Payton upset with officiating — and he has a point


Sean Payton photo courtesy of the New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints is upset with NFL officiating.

Following a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night, Payton lashed out at referee Clete Blakeman’s crew. Payton’s Saints were penalized 11 times that night for 87 yards. The host Falcons were only penalized four times for 35 yards. Payton called the officiating “extremely poor, inconsistent.”

Payton has a point. There have been 193 games played in the NFL this season and road teams have been assessed 101 more penalties than home teams for 579 more yards. It marked the second consecutive game the road team was assessed 11 penalties by the Blakeman crew. Maybe it’s officiating. Maybe it’s that elusive “home field” advantage. But NFL teams seemingly find the deck stacked against them when they hit the road.

Here’s a listing of the teams this season that have shared the pain of the Saints on the road:

Team, penalties-yards (opponent)

Kansas City 15-139 (New England)

Seattle 15-110 (Giants)

Denver 14-105 (Philadelphia)

Pittsburgh 13-144 (Cleveland)

Kansas City 13-122 (Chargers)

San Francisco 13-113 (Arizona)

NY Jets 12-124 (Miami)

New England 12-108 (Tampa Bay)

Seattle 12-108 (Arizona)

Minnesota 11-131 (Pittsburgh)

Carolina 11-100 (Detroit)

Buffalo 11-99 (NY Jets)

Seattle 11-98 (Tennessee)

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