The disappearing fumble in the Denver-San Diego game

I was going to write a more complete recap of this situation later, but we’re already seeing some comments about it.

The quick version, via ESPN:

Trailing 38-31, the Broncos (2-0) reached the 1 but on third-and-goal, Cutler reared back to throw and the ball slipped out of his hands, bounced off the grass and into linebacker Tim Dobbins’ hands. 

But referee Ed Hochuli blew his whistle, apparently ruling it an incomplete pass. After a review, Hochuli said that the Broncos would keep the ball because his whistle had blown the play dead. The Broncos got the ball at the 10-yard line, where it had hit the grass out of Cutler’s hands.

I’m kind of torn on this.  Hochuli obviously blew the call, but did all he could to make it right.  Once he had blown the whistle, there was nothing he could do.  Of course, he never should have blown the whistle.

The difference last week in the Washington-BYU game was that the refs had time to discuss it, and still blew the call. Of course, that game would have only tied it, whereas this call certainly lost the game for the Chargers.


  1. If possible to get this to Referee Ed Hochuli it would be appreicated. I have just read numerous articles about how much hate mail he is getting over his no fumble call on Sunday. I think it is ridiculous that people are being so hateful. Yes the call was a mistake. But don’t ALL humans make mistakes. Let he who is free from sin cast the first stone. As I watched the game I too was baffled by the call, but considering the history of service he has demonstrated and the pressure that must be enormous in such a position how can anyone be so unforgiving? I love NFL football and I hate to see referee calls that go the wrong way but I also
    realize this is the nature of the game and ultimatley the outcome of the game is a cummlative thing that begins at kickoff. I’m sure ther were numerous events in that game in which either team could have capitalized on a play and assured victory. No one sigle play ever determines a footbal game and without a doubt no one missed or incorrect call decides the outcome of a game. Ed Hochuli
    should hold his head high.