In all, 18 flags were thrown. And no penalty or call was remotely close to as controversial as any of the calls from Monday night's Packers-Seahawks matchup.
Despite being embraced by NFL fans, some players aren't expected the referees to be up to the bar on their officiating just yet.
Like a player returning from injury, Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck expects the refs to be somewhat out of shape in their first Sunday back on the field.
“It's still gonna be an issue when the real guys come back,” Tuck told the New York Daily News. “They are going to be rusty; they haven’t had a preseason to practice their craft. It would be like me coming to play a regular-season game, having not practiced or having a preseason game.”
Head coach Tom Coughlin and the other Giants players were just glad to have the real refs back.
In his always politically correct demeanor, Coughlin just expressed he was happy to see the lockout over with.
Everybody’s had an opinion about the replacement officials, and if there’s any question, it’s good for our game to get the officials back."
Obviously, the Monday night debacle brought the replacement referee dilemma to a head, as the NFL was embarrassed on a national stage.
There was pass interference call against the Packers defensive back Erik Walden, that placed the Seahawks in the red zone with a chance to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter.
And then there was the infamous pass-interference call against Sam Shields, despite the admitted push-off by Golden Tate. That, of course, resulted in the Seahawks' game-winning touchdown.
Safety Antrel Rolle acknowledged those calls magnified the issue, and he's just thankful that the refs are back.
“It’s time that everyone in the NFL needs to be on the same page at the same time and hopefully it limits the arguing and the frustration... I’m really not a guy that pays too much attention to the officiating, but I did see the game Monday night, so yeah, we need the guys back and they should be back. We’re all a family here, everyone, and it will be good to have those guys back."
Mathias Kiwanuka looked ahead to Sunday night's NFC East showdown against the Eagles. Against quarterback Michael Vick, it's always a fine line when it comes to officiating.
Because of Vick's tendency to run and throw from outside of the pocket, he admitted even the real refs may struggle in calling the game correctly.
“You don’t know if he is running the ball. Is he looking to pass? Is he a defenseless player? Is he a runner?” Kiwanuka said, according to the Daily News. “Those kinds of calls are difficult for anybody in real time and they are not always revealed in plays.”