It’s NFL playoff time and man, where do we begin. There were so many head scratching events this weekend that we’re left to ponder, what might have been, had the screw-ups not occurred?
Let’s start with the most obvious, the officiating:
- The pass interference call on Asante Samuel during Denver’s 27-13 win over the Patriots was a terrible decision by the on-field officiating crew. It brought a puttering Broncos offense to life and kicked the Patriots D in the teeth.
- The “no-call on the Alan Faneca fall start was a prime example of how disheveled NFL officiating is. The ruling on the field was that neither Faneca, or the Colts defense moved on the play.
- Troy Polamalu’s pick was overturned even though officials reviewed the play for several minutes. Luckily for the Steelers, this one didn’t cost them the game.
How about we pick on some of the play:
- Champ Bailey’s failure to keep his legs pumping at 100% as he approached the end-zone following his 100 yard pick could have spelled disaster had officials ruled that the ensuing fumble traveled through the end zone. It would have been New England’s ball, albeit at the 20 yard-line.
- Continued anemic play on offense finally caught up to the Redskins. It’s all Daniel Snyder’s fault! It certainly had nothing to do with the genius that is Joe Gibbs.
- The Bus almost became the Bust after his failure to keep possession of the football with a minute to play and the Steelers firmly in control of the game.
- New England’s fumblitis proved catastrophic for the defending champs.
- Nick Harper’s decision to run right at Ben Roethlisberger after scooping up Jerome Bettis’ fumble may have been the most baffling decision all weekend. His team needed a score and there was one man to beat. Perhaps Harper couldn’t the make the cut to avoid Big Ben, because of his carved up knee?
The play calling:
- Bill Cowher’s decision to run the ball with a minute left in regulation in retrospect was the wrong thing to do given that his man Bettis couldn’t hold on to the ball.
- Tony Dungy decision to punt with his team trailing 21-3 at the start of the 4th quarter was one of those calls that was wrong regardless of the situation. Good thing Payton Manning was there to overturn Dungy’s call and keep the offense on the field.
- 3rd and 2 and the Colts decide to go for a 15 yard pickup through the air, rather than the first-down. The failed attempt setup Mike Vandershank’s 46 yard ticket to the off-season for Indianapolis.