"I grade officials all the time. You take a look at offense, and defense, and special teams and you send a report each week. This was the best crew in the last 20 crews that I've graded. They did a heckuva job. Every game that you see that's within a point or a field goal you can go back and there might a non-call, there might be a call... that's the nature of this game. You've got to find a way to win. We've still got third and 10. We've still got to get it in the end zone. Third and 10, fourth and 4, and then we've got to make a 2 point (conversion). It's not like somebody gave you a touchdown. So you gotta go in there and still get it done."
Of course, San Diego Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner had the polar opposite response, a response echoed by Chargers fans world-wide:
"On the last play, it was clearly a fumble. Ed came over to me and said he blew it. That to me is not acceptable. This is a high-level performance game. It's not acceptable to have a game decided on that play. Our guys fought to come back. They competed in all phases and it's just disappointing to have that kind of performance spoiled by that call."
The bottom line is the officiating crew (Ed Hochuli) and the Denver Broncos combined to make for an unfair playing field, and in a league as respected as the NFL, that is completely unacceptable. Regardless of how bad or how well the players on the field are performing, the game's outcome should never be left to the discretion of the officials. The NFL will review the rules next year, so if there is one thing the Chargers can take solace in, its that they were involved in a bad play that will likely forever change the rules of the game for the better.
Subscribe to this Chargers blog