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Referee assigned to Rams-Lions was at center of controversial Rams-Seahawks finale last season

The referee for Sunday night’s Rams-Lions playoff game, Craig Wrolstad, was at the center of a controversial Rams game last year. You might remember their Week 18 contest against the Seahawks to close out a forgettable 2022 season, a game that had significant playoff implications for both Seattle and the Lions.

The Rams lost that game, 19-16, in overtime, which punched the Seahawks’ ticket to the playoffs and prevented the Lions from getting in. There were a number of missed and poor calls in that Week 18 game, the majority of which benefitted the Seahawks.

It was so bad, in fact, that Adam Schefter reported at the time that a source told him it was “the worst officiated game of the year.” The Rams and Lions were both upset and frustrated by the poor officiating, while coaches and executives said “the NFL needs to reevaluate how it chooses and trains its officiating staff for future seasons,” per Schefter.

If you need a refresher on some of Wrolstad’s calls, this video will remind you of them.

The last clip in the video was from this season, a Week 7 loss by the Rams against the Steelers. Wrolstad was the referee in that game, which ended with a Steelers victory thanks to a very favorable spot on Kenny Pickett’s sneak on fourth-and-1.

No referee is without his missed calls, but Rams fans probably aren’t thrilled about Wrolstad being assigned to Sunday’s game. The Rams are just 3-6 in games officiated by Wrolstad since 2017, while the Lions are 3-2 in games where Wrolstad is the referee. Home teams won 62.5% of their games with Wrolstad as the referee this season, according to Russell Brown.

The Rams certainly aren’t concerned about the officiating crew assigned to their game, and they’ll solely be focused on ways to beat the Lions. However, their track record with Wrolstad isn’t great.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire