Monday, September 15, 2008

... And In Other NFL News

Norv Turner is officially the league's biggest cry baby, for his whining that Ed Hochuli's early whistle was unacceptable. For those of you football fans living in a cave, Hochuli blew a call in yesterday's Broncos-Chargers game when he inadvertently blew the whistle on a play near the end of the game where the ball slipped out of Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler's hand. The Chargers recovered what should have been ruled a fumble, but because of the inadvertent whistle, on review the ball was ruled down at the spot of the fumble and the Broncos retained possession. This all occurred on a second and goal with under a minute left, with the Broncos trailing the Chargers by 7, 38-31. Two plays after the call, Cutler was hitting Eddie Royal for a touchdown and another pass to Royal for the two-point conversion gave the Broncos a 39-38 victory.

Here's why Turner is a big baby. It's not as though the call gave the Broncos the win. They had to score the touchdown and even after the touchdown, the Chargers defense had a chance to stop the two-point conversion. Two chances to hold on to the win and they couldn't do it. More importantly, the only reason the Chargers were recovering the fumble was because the ball had squirted out of Jay Cutler's hand. It's not as though some great effort by the San Diego defense was wiped away by one inadvertent whistle. I would have been pretty damn lucky for the Chargers if they had won the game on a slippery ball. Luck is luck, whether it comes in the form of an inadvertent whistle or a ball gift-wrapped from one's opponents. The early whistle left the Chargers where they should have been if luck hadn't reared it's head in the first place.

Can officials cost a team a game? Rarely, but it does happen on occasion. I've heard some talk this morning that the NFL should revisit it's rules in the off season, but that's just crazy talk. Inadvertent whistles happen all the time and there's no way you're going to change the rules that play that goes on after a whistle is blown actually counts for anything. It's bad luck and this happened at a terrible time for the Chargers. But good God, Norv Turner has the look of a man who's in over his head.

Other brief comments from all the games I saw yesterday:

# Aaron Rodgers is a damn good quarterback and the Packers passing attack looks every bit as scary as it did with Brett Favre last year.

# With as bad as Carson Palmer is looking, Jay Cutler has got to be a top 5 quarterback, right?

# Anthony Gonzalez is going to be the Colts next star wide receiver. Not only did he look great running all over the field yesterday, that lateral he made to Reggie Wayne was an incredably heads-up play.

# I was watching the early games at Black Bear's Saloon with my good buddy McBlog and for whatever reason we were in view of the Raiders-Chiefs game. As we commented at some point during the afternoon, every time we looked over at that tv, there seemed to be players strewn across the ground while the football bounced around amidst the madness.

# The Panthers are 2-0 and looked really good in beating the Bears yesterday. I was most impressed by how they ran the ball againast a Bears defense that crushed Joseph Addai last Sunday night.

# It's a rough loss for the Bears, but they're legit this year and by legit I mean, yes, they really could go back to the Super Bowl. The defense is back in 2005 form and Kyle Orton actually looks like an NFL quarterback (and not like Rex Grossman who usually looked like he was trying to be an NFL quarterback). Every time I glanced at the Bears game, Orton seemed to be dropping back, making quick decisions, and just throwing darts.


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