Tuesday, November 26, 2013

50% of what I said about the Patriots last week was 100% wrong

Pass interference?  Who the (expletive) knows...
Last Tuesday I wrote that there were two reasons why I wasn't very upset about the Patriots potentially get robbed of a victory in Carolina on a pass interference penalty in the end zone that wasn't called on the game's final play.

The first was because I figured New England was pretty much locked into the #2 spot in the AFC either way.  But as it turns out, I was completely wrong on that one.  After Kansas City lost at home to the Chargers and the Pats beat Denver, if New England had gotten that W against the Panthers they would now be tied with the Chiefs and Broncos at 9-2, and in line for the #1 seed (although you can't really look at sports that way, if they hadn't been so angry about the Carolina game would the Patriots have been motivated enough to come back from the 24-0 deficit to the Broncos?  Everything may have happened differently).

Letting that one go, I have even greater confidence in the second part of my argument, that it's basically a toss-up once the playoffs start who wins the Super Bowl.  The more I watch the NFL the more I believe most close games are decided not by the teams on the field, but by which penalties the refs feel like calling that day.  Personal fouls, holding, pass interference, etc., can all be found or ignored on practically every play, and in turn dictate the outcomes.  If a single call that might be argued in either way was made differently on eight occasions (in contests decided by one score or less), the Pats could be anywhere from 11-0 to 3-8 right now.  Unless somebody wins all their playoff games in blowouts, the officials will be the ones to determine who becomes champion.

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