Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, NFL

Ball don’t lie: 3 worst calls from Week 17 of the 2021 NFL season

KANSAS CITY, MO – NOVEMBER 03: Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings argues a penalty call while being pushed back by referee Jim Quirk #63 in the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on November 3, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

New year, same bad NFL officials. Week 17 brought with it some awful calls, albeit under harsher circumstances. The AFC and NFC Playoff races loom large.

We can only hope the playoff picture isn’t decided by a bad decision or two from the NFL’s finest zebras, but as is the case most years, if your team leaves matters until the final week, it’s a significant risk.

Thankfully for all three teams mentioned in this week’s edition, there were no real playoff aspirations on the line — only seeding. Week 18 promises to be hectic, however, with the likes of the Raiders and Chargers playing for a final AFC playoff spot.

For once, there was no taunting. No roughing the passer. Dare I say — it was a competent week of officiating, for the most part.

Unfortunately, that means we’re in for a rough end of the regular season. Postseason expectations are always low for the officiating crews. Please, no more Nickell Robey-Colemans.

NFL: Worst calls of Week 17 start in Green Bay

It wouldn’t be a ‘Ball Don’t Lie’ without officials getting exposed for favoring the Packers.

This isn’t to say Green Bay doesn’t deserve their standing as the top team in the NFC — heck, they might be the best team in all of football, though they’re fighting for that title with the AFC’s Kansas City Chiefs and others.

On Sunday Night Football, the Packers clinched the top spot in the NFC thanks to a win over the shorthanded Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings were without starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose COVID-19 vaccine status came back to haunt him. Cousins, however, refuses to acknowledge that his vaccination status might’ve played a role.

Oh, what a world.

Early on in Week 17, the Packers got away with a clear hold on an Aaron Jones run to the left-hand side. Green Bay clearly held Vikings defensive end Jaleel Johnson.

The Packers won the game by a lopsided scoreline of 37-10, which is why a missed hold in the early portion of the game was deemed fairly irrelevant by myself and other pundits.

Nonetheless, it deserved examination in an otherwise obvious result.

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