Controversy Atop the AFC West

EndZonerContributor ISeptember 14, 2008

The Denver Broncos came away with a controversial win against divisional rival San Diego Chargers. The 39-38 victory was highlighted by 942 total yards for the two teams and a 103-yard kick return by Darren Sproles. 

The game was not decided until the final play and had some controversy. In the first quarter, Chris Chambers clearly catches the ball and is down before the ball comes out and Denver recovers. The replay viewing equipment was inoperable, so the play could not be reviewed and most likely overturned. 

The equipment was repaired and was needed later in the game, but to no avail. Denver was behind 38-31 and driving. They faced a 2nd-and-goal from the one-yard line with less than two minutes left.  

Jay Cutler dropped back to pass and clearly fumbled the ball, with a San Diego player falling on it. Referee Ed Hochuli had a clear view of the action and called an incomplete pass. Blowing both the whistle and the call at the same time, changing the outcome of the game.   

He reviewed the play and had to explain himself. The new and correct call is a fumble. But, the whistle had blown so the defender could not recover it. The ball is dead at the 10-yard line and Denver retains possession. Denver scored the touchdown and the two-point conversion, giving them the lead and the win. 

I know, the San Diego defense still had a chance to stop Denver. But why should they need to stop them again. Such a blunder by one that the NFL front office idolizes cost a team a game.

San Diego would have had possession of the ball at their own 10-yard line. 1st-and-10 with 1:10 on the clock and the defense only has two timeouts to stop the clock. All the Chargers needed to do is get a first down and run the clock. Instead, they are winless and tied in the cellar with the Chiefs