The hot topic in the NFL isn't the playoffs, it's not even the amount of injuries there has been this season. But instead most of the talk has been about the referees. The refs have blown a lot of calls this season, so much that it has cost some teams games. Now there is a saying in sports that goes, "if you have to rely on one call by a referee then you probably should have lost the game anyway". This is true most of the time, but with all the bad calls lately and some refs seemingly not knowing the rules it makes you wonder how much of an impact those calls would make for a team fighting for a playoff spot if they were called the correct way or even reversed.
I get how sports goes for the average fan, if your team loses blame the refs. But the reality is that there have been a lot of bad calls that weren't even looked at or explained by the NFL. In case you didn't know the NFL does have a committee that reviews game film and even grades the referees. The problem is that this info never goes public, so you never hear if a ref was reprimand for his actions. When there is a mistake found the team is sent a letter of apology, the ref is made aware and the case is considered closed. This lack of accountability is what makes everybody so mad. If the NFL would add some sort of penalty for refs I think they would not catch so much crap every time a ref makes a mistake.
Everyone is quick to blame referees but lets really think about it for a minute. Are the refs really to blame. When the NFL was forced to use replacement refs there was such an uproar. Everyone wanted the regular refs back. So much so that it was almost like they were overlooking the bad calls they have made in the past. They were willing to overlook that as if to say, you guys aren't that bad come on back. Now sometime later everybody wants something done about these refs. But what is it they want done? Should we bring back the replacement refs? I think not. The way to fix this problem is to make the refs full time employees of the NFL. When this happens you can train them and make them watch film all week long. Then they will be more in tune with the rules and be able to at the very least believe and back up the calls they make, even if they are bad calls.