Everyone knows I am a huge football fan. I love the game, particularly because of the strategy and chess match that goes into every play. While watching a football game, I like to try to guess what the offense and defense will do next. In addition, I'm a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I have been since I was a little boy back in the '70s, when they started winning Super Bowls. Each weekend during the NFL season, I'm always hoping for two things to happen : 1) the Steelers win, and 2) the Thugs a.k.a. Titans lose. Besides those two things, I don't really care what the other 30 NFL teams do. Therefore, I feel I can offer an unbiased, objective opinion as to the events of Monday Night Football this week.
I completely agree with everyone who feels that the "scab" / replacement officials are screwing up great numbers of calls and non-calls. I have seen more blown calls this season than in any other I can remember, and I've been watching football for 30+ years. One glaring example I saw on Sunday was when Raiders linebacker, #52, Phillip Wheeler crawled to Ben Roethlisberger, after being knocked down, and then took a cheap, illegal shot at Ben's knees. Ben was obviously in pain after the play, but no penalty flag was thrown. I could go on and on listing similar "no calls" and others that were blown when made, but we would be here all day. I'm sure many of you could put together a long list, too. The NFL needs to do something to end the "official" officials lockout and do so immediately.
|SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24: Wide receiver Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks wrestles with cornerback M.D. Jennings #43 of the Green Bay Packers after making a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on September 24, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)|
I have also heard many people say that even if the Seahawks were awarded a touchdown, it should have been nullified, because Packers wide receiver Golden Tate was guilty of offensive pass interference before catching the game-winning touchdown. However, no offensive pass interference penalty was called. Here's the problem with that theory - on the NFL Network's NFL AM show the other morning, the Arizona Cardinals' All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald stated that on "Hail Mary" type plays, there is a long standing "understanding" between the officials and players that "anything goes." So, the no-call on offensive pass interference is irrelevant.
Who should the blame for the Packers Monday night loss to the Seahawks be placed on ? Is is fair to place their loss just on the replacement officials ? Packers fans and others are gonna be up in arms even more, but, in my opinion, the answer is a resounding "no." I think it is completely unfair to blame the outcome of that game on one missed call or non-call. In fact, I'm not even 100% sure that the officials blew the call in regards to the reception, since possession is not established until a player is on the ground and has made "a football type move."
So, who should be blamed for the Packers' loss ? The answer is very simple - the Packers, and no one else. Why ? Well, I believe the packers are to blame for the following four reasons :
- Penalties - the Packers were penalized 10 times for 127 yards in the game, including 6 penalties on defense that gave the Seahawks offense automatic first downs. These 6 penalties included 3 unnecessary roughness penalties, 1 roughing the passer penalty, 1 defensive holding penalty, and 1 defensive pass interference penalty that gave the Seahawks a first down and moved the ball 32 yards down the field to the Green Bay 25 yard line late in the game. These penalties all show a lack of discipline on the part of the Green Bay defense.
- Sacks - the Packers offensive line allowed All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rogers to be sacked 8 times in the first half alone. Four of those were on third down. The dude can't complete passes on his back, and you are not gonna win in the NFL if you don't protect your quarterback.
- 2-point conversion - if the Packers convert the 2-point conversion, after their touchdown in the 4th quarter, they're playing overtime with a chance to win the game. The 2-point attempt was poorly executed.
- The Packers won the Super Bowl year before last. They are a championship football team. Yet, they went into Seattle and played poorly. Let's be honest - when you match up the Packers and Seahawks player by player on paper, this game should have been no contest. The Packers should have been up by multiple touchdowns in the fourth quarter to where the last play wouldn't have mattered.
And that folks is The Sheepdog's two cents.