|"Yes, you are not worthy of me or my guns."|
Fifty years from now, that last Seahawks drive will still be remembered as the gold standard of refereeing incompetence. I'm not going to say it was fixed....I'm going to shout it..."IT WAS F#$#$ING FIXED!!!" Okay, I feel better. To believe it wasn't fixed is to believe that our fellow man can be so stupid and utterly cowardly in the face of adversity. I'd prefer to just think them crooked. I could easily see one of these refs accepting a huge cash payout from a shady hoodlum at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle on Tuesday morning. TRUST NO ONE.
Just so we have it down for posterity, let's review the three mind-numbingly horrible calls in the last 2 minutes.
Play 1: Possibly the worst roughing the passer penalty ever called that did not involve Tom Brady: Russell Wilson rolls right out of the pocket before uncorking an interception that mostly likely ends the game right there considering the field position the Pack would have had and the time remaining. Once a QB leaves the pocket like that, he's no longer under his invisible shield of protection that I like to call the "Brady Don't Even Touch My Hair Zone." Regardless, the hit was clean and it wasn't late. Watching the replay, a flabbergasted Jon Gruden states, "I just don't see these...". Watch how the ref drops the flag there, too. He's like, "ehhh, what the hell." Then he skulks away like he's leaving a crime scene. WHICH HE IS.
Play 2: This play is actually the worst of all, but is overshadowed by the play to follow. Sydney Rice basically assaults Sam Shields down the sideline on a go route. Shields covers the play as good and as clean as a cornerback can cover it. He gets inside position, looks backs towards the ball and makes a play on it. Textbook. Meanwhile, he's basically being felt up and violated by a very randy Rice and his busy hands. Rice even pulls Shields' facemask in the process. At least buy him dinner next time, Sydney.
Play 3: This travesty of a play has been replayed and evaluated ad nauseum by now, and obviously, the offensive PI if called makes everything that happens after it moot. But one thing to remember about "simultaneous" catches: Per the rule, if one player has initial possession, it doesn't become simultaneous possession after the fact. You can't slap an index finger on there and say, "I've got it." Catching the ball is a process, from getting your hands on it initially, to gathering it in and bringing it to your chest. Golden Tate never does any of this.
There is actually a faction of people out there (like Seattle coach/cheerleader Pete Carroll) who believe this was a catch. To those people I say, you are THE WORST and you should be trapped in a room with Sydney Rice, so he can give you the business. Golden Tate's comments at the end there are really fantastic, I wish he was hooked up to a polygraph. And if he failed the polygraph, he would be electro-shocked.
Okay, let's just pretend this all never happened, and get on to the picks:
New England -4 over Buffalo
Minnesota +4.5 over Detroit
Atlanta - 7.5 over Carolina
49ers -4.5 over Jets (lock of the week)
Tennessee +12.5 over Houston
San Diego -1.5 over K.C.
St. Louis +3 over Seattle
Denver -7 over Oakland
Cincinnati -2 over Jacksonville
N. Orleans +7.5 over Green Bay
Chicago +3.5 over Dallas
Philly -1.5 over NYG
Washington +3 over Tampa
Miami +6 over Arizona
Season Record: 17-28-2 (the comeback begins...now!)