It will be real interesting to see what explanation Mike Pereira has Wednesday night on NFL Total Access for the potentially game-deciding play in the Broncos-Chargers game in which referees ruled that Jay Cutler threw an incomplete pass when it looked like he fumbled.
Referee Ed Hochuli addressed the play, which came with 1:14 remaining in a game Denver went on to win 39-38. But not without the help of that play.
“The ruling on the field was that it was an incomplete pass,” Hochuli told pool reporter Jeff Legwold. “We went to replay; it should have been ruled (a) fumble. By rule, by the instant replay rules, on that particular play where there’s a pass/fumble, a quarterback pass/fumble, the rules do not permit you to give the ball to the other team. All we can do to fix it is put the ball at the spot that it hit the ground, which is why we moved it back to the 10-yard line and the down counts and it becomes third down.”
Legwold then asked about no change of possession by rule?
“No change of possession, by rule, yes, by rule,” Hochuli said.
Is replay the issue in that case?
“Because on replay when we reverse it like that, when we reverse it on a quarterback pass/fumble play, your whistle has been blown as soon as the ball comes out, before it’s recovered, so it’s really not even a whistle issue. It’s the rule, that in instant replay, the only thing we can do is put the ball at the spot that it hit the ground and count the down. The rules of instant replay do not permit that you award the ball to the other team.”
Am I the only one more confused after reading this explanation?
Cutler’s quotes about the controversial play are easier to decipher than Hochuli’s.
“I think it was a fumble,” Cutler said. “It’s one of those plays that just happens. We get some good calls every once in a while, it just slipped out. I haven’t seen the play yet. The call has been made and it is over with.”