The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

It Depends -- on the Refs

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It all depends on the circumstance.

You hear the old adage all the time. If you're on the road you go for two and the win in that situation. If you're at home you play for the tie and overtime.

Except, if the host Broncos kicked the extra point in that situation and headed into the extra session, they're at the mercy of an already shaky Ed Hochuli and his coin toss. And if the Chargers call heads correctly and choose to receive, the numbers on the scoreboard overhead indicate there's a good shot Denver might not touch the ball again.

Seriously, both defenses were so weak they appeared ready to apply for a government bailout.

Shanahan had the scorching QB in Jay Cutler -- this guy is a stud -- and two receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal who make you look like a fantasy genius if they're on your roster. The table was perfectly set for such a gutsy decision. Shanahan's thinking probably went something like: "This defense can't stop us, we're at the two yard-line, the nation is watching and we're lucky we're even in this position. Let's go for it, stick it to San Diego for last year's embarrassment and let America know we're back."

One television commentator said Shanahan was playing with house money after lucking out on the missed Cutler fumble call. He was right.

So, there really was nothing to lose at that point -- other than Game 2 of the lengthy NFL season.

Shanahan went "all in" with this decision on this occasion. Playing with Cutler's red-hot hand, wasn't it fitting he hit the Royal flush in the back of the end zone.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  September 15, 2008; 10:16 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Hochuli had already shown that he was going to throw the game to the Broncos, shown it more than once. There was no gamble, the referee was on Shanahan's side. Hochuli needs to be fired.

Posted by: Dingoangst | September 15, 2008 2:02 PM

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