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One play, two blown calls


In the most entertaining playoff game of the weekend, officials made one completely baffling call and badly missed another, both on the same play.

That instance of highly suspect officiating came with two and a half minutes left in the third quarter of Arizona's 51-45 victory over visiting Green Bay on Sunday night. The result of the play was Larry Fitzgerald's one-handed touchdown catch to extend the Cardinals' lead to 38-24, but it should not have counted.

Replays clearly showed Fitzgerald running into Packers cornerback Charles Woodson near the goal line and knocking him down. With Woodson on the ground, Fitzgerald was open in the end zone and dove for the catch.

While officials did not throw a flag for what was a clear case of offensive pass interference, they instead penalized the Packers for roughing the Cardinals' Kurt Warner on a call Fox analyst Troy Aikman called "horrible," adding he could not disagree more with the penalty.

The personal foul was against defensive end Cullen Jenkins, who appeared to have been held on the play. Jenkins was so sure the call would be holding that he was spotted celebrating even though Fitzgerald had just caught the touchdown.

Replays showed Jenkins was shoved into Warner. Jenkins's hand came across Warner's facemask while he was being blocked to the ground, which probably caused officials to call the erroneous penalty.

Officials who get the best ratings during the regular season are awarded playoff assignments, so the fact this crew missed two calls on one play is particularly troubling, and obviously it impacted the game since the winning margin was six points.

We can only hope there won't be any repeats during the remainder of the postseason. What a shame if that happened on, say, the final snap of the Super Bowl.

By Gene Wang  |  January 11, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Refs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

What about the missed face mask call against ARZ inflicted on Rogers during the final play of the game??

Posted by: courlin1 | January 13, 2010 9:18 AM

Nobody is perfect.

Posted by: HURICARDO | January 20, 2010 5:35 PM

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