The replacement officials just became an even bigger story after the Ravens-Eagles game Sunday.
While the Ravens regretted their missed chances on offense to extend their lead to secure a victory, the locker room was almost a powder keg of emotions after the 24-23 loss. Michael Vick scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run after the two-minute warning.
"There are calls that the regular refs, if they were here, we know how the calls would be made," said linebacker Ray Lewis, suggesting there hasn't been any consistency in how the game is being officiated for two weeks.
There was the offensive pass interference call on Jacoby Jones that erased a 25-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco with 5:35 left in the fourth quarter.
Jones refused to say what he really thought of the call, but Flacco didn't hesitate to address the officiating on that play, which didn't actually draw a flag even though a call was made. Regular officials have been locked out by the NFL.
If that touchdown had counted, the Ravens would've had a two-possesion lead at 27-17.
"I think those guys were on us tight like that the whole game and there was a lot of holding and grabbing going on for them to make that call was kind of crazy," said Flacco who finished 22-for-42 passing after going 21-for-29 a week ago. "He didn't even throw a flag. He threw a blue beanie and then put his hands in the air like offensive pass interference...I mean, come on."
"The NFL and everybody always talks about the 'integrity of the game' and things like that and I think this is kind of along those lines. And not to say these guys are doing a bad job, but the fact that we don't have the normal guys out there is pretty crazy."
Lewis took it a step beyond that.
He argued that the Eagles never should've had the ball for Vick to score on their next possession. Haloti Ngata hit Vick and appeared to jar the ball loose. It originally was called a fumble as Ma'ake Kemoeatu recovered. The Ravens likely would've closed out the game with a win.
However, a review from the booth determined Vick still had control of the ball and tried to throw it when he was hit and it therefore was an incomplete pass.
"For Haloti to make that play and for the ball to be coming out, clearly, if you watch the play you can watch it a thousand timeshow can you overturn that?" Lewis said. "You have to have certain type of evidence. You can't overturn that because somebody tried to push the ball with their hand.
"I believe if the regular refs here, that call doesn't get overturned."
Lewis believes the Eagles also had just cause to be upset with how the game was officiated.
"You're looking at the film and you're saying 'Wow.' How can you call that pass interference? How can you not call that? It's nothing about them personally. We're not directly attacking them but we are saying we need the guys that does their regular jobs.
"The league is being affected by it. It's not just this game. If they want the league to have the same reputation that it's always had then address the problem. Get the regular referees in here. Let the games play themselves out. We already have controversy enough with the regular refs."