No, it couldn’t happen again. Not twice in two weeks.
“That’s… incredible,” a sullen Chargers fan mumbled to me as the final seconds of the game ticked away.
The Chargers were beat in the vestigial final moments, again. Broncos ‘win’, 39-38.
This time the spoiler had a little help from the refs. As far as inept, astoundingly piss-poor calls in the NFL go, this one was a beauty.
Oh, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the review equipment wasn’t working when a complete pass for the Chargers was ruled a fumble in the first half. Real smooth operation there at Invesco on Sunday. Every glassy-eyed, beer sucking super fan in a sports bar with a cable hook up saw what the officiating crew could not.
The real heartbreaker came after Jay Cutler fumbled away the game with about a minute to go. The otherwise stellar referee Ed Hochuli got whistle happy, called the play dead, and gave Denver back the ball…and the game. Hochuli should be fined a weeks pay and Denver police need to investigate a mugging that took place on national television.
Now the NFL is considering changing the rule which effectively sent the Bolts to 0-2. Gee, thanks Roger. Maybe you can also call Doc Brown and Marty McFly, see if we can’t go back in time and make it right.
The fact is Hochuli made a mistake, and if he hadn’t, the Chargers almost certainly would have won.
But Chargers fans have to realize when a few botched calls mean the difference in the game, you have to question why the team was in such a dire situation in the first place. Moreover, I cannot take anything away from Mike Shanahan’s call to go for 2 and the win. The guy is nails.
Even after the Hochuli hosing, the Chargers could have stopped the touchdown pass. They could have stopped the conversion. They did neither, and lost.
San Diego got off to a slow start last year, and we have more of the same so far in ’08. Difference is, the Chargers are under the spotlight this season and every stumble is going to be magnified. While the second half of the schedule looks to be kinder, the Bolts need to start putting opponents away. If anyone on the team thinks the AFC West title will be given to them, Sunday was just the wake-up call they needed.
Shake it off, San Diego. Brett Favre and the Jets are coming to town. Monday Night Football. The stage for redemption is set, get ready.