know about it and instead of the holding call, he landed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. 

Just like that, the Raiders were moved to the Chargers’ 48-yard line, and although the drive was ended when safety Derwin James intercepted a throw to tight end Darren Waller, Bosa isn’t letting the error slide.

“I didn’t even know they called the f—ing penalty on me because I was fuming,” Bosa said of the sequence after the game, via ESPN. “But, I mean, refs are blind, simple. I’m sorry, but you’re blind, like open your eyes and do your job. It’s so bad it’s unbelievable.”

He’d then go on to explain his anger isn’t simply from that situation, or that game, or this week, or this year, or even exclusive to his team. Bosa views it as a plague of bad calls and non-calls that is becoming deeply rooted in the fabric of the NFL. And let’s just say he took the gloves off for this one, and then wrapped his hands in bandages covered with broken glass.

“It’s unbelievable,” he added, via Daniel Popper of The Athletic. “…These guys have got to do a better job, because it’s been years of terrible, terrible missed calls left and right. It’s really pathetic, honestly.”

It would be difficult for anyone who follows the NFL closely to disagree with Bosa’s overarching point, even if you don’t approve of the fashion in which he delivered the message. The league’s goal has always been to keep the officials from becoming the headline of any given game on any given week, but they’re struggling to achieve that goal on a regular basis. The inaccuracy of calls has led to enough ire for many to demand the invocation of a SkyJudge with the power to make sure every call is correct upon review — something made famous by the now-defunct XFL — but the NFL has opted to not go that route.

Officials are human, this is true, and that’s why replay now exists, but there are now several instances this season alone of incorrect real-time calls being upheld upon review. In the end, no one is saying officiating is easy (it isn’t), but what Bosa and those who agree with him are saying is it could be far better, and he’s not the only player demanding something be done.

But what’s likely to happen sooner is an NFL fine for his comments.



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