In a further indictment of referee Terry McAulay, Blandino revealed that he spoke with an official in the MetLife Stadium press box to reinforce the option to eject.
"The crew was doing a really tough job of trying to keep the game under control," Blandino said on the NFL Network. "They had spoken to both head coaches. They had spoken to the players. There was a point during the game when I did get on the headset to the replay official to remind the referee that, 'You can eject players. You'll have our full support. This thing cannot get out of control.'"
Blandino has access to the wireless headsets that officials have worn on game day since the start of the 2014 season. He can speak directly to the referee during replay reviews and also to the replay officials in the press box. The NFL granted Blandino additional access to the system during the postseason, raising ethical issues that concern former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira, among others. It's worth noting that McAulay rejected Blandino's suggestion Sunday.
After reviewing the game, however, Blandino said: "The officials, if you ask them, they would agree after looking at the tape that ejections were warranted."
Blandino did not specify who else he thought should have been ejected, but the obvious candidate was Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, who instigated some of the game-long tussles with Beckham.
"We don't take disqualifications lightly," Blandino said. "It's a short season and the action really has to rise above and beyond the normal course, and this certainly did."
Continuing his criticism of McAulay's crew, Blandino said he thought the situation could have been defused earlier with more frequent penalty calls.
"For me, looking at the tape, there were two or three opportunities early in the game to throw a flag and set the tone," Blandino said. "We always want to set the tone early. Not make something up, but when something rises to the level of unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct, we can't miss those opportunities, because that sets the tone of the entire game. There were a couple there that we missed early on."