"The calls -- or the lack thereof -- were pretty egregious," Sherman said, via ESPN.com. "It's just tough with the penalties. It's tough when you play a team that's averaging seven, eight penalties a game, and they get called for one [actually two] -- an obvious false start in the fourth quarter, which the refs really didn't want to call in the first place."
Carroll added: "There wasn't a significant penalty all day on the other side, so (the Saints) did a marvelous job."
Carroll was kidding, of course, for those who need the sarcasm font.
The most troubling aspect of the officiating seemed to come from how far apart the total number of calls were. The Saints were hit with just two penalties for a total of 10 yards, while Seattle got called for 11 penalties. Heading into the game, Seattle had been called for 55 total penalties on the season against 40 penalties called in their favor. The Saints were called for 46 total penalties, with 45 called in their favor.
Carroll made reference to how close they were in terms of frequent penalties, which is why he was surprised at the total number Sunday.
"Yeah, because we went into the game knowing they're a team that gets a lot of penalties," Carroll said. "And we were in the same boat, so we thought that might match up for us and that might not be a deciding factor in the game. But the (11 penalties to two) thing, that's pretty far out of whack."
The hard part about Carroll and Sherman's complaints is that they may not get the cut-and-dry answer that Norman did. Norman called out an official for blatantly missing a facemask call and he did. Carroll and Sherman are wading into the nebulous waters of the pick or rub play. One of their main issues was that Saints receiver Willie Snead was not called for initiating contact after one yard on a Seahawks defender -- a maneuver used to free Brandin Cooks to swoop underneath for a short touchdown.
At that point in the game, Seattle was shutting New Orleans down at the goal line via the run.
"If you illegally block a guy instead of trying to get out of the way, you impede a guy's progress to his coverage; then it's a penalty," Carroll said. "So we'll see. We'll see how that works. I can sit here and gripe about stuff. I'm not going to do it. You already said it -- it was (11 penalties) to two. That's the 26th-ranked penalty team in the league. They just had a great football game."
As the great Peter Schrager noted on Good Morning Football on Monday, all of these officials are graded on a week to week basis and get rewarded with big games at the end of the season. By then, we'll have a good idea whether or not Carroll and Sherman were right about this one.