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NFL statement: Replacement refs “are performing admirably”

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: Replacement referee David White tosses the coin as the Houston Texans play against the Jacksonville Jaguars September 16, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Houston won 27 - 7. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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After a Sunday night and Monday morning in which NFL officiating was ripped by players, the media and fans across America, the league has come forward with a statement defending the performance of the replacement officials.

The NFL’s brief statement noted that there are always mistakes with officiating, and said that the league backs the replacements as working hard to do their jobs in a tough position.

“Officiating is never perfect,” the statement said. “The current officials have made great strides and are performing admirably under unprecedented scrutiny and great pressure. As we do every season, we will work to improve officiating and are confident that the game officials will show continued improvement.”

The problem, however, is that the replacement officials haven’t shown continued improvement: In Week One they appeared to do a basically competent job, but in Week Two -- perhaps because players and coaches had noticed the types of things the officials were letting them get away with -- the replacements were noticeably struggling in several games.

The NFL may say the replacements are performing admirably, but fans aren’t going to believe an NFL statement over their own eyes.