Two atrocious calls by the officiating crew prevented the Arizona Cardinals from recording a much-needed victory in Week 12.
Victories have been extremely difficult to come by for the Arizona Cardinals this season. Kliff Kingsbury’s group has won just four times, a huge disappointment for both the organization and the fans who put their heart and soul into “Big Red” on a weekly basis.
A Cards defeat is digested a whole lot easier when the opposition beats them fair and square. It becomes maddening, however, when the opponent receives help from what is supposed to be a neutral party.
Last Sunday. Arizona suffered a gut-wrenching, 25-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. What the Cardinals didn’t know before the contest began was that they’d also be taking on the officiating crew who were chosen to work the game. In the end, two overturned calls paved the way for a Chargers victory that really wasn’t earned by the squad from the AFC West.
Two terrible calls paved the way for an Arizona Cardinals loss
The first horrendous call by the replay officials came with 12:07 to go in the first half, following a review that never should’ve taken place. Cards cornerback Trayvon Mullen emerged from the pile with a fumble by Los Angeles wide receiver Josh Palmer. It was determined that Mullen had wrestled the football away from Michael Bandy after the Chargers wideout had already been ruled down at Arizona’s 38-yard line.
Los Angeles took full advantage of the gift they were given six plays later. Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen found the end zone on a two-yard toss from quarterback Justin Herbert. The touchdown cut the Cardinals’ lead to 10-7, giving life to a Chargers offense that had done very little up until that point.
The second bad call came with just 7:45 to go in the matchup, and the Cards leading 24-17. Second-year linebacker Zaven Collins clearly picked off a Herbert pass and returned it to the Los Angeles 35-yard line. Arizona was already in range for a field-goal that would’ve given the team a two-score advantage with time winding down.
Instead, the Cardinals got robbed once again. The officials ruled that the ball had hit the ground, despite the fact that it never did. The interception by Collins was nullified, and the Cards’ opportunity to put the game away had been pulled out from under them.
A win over the Chargers in Week 12 would’ve kept Arizona’s slim playoff hopes alive. Unfortunately, a pair of unfathomable calls by the replay officials extinguished that dream. The Cardinals, and the 63,000 fans who packed State Farm Stadium that day, deserved better.
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