The 49ers may have some justifiable complaints about the officiating in the NFC Championship game against the Eagles, because it was bad.
Usually, going after the referees and their calling of a game is low-hanging fruit when it comes to criticism and blame.
However, for the now-heading-home San Francisco 49ers in the wake of their loss in the NFC Championship game, it might actually be fair.
The Niners fell way short of the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles for a number of reasons, including an untimely injury to quarterback Brock Purdy on San Francisco’s first possession. And while Purdy returned to the game only after backup signal-caller Josh Johnson suffered a concussion, the game was all but decided by that point and finished in a lopsided 31-7 fashion.
And, despite a valiant effort from the 49ers defense, bad officiating probably had a big impact on the eventual outcome.
It didn’t benefit the Niners either.
49ers victimized by poor officiating in NFC Championship game, and Twitter doesn’t hesitate to call out the referees
Granted, San Francisco committed some self-inflicted wounds during the game, and the end result might not have been too different if the yellow flags weren’t so heavily skewed toward head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co.
Still, the sheer number of calls that went against the 49ers (and the quality of those calls) will be a talking point for a long, long time.
Needless to say, plenty of reactions on Twitter will help fuel that argument.
For what it’s worth, the Niners were slapped with 11 penalties for 81 yards, while Philly was hit with four for 34 yards.
Three of those penalties against San Francisco helped influence a touchdown drive that would otherwise have stalled out for Philadephia, and one pass-interference call against defensive back Jimmie Ward might only have been a defensive hold at the very least.
That call provoked the steady-emotion Matt Maiocco from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, too:
He wasn’t the only one upset with how officials called the game.
The sheer number of penalties called, particularly against San Francisco, is going to raise some eyebrows as well.
Needless to say, and despite the result, the Niners may be filing a grievance with the NFL’s office on officiating this offseason.
It’s probably justified, too.