A very odd sequence of events occurred during Thursday night’s opening week showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys.
In the second quarter, with roughly 11 minutes remaining, Tampa Bay center Ryan Jensen was called for taunting and Dallas defensive tackle Carlos Watkins was called for unnecessary roughness.
Referee Terry Killens met up with Ed Hochuli, the crew chief, and accidentally left his mic on.
That’s when it happened:
Let’s just say what? pic.twitter.com/sy5BiXnnUL
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 10, 2021
“Let’s just say …” Killens could be heard saying.
Ultimately, the two penalties on Jensen and Watkins offset, giving Tampa Bay a first-and-10 on the Cowboys’ 24. They would end up scoring a touchdown on that drive, and wound up winning the game 31-29.
Afterward, folks couldn’t help but wonder if everything was on the up and up.
It’s incredible in the year 2021 people don’t think the NFL tries to rig games for specific outcomes
— StraightTalkSports (@StraightTalkSp1) September 10, 2021
I think the the official asked what the player said, and the other official’s response was “ let’s just say “ basically paraphrasing that it was out of line. You could tell by his reaction to Jensen on the replay.
— Tommy Lindstrom (@TLindstrom17) September 10, 2021
Really not a big deal. This is nfl officiating. Football games are not decided by refs. For all intents and purposes most refs are trying to figure out how to not be a part of the game.
— JHPepperman (@JhPepperman) September 10, 2021
It’s hard to fault folks for being suspicious. Last year a head coach was accused of literally paying off a ref during the game. And then of course there are all the instances of officials seemingly blatantly helping one team over another. Inevitably that kind of stuff erodes public trust.
Did something shady happen in Thursday’s game? That’s up to each individual to decide on their own. But are the questions understandable? Of course.
Now we know what motivated Gronk to play so hard vs the Cowboys. https://t.co/xSVWG2zRU7
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 10, 2021