NFL notebook: Regular refs receive warm welcomes, get to work

2012-10-01T00:00:00Z NFL notebook: Regular refs receive warm welcomes, get to workThe Associated Press The Associated Press
October 01, 2012 12:00 am  • 

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Referee Jeff Triplette struck a triumphant tone before Sunday's Saints-Packers game at Lambeau Field, announcing during the pregame coin toss that "it's great to be back, gentlemen!"

With the NFL's regular officials back on the job, Packers players were prepared to move on from a call that cost them a win at Seattle. Their fans didn't quite seem to be ready yet.

Some fans showed voiced their displeasure with replacement officials whose decision to allow a last-second Seahawks touchdown cost the Packers the win last Monday night.

"Worst Call Ever," read one fan's shirt. A sign in the stands welcomed back the regular officials, and a handful of fans wore black and white striped shirts.

Elsewhere, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, whose team was the beneficiary of the last-play decision last Monday night that was the replacements' final call, shook hands with referee Mike Carey before the game at St. Louis.

Referee Bill Leavy said during the coin toss for Chargers-Chiefs: "Good afternoon. It's great to be back with you." Cheers erupted at Arrowhead Stadium.

Perhaps most interestingly, Patriots owner Robert Kraft got down to the tunnel before the end of their win over Buffalo and attempted to shake each official's hand.

The unbeatens

• The Arizona Cardinals have started 4-0 for the first time since 1974. The Cards earned the franchise's 500th regular-season victory.

• The Houston Texans earned their first 4-0 start in franchise history and the first start by a Houston professional football team since the 1985 USFL Houston Gamblers started 5-0.

• The 4-0 Atlanta Falcons are off to their best start since 2004.

Patriot games

The New England Patriots became the second team in NFL history with a 300-yard passer (Tom Brady), two 100-yard rushers (Brandon Bolden and Steven Ridley) and two 100-yard receivers (Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski) in the win at Buffalo. The other team to accomplish the feat was the 2008 Packers.

Injuries

• Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker injured his left - non-throwing - shoulder after being sacked in the first quarter of a loss against Houston.

• Santonio Holmes had to be helped from the field after he hurt his left foot on the first play of the fourth quarter in a loss to San Francisco.

• The Washington Redskins played without safety Brandon Meriweather and receiver Aldrick Robinson, who were hurt after colliding in the end zone during pregame warm-ups.

Number of note

47 - Consecutive games in which New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown at least one touchdown pass, tying the record held by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas.

He said it

"I was on the headsets and I said, 'Field goal,' and somebody said 'Field goal?' I said, 'Yeah, it's only 60. It's well within his range.'"

- Rams coach Jeff Fisher on rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein setting two franchise records with 58- and, later, 60-yard field goals.

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