The Atlanta Falcons lost five regular season games this season. Some of those losses were well-deserved. Their October 16th loss against the Seattle Seahawks was not one of those losses.
It’s a familiar story line if you’ve been with us all season. The Falcons offense was marching. With the game winding down, the Falcons needed to get into field goal range. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw a deep ball to Julio Jones that would’ve done just that. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman deployed some grabby shenanigans that went unnoticed. Game over.
The league announced the officiating crew for the game in Houston. One name stands out above all others: Todd Prukop, backjudge. Remember when streaking Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was dragged down by Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman in Week 6 but pass interference was not called? It was Prukop who was responsible for making the call in the play. Coach Dan Quinn went ballistic on the sideline on the non-call and even the normally even-tempered Jones complained loudly.
Prukop also got publicity this season for an explicable call during the New York Giants game against the Detroit Lions in week 15. I’d like to say I’m confident the NFL has properly vetted the Super Bowl officiating crew, but that’d give them a lot of credit I’m not certain they deserve.