The Centennial Soapbox

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not blaming the Broncos loss to the Jags on the officials. Nor am I going to be sending any e-mail death threats to the officiating crew that worked the Broncos/Jaguars game on Sunday. Before anybody says anything about me being a homer, I will reiterate the fact that I have maintained the fact that the Broncos should have lost the game with the Chargers, but the Ed Hochuli call was not the reason that the Broncos won the game. Likewise, the Broncos lost to the Jaguars was due to the fact that they turned the ball over and the defense couldn't get off of the field.

All that being said, I am wondering why nobody is making a big deal out of two calls that the Broncos absolutely got hosed on on Sunday. Both calls occured on 3rd down plays. The first one was in the 3rd quarter, if memory serves me correctly. The Broncos were down 17-10 at the time. The Jaguars failed to convert the 3rd down, but 'Dre Bly was flagged for illegal contact, an automatic first down for the Jags. Maurice Jones-Drew scored on the next play. The problem with the call is that Bly didn't hit the guy. Bly was run over by the Jags' receiver, not the other way around.

The second call occured near the end of the game with the Broncos down 24-17, which ended up being the final score. David Garrard threw the ball down field, the throw was high, and Broncos safety Marlon McCree was flagged for pass interference. The Jaguars then gained one more first down and were able to run out the clock. Had they not done that, they were in field goal range after the call. This one was absolutely terrible. The ball was clearly past the receiver when McCree made the hit. It had hit off the receiver's fingers. The Jaguars should have had to punt, but instead, the drive was kept alive on a blown call.

Again, I'm not blaming the Broncos' loss on either or both of these calls. Had the officials gotten the calls right, and they weren't difficult calls to make, the Broncos would have had the chance to tie the game in both instances. What I am saying, though, is that this is no different than the call that Ed Hochuli made in the San Diego game. Why isn't anyone making a big deal out of these calls? ESPN made no mention of the pass interference call at the end of the game. It seems like a double-standard to me. Neither of these calls should have been made, and this officiating crew should come under just as much scrutiny as Ed Hochuli has.


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