I don't want to steal the focus of this article from what it is for, selecting and debating the bonehead play that took place during the game and highlighting what went wrong or who messed up. But this week I do want to put a little bit of emphasis on how bad the referee's were during this game. The biggest bonehead call was in the 4th Quarter when the Ref's called the fumbled ball dead after O'Brien Schofield's second sack (back-to-back). The ball should have remained live as it rolled on the ground at the five yard line and was recovered by Calias Campbell. If it would have remained live CC93 would have returned the ball for a touchdown, which would also have been the game winning points.
There are a lot of games in which we all feel that the ref's miss something big, and I know the argument that "they could throw a flag on every play", but in this week 15 game I saw multiple blatant holds from the Cleveland Offensive Lineman and only one was called against Cleveland throughout the game. There were two very big Pass Interference calls that were missed against Cleveland where a Cleveland defender made multiple tugs at Early Doucet's jersey and had his left arm wrapped around Doucet way down the field. When the ball was thrown to Doucet the defender was able to knock the ball away, no flag thrown and Arizona had to punt, again. I don't know what these ref's were watching out there.Though inept at their jobs, at least it was pretty consistent because they also made the wrong call on a big Arizona PI play. The ref was standing on the sideline staring at Adrian Wilson when he hit WR Little in the back and took him out of the game for a few plays, but didn't throw the flag. That was a beautiful hit, but honestly should have been called for PI because Wilson was making contact with the receiver (more like laying the wood) before the ball was in his hands.
More after the jump!
At the end of the game Cleveland did have nine penalties for 74 yards, and Arizona had two for 13, but due to the lack of holding calls against the Cleveland Offensive Line it made Seneca Wallace look like more of a stud-mobile Quarterback than he is, and it made the Arizona Defense look like they couldn't get the job done. The lack of holding calls is very frustrating to me because the Defense has been on a sack frenzy with back to back weeks of five sacks with five defenders against good O-Lines and this week they were having issues. I know the issues were partly due to Wallace being mobile and mobile QB's always give AZ fits, and Cleveland has a pretty good O-Line, but it has to be said that it is also because the Ref's were too busy watching Wallace move around in the pocket and not watching Acho and Campbell get held.
Now to the Bonehead AZ playcall. It goes back to the first and goal at the five yard line after Campbell's fumble recovery. Whiz and Miller call a shuttle pass to LaRod Stephens-Howling from the shotgun formation, but it's the same playcall that worked two weeks ago with Doucet and the defense sniffs it out. Luckily, John Skelton keeps the ball and runs to the side trying to extend the broken play, but then ends up losing six yards in the process giving up another sack rather than throwing the ball away. The next two play calls are additional bad play calls and passes; first incomplete to Doucet, the second to Taylor who is tackled for a four yard loss backing up Feely to kick at the 15 instead of the 5. I know the run was hampered all day, but at 1st and goal at the five, you give it a try.
Sorry to rant this week, but am I right? Off base? Was there a different bonehead play you had in mind?