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Crusader 12-11-2009 04:57 PM

Zebra Report: About That Saints Win
In the aftermath of the Saints' dramatic 33-30 overtime victory in Washington, there were herds of complaints from all over the place. Instead of focusing much of the venom in the direction of Redskins' kicker (who has since been cut) Shaun Suisham for missing a freaking 23-yarder, the officials were the subject of Redskins' fans angst on message boards. And why not? Surely the two calls which drew the ire of fans were the only reason the Redskins lost (please note dripping sarcasm).

The first play occurred late in the first half, when Drew Brees threw an interception to Kareem Moore. Moore rolled over his own teammate before hitting the ground and got up to try and garner a quality return. Instead, he was stripped by Robert Meachem (see the picture here), who proceeded to pick up the ball and take it to the house for a huge Saints' touchdown.

After going to a replay review, the call on the field was upheld. Really, the only possible thing Redskins fans could even remotely complain about is that Moore was down by contact after the interception. What's most important is when Moore gained possession of the football. After that, was any part of him touched by a Saints player before he hit the ground? The officials ruled no, and I'm inclined to agree with them. As for the Meachem strip, the picture here shows the ball was out well before Moore's knees or elbows hit the ground. You can watch the play on by clicking here (it starts at the 1-minute mark).

The second call receiving massive scrutiny was Mike Sellers' fumble in overtime (watch the video linked above and start at the 3:45 mark). In my view, this one could have gone either way. It seems to be the NFL is making itself look bad by using the terminology "conclusive visual evidence." Why can't they just say they use replay to get the call correct? Because that seems to be the crux of the issue here. Sellers appears to either fumble precisely when his elbow hits the ground or a split-second before, depending upon who you ask. Thus, in the eyes of many, the replay isn't "conclusive" enough to overturn the call either way -- meaning whatever was called on the field should stand. I can understand the rationale for this rule, as sometimes you really can't see the ball on a replay. When you can see it, though, what does the call on the field matter? Just decide if it's a fumble or not. For the record, I believe this is what they do, but that means they aren't following the rule explicitly.

Anyway, I certainly don't think either call is egregious enough to draw the kinds of reactions I've seen across message boards (claims the league fixed the game? Are you kidding? Yeah, Suisham wanted to miss the field goal and get cut).

Zebra Report: About That Saints Win -- NFL FanHouse

Tobias-Reiper 12-11-2009 05:02 PM

Re: Zebra Report: About That Saints Win
.. were they looking at Will Smith getting clotheslined every single play? No? Ok. boo hoo...

Euphoria 12-11-2009 05:14 PM

Re: Zebra Report: About That Saints Win
The interception for me - the only thing that you could argue was that it was in incomplete pass not an INT. However, you never see the ball actually hit the ground just that its moving and very well could have hit the ground but you don't actually see the ball hitting the ground because its being blocked by the defenders leg, so since there is no evidence to this fact then the play stands as called on the field cut and dry by the letter of the rule.

BOLTS4LIFE 12-11-2009 05:27 PM

Re: Zebra Report: About That Saints Win
I was amazed on how close the Skins came to winning that game but things continue to go great for the Saints!

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