Playoff officials staying in background

Non-calls have generated some heat, but "let them play" philosophy is welcome

Originally Published: January 18, 2012
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Officials took a lot of criticism during the divisional weekend for calls or non-calls, but one theme has resonated during the first eight games of the playoffs: The refs aren't standing in the way of games. They are letting them play.

Only 19 penalties were marched off in the four divisional games. In the eight playoffs games to date, an average of 7.25 penalties a game has been accepted. That's roughly half of what you see in the regular season.

The most noticeable change is the ...

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