I for one fully agree that it’s a total cop out to blame the refs for what your team does or doesn’t do in a close game. With that said the officiating crew for Sunday’s Titans/Saints game on Sunday can suck it and all of you know exactly why.
The dramatic, final moments of that game don’t tell the full tale of the pain we Saints fans endured and neither does the score. You see, there never should have been any “dramatic, final moments” because the game should never have been that close. Jimmy Graham scored a touchdown that ended up not counting and the Titans QB Jake Locker didn’t score a touchdown, which ended up counting. I’m no math whiz but that’s at least a 12 point difference, folks!
Let’s just say Locker actually did break the plane of the end zone with the football and that touchdown was legit. Okay fine. You still can’t tell me that after watching video of Jimmy Graham’s score over and over again that he somehow didn’t score. That catch was masterful. He had control of the ball and his feet stayed in bounds. That my friends, was a touchdown and had it been ruled as such, the Saints would have had an 11 point lead going into the final moments of the game.
The point of all this is to say that while I’m pleased the defense was able to make a last second stand despite giving up some pretty huge plays in the 4th quarter, it irks me that the game even came down to that. Playoffs are on the line. Hell, with the way the 49ers are stinking it up, home field advantage and a first round bye is on the line! We need precision, not just from our players, but the refs too!
I was thoroughly impressed with how the Saints’ defense managed to contain Chris Johnson and even more impressed with how much of an idiot Johnson was for staying in bounds and not picking up the first down with his team running out of time. This D takes a lot of heat for its tendency to make even the most mediocre running backs look like Hall of Famers. Although Johnson has had his struggles this season, we all know what he’s capable of on a good day. Kudos to the Saints for not letting him literally walk all over them.
As for that 40 yard TD pass we gave up to Nate Washington with 5 minutes left in the game…well…yes, I’ll admit that it worries me that even Jake Locker can pull that kind of sh*t off against our defense.
As for the offense, penalties tell the tale of their low scoring day. A holding penalty negated a Darren Sproles score and we settled for field goals three times in the red zone. It was a typical road game for this team’s offense; Sloppy and terrifying.
The good news is, we’ve made it into the playoffs and we not only control our destiny to win the division but to possibly win a first round bye. All we need to do now is take care of business next weekend against the Vikings. I look forward to writing that game preview in a few days, which will include a very special message to that douchebag Jared Allen.