Bad Officiating Costs Miami Playoffs...Again

T.J. MorrillCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2009

MIAMI - DECEMBER 27:  Safety Gibril Wilson #28 of the Miami Dolphins reacts after dropping an interception that was deflected against the Houston Texans at Land Shark Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Texans defeated the Dolphins 27-20.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The picture tells the story of the last two weeks for the Dolphins: heartbreak and disappointment after coming just so close to tasting the playoffs.

After losing to Tennessee last week, the Dolphins still found themselves with a shred of playoffs hopes left playing against Houston in Miami. 

As we all recall in overtime last week, Greg Camarillo got a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call for simply downing a player who intercepted a Chad Henne pass. The Dolphins forced a three-and-out, but the penalty put the Titans in field goal range regardless, giving them the three points needed to win.

This week the Dolphins dug themselves in a hole early as they were down 27-0 in the first half, but again sparked a tremendous comeback in the second half after the worst half of football I've seen in my life. I'm not even sure last year's Lions could play worse than that.

There were two calls that cost the Dolphins points in this game. First was an obvious fumble whistled dead as an incomplete pass after the receiver took three or more steps with the ball. When the red flag was thrown, Coach Sparano was told he can't challenge because it was whistled dead. Sure, the one time they enforce that rule is when it hurts the Dolphins. 

The Texans punted, but it cost the Dolphins approximately 30 yards of field position, which cost them a field goal opportunity. So far, it was three points the officials stole from the Dolphins.

Later on, a deep ball to Ted Ginn was caught for a touchdown, or so we thought. The play was called back for tripping, on Lousaka Polite. Looking at the replay, Polite started his block low to begin with, he was already on the ground, and as he rolled somebody just happened to fall over him. 

The rule on tripping is that it should be called when there was intent by the blocker to trip a defender. The rule isn't to call it because somebody fell. In fact, do you know what this play would be called in most football circles? Not tripping, just a simple chop block, which is legal within the tackle box. 

There's another seven points, add that to the three that were already stolen from the Dolphins offense and that's ten points. The deficit was seven, that's the ball game folks, in the hands of the men in stripes.

Trust me guys, I dislike the officials excuse more than anyone, but when the calls are blatantly obvious and they cost a team points in a game with playoff implications, it just can't be ignored. I've been wondering the last few weeks if an officiating scandal of NBA proportions is going on in the NFL. It's just not right.