Bengals 20-26 Ravens

Well that's just really annoying. Another game lost to the guys in the black and white striped shirts. Apparently, pass interference calls only count when they are against the Bengals, not in favour of them.

This season in the NFL has seen some incredibly bad refereeing. Every game I've seen has had at least one major - and in most cases game-changing - bad call, or a lack of call when one should have been made.

In today's Cowboys-Redskins game, a "minor facemask*1" call was awarded a 15 yard penalty - reserved for "major facemask*2" - which put the Redskins in range of a game-winning field-goal.

And, whilst typing this, I'm watching the Broncos-Steelers game which has been littered with calls so bad that it's almost like watching a parody of refereeing.

And what's with the ridiculous "false start*3" penalty? Both teams line up and then, for no apparent reason, the flags fly and the offense gets marched backwards 5 yards because someone breathed out at the wrong time.

What's really annoying is when some defensive player goes tear-arsing over the line of scrimmage whilst everyone else is still waiting - but the penalty goes against the offense because the defensive player uses the skillful tactic of pointing randomly, but emphatically, at an opposing player.

Ah well. Steelers lost, too.

We still have the Colts and, after the debacle that was the Bears-Dolphins game today, there's only one undefeated team in the NFL.

I really hope that the Colts destroy the Patriots*4.


The game is about to start and everyone is predicting the Patriots. No real surprise there.

[later again]

The first half is winding down and a great example of the bad refereeing has shown up. The Patriots did not get that first down, and even if they had, there is no way that the ref could have seen it from where he was standing and, even if he could have seen it, he should have spotted the ball and measured it instead of moving the chains.

And then, to add insult to injury, the same guy gets to review his own call! Of course he's not going to overturn it!

This is a great example of a game-changing call. As it stood, the Colts intercepted and ended the half 3 points up. However, it could just have easily ended up with a touchdown and 4 points down.

If the call had been made correctly, Manning and the Colts take over at the 47 yard line with 1.00 left and a timeout. Now, Manning's going to score off of that, even if it's only a field goal. Colts at the half by at least 6, probably 10.

Bad refereeing, bad calls, changing games.

[end of game]

Despite the refs' best efforts, Manning and the Colts remain undefeated, Brady and the Patriots get beaten two years running, but still everyone is going to wobble on about how Brady is the better quarterback.

And the Bengals sink to 4-4-0

*1: In case you were wondering: grabbing the facemask is against the rules. A "minor facemask" call means that the player grabbed his opponent's facemast momentarily before letting go.

*2: A "major facemask", on the other hand, means grabbing the opponent's facemask and not
letting go.

*3: A "false start" is when a member of the offense jumps before the ball is snapped. However, the slightest movement is often interpreted as jumping off, and thus it's often near impossible to tell, even with slow motion replay, exactly who false started and exact;y what it was that he allegedly did.

*4: I really hate those Patriots.

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