Don’t let the Colts’ huge win over Green Bay distract you from the fact that the refs did their best to screw them.
Heading into Sunday, did any Indianapolis Colts fans honestly think they would be treated to a game-of-the-year candidate against the Green Bay Packers? Our guess is probably not, but schedule makers ultimately made the right call in making it the nationally-televised fixture in the late afternoon slate.
When all was said and done, a whopping 65 points were scored and Indianapolis won in walk-off fashion on a Rodrigo Blankenship field goal after the defense forced a fumble on the Packers’ opening possession of overtime.
In hindsight, maybe we were wrong in asserting that the Colts were a year ahead of schedule in terms of holding their own in the playoffs, because they disposed of one of the best teams in the NFC despite having to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit and some truly shambolic refereeing down the stretch.
While we would all agree that cornerback Rock Ya-Sin’s controversial pass interference call in the waning moments of the second quarter was the correct call after watching the replay, it really foreshadowed what was to come.
The fact of the matter is that the referees did everything in their power to make themselves the center of the spotlight in the closing minutes of regulation. In doing so, they almost screwed Indianapolis out of a fair chance at winning the game.
It’s an extreme rarity that you see three consecutive penalties called within the final minutes, let alone one that carried such massive stakes as Colts-Packers, but that’s unfortunately what transpired.
Now, was Green Bay flagged for defensive holding and having too many men on the field on the two plays prior to that succession of calls? Yes, but it’s almost like the zebras were trying to make up for those flags to ensure that Rodgers was put in a chance to tie or win the game. After those penalties, we saw three momentum-killing calls made against Indy: a hold on Michael Pittman Jr., a hold on Mark Glowinski, and an illegal motion on Zach Pascal.
Faced with an impossible 3rd-and-26, the Colts ultimately punted the football back to Green Bay, who promptly drove into the red zone before tying the game with a chip shot field goal in the final seconds to send the game into OT.
Again, the fact that Indianapolis overcame a damn good team and the zebras made the victory all the more impressive. However, that doesn’t mean fans and media members should forget that they were almost screwed by the refs.