Saturday, January 09, 2010

Dumbest use of challenges EVER!

Third play of the game, the Bengals' Laverneus Coles catches a pass, makes a move, and fumbles the ball. Jets recover. The network goes to commercial. 90 seconds later, they come back, and THEN Marvin Lewis throws his challenge flag. On a play about which there wasn't a hint of a shred of doubt that the call was wrong. 1st timeout gone. 1st challenge gone.

12 minutes later, the Jets complete a pass on third down into Cincinnati territory. The first replay reveals that the receiver clearly got both feet down. Marvin Lewis throws his challenge flag. On a play about which there wasn't a hint of a shred of doubt that the call was wrong. 2nd timeout gone. 2nd challenge gone.

The officials could make the worst call of the history of the sport in the 4th quarter, or the 3rd quarter, or the 2nd quarter and there's not a thing that the Bengals could do about it.

Now, I happen to think that the challenge system stinks. The coach has no idea what angles there are, what video is available, and whether a play is right or wrong. There are people upstairs with video, and if the NFL is going to use replay, they ought to use replay on questionable calls, period, whether the coach throws a red napkin on the field or not.

But under the current system, you've got to be a little bit judicious. The first one, well, that's a huge play, so I can see if you think that there's a chance. If your coaches haven't seen the video, well, you may not realize that there's no chance. But the second one wasn't close to being a big enough play to waste the last challenge on.

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