After the San Diego Chargers’ shocking loss yesterday, the first thing I wanted to do was log onto Sportable and rip the NFL apart, mainly their most famous referee, Ed Hochuli. But I didn’t want to speak out of rage and emotion. After a reflection of the chaos, I think I’ve calmed down enough to where I can address the nonsense that went down at Invesco Field yesterday.
The weirdness started early on, as Champ Bailey’s extracurricular activities were rewarded, as he stripped an already-tackled Chris Chambers. The result, shockingly enough, was called an interception by Bailey. When Muscle Beach Hochuli went to review it, he found the replay system “malfunctioning.” Convenient. But instead of having a back-up plan, the NFL only requires officials to wait two minutes before moving on with the play as called. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a goon up in the replay booth that has access to these things. In the case of malfunction, why aren’t the review responsibilities delegated to the upstairs official? Seems like a pretty easy way to alleviate the crisis, right Commissioner Goodell?
Then, of course, the Jay Cutler play. Can we think of a more obvious blown call? I can’t. Here’s an issue that needs to be addressed at this year’s owner meeting. Ed Hochuli and his triceps quickly admitted the call was blown, but there was simply no way to correct the call because the whistle was blown. Why in the hell not? Hochuli screwed up, but under this rule, he’s not permitted to fix it. We know Guns’ track record; all in all, he’s a pretty solid official. But he’s human. Humans make mistakes. But I thought the reason we had the review system was so human mistakes wouldn’t decide football games.
Bad calls are a part of sports. I get that. And while Denver should have never even gotten the chance to score their touchdown and 2 point conversion, San Diego still had two great chances to knock a pass down. For the second week in a row, they failed. For the second week in a row, defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell showed how inept he is, bringing no pressure and letting his all-pro, physical cornerbacks give ten yards of cushion. Old habits die hard. For Cottrell, this latest screw-up should be the deciding factor in giving the defensive coordinator spot to linebacker coach Ron Rivera.
All in all, the San Diego Chargers were completely robbed yesterday. But even after being robbed (twice), they still had two opportunities to win the football game by making one play. They didn’t. Ultimately, that falls on Ted Cottrell and his suddenly inept defense.