The 2014 NFC Championship Game is expected to be a fierce one between two divisional rivals, and the officiating crew is making sure the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers doesn't get out of control.
NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino sent a video to the referees and both teams ahead of Sunday's game, outlining what will be allowed and what won't, using plays from last week's Carolina-San Francisco game as an example. The Panthers were frequently flagged in that game, and there was persistent jawing and chippiness on nearly every play. Several calls in particular led to six points for the 49ers, including a questionable head-butting flag on Captain Munnerlyn.
The Seahawks and 49ers are intense rivals, and Blandino's message is clear: the referees will set the tone early on in the game. The two teams have participated in some of the chippiest games of the past few years in this budding new rivalry. It's unknown how much either side will be able to get away with on Sunday, but the refs have made it clear they won't let things get out of control.