When we started Packergeeks, we intended to spend most of our time on the Packers but also to offer lots of commentary on broader NFL issues. Mostly for reasons of time, we haven’t done as much of the latter. We’ll do more of that going forward this year, and a lot of it next year.
So let me say this about today’s Colts/Chargers game: It is one of the worst-officiated games I’ve seen in ages. Virtually all of the bad calls have gone against San Diego. One phantom pass interference call early in the fourth quarter was the kind of utterly baffling flag that will surely start conspiracy theorists tongues wagging. Does the NFL want to see a Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady AFC Championship? A holding call on San Diego immediately before halftime was at least suspect. It negated an interception return for a touchdown that would have put the Chargers up 14-10 going into halftime.
The Colts were the victim of one awful call, too, when officials ruled that Reggie Wayne stepped out before he crossed the goal line. They were wrong and the call was reversed on a challenge.
But as I say, the overwhelming numbers of bad calls have gone against the Chargers. I say this as someone who has many good friends that are Colts fans. Moreover, I think Phillip Rivers throws like a girl, whines like a bitch and generally sucks. Plus, I’d like to see Norv Turner fail, largely because his hiring was inexplicable. I’d like to see GM AJ Smith lose in the same round he did last year, which caused the Chargers to fire Marty Schottenheimer.
It’s 21-17 now, Chargers. If they end up losing, the officials will have had a major role in the loss.
UPDATE: See here for a San Diego view of a potential Colts-Pats championship game.
UPDATE II: Chargers win 28-24. Gutty performance, as they won without Ladanian Tomlinson in the second half and with a hobbled Antonio Gates. (Others will point out that Phillip Rivers got hurt in the third quarter and did not return. I won’t. His replacement, Billy Volek, is better.)