Even before Monday night's drama, frustration surrounding the shaky performance of NFL replacement officials had reached a fever pitch. Three games in, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has seen more than enough to draw a conclusion.
"There's definitely a lack of confidence in what's going to get called and what's not going to get called," Brees told ESPN Radio before "Monday Night Football." "... You know, they're just not prepared to be in this situation. The game is so fast, and the level that all of them were at and now are at -- it just doesn't even compare. You know, I think it's getting to a point where it's pretty horrendous and it's an embarrassment to the league and the way it's being conducted."
Brees' comments came hours before Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's final pass against the Green Bay Packers was determined to be a touchdown by one official and an interception by another. That marked the game's most egregious error in a festival of gaffes.
"I love this league and love the game of football, but tonight's debacle hurts me greatly," Brees tweeted after Monday's game. "This is NOT the league we're supposed to represent."
Brees wasn't done, sending out another ref-related tweet Tuesday. "Ironic that our league punishes those based on conduct detrimental. Whose CONDUCT is DETRIMENTAL now?"
The league finds itself in an interesting situation. The prime-time schedule was expanded this season to parade out more nationally televised games than ever before. In another year, that would be touted as a victory, but the replacement refs have stumbled hardest in these widely seen affairs. There's no going back after last night, and this conversation isn't going away.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.