Whoo, that did not sit well. I was ready to quit myself. Proclaimed it. Can't move on from something like that, I thought. Can't spend the season fighting the refs as well. Held my tongue for the most part all last week when I felt that Carolina's line held on nearly every play, including that last second game winner. This is different. Way different. What's to say, though? Done deal. A good team's season doesn't end at 0-2 and we're a good team. Well, we can be anyway, and I'll get to that.
The gambling theory is pretty cool. It sort of plays and it kind of let's us off the hook in a "what chance did we really have anyway" sort of way, but I'm not ready to throw Hochuli and Shanahan to Gamblers Anonymous. Sharks, maybe, but not GA. Mob jobs are rarely so intricately choreographed as that game. I'd blame the ghost of John Elway for the officiating as much as anything else. Denver wins home openers. The officials know it. The announcers know it. It's fucking destiny and that was our cross to bear. Shanahan going for two? Take a look at our D. Shanahan had to correctly figure that he had a slightly better chance of winning with two there than winning a coin toss. That wasn't a gutsy call, it was the right call.
What really chaps my hide is the lack of acknowledgment the initial calls received. Everybody's so busy justifying the justification for upholding the bad calls that no one is asking what these officials were looking at when they botched it in the first place. Bailey's interception? Horrible call, but all anybody talks about is the replay malfunction. Hochuli has been in the league forever and surely knows better than to blow that whistle in the fourth, yet the announcers and analysts are falling all over themselves to point out that Hochuli was right in not giving the ball to San Diego after his original goof. If Hochuli is officiating in the playoffs this season it will be a travesty, but it will happen because no one seems to be willing to point out that these officials were off their rocker yesterday.
One last thing on the Cutler fumble. Biased I may be here, but it seemed pretty clear to me the Hochuli did not blow the whistle until it was obvious that Dobbins was going to recover that ball instead of Cutler. Afraid to call a turnover in front of that crowd? That's what it looked like to me.
Couple other things:
1) Ted Cottrell is at it again. That game looked awfully reminiscent of last year's losses to Green Bay and KC. Teddy is expecting the secondary to cover for a solid 5-count on every play because he sure as hell isn't going to provide a pass rush like that. No movement. No disguise. No pass rush. It's not Shawne Merriman. He's missed, but that is not the reason that QBs have an eternity to pick us apart back there.
2) I will not be surprised if LT pulls a Barry Sanders after the season. I don't know if everybody questioning his heart and toughness after the AFC Championship last year is the reason, or if it's age, or bad play calling or whatever-but his head, heart and body do not appear to be in the game and that is a concern. Sproles looks great right now, but if he starts carrying a bigger load, teams are going to figure him out.
3) Philip Rivers and that offense are otherwise unbelievable right now. Who would have thought we'd be such a successful passing team. So much fun to watch. Too bad Rivers has a bogus INT on his stat sheet or he'd be perfect right now. Then they'd have to give him credit even if he did say mean things to that poor little diabetic boy who just loves football, Jay Cutler.
Fuck Jay Cutler, we're still winning this thing. Go Bolts!!!