Holy Moses. I'm not one to get really upset about my Philip Rivers homerism. I mean, I root for the Chargers. And I like it when they win. But I'm not going to scream obscenities and throw my remote simply because they lose.
Unless of course, Ed Hochuli decides to, in one fell swoop, shatter my afternoon wager, my fantasy team and my boy Phil. Actually, I take that back. It was two fell swoops.
The Broncos take a big gamble and rookie Eddie Royal comes up even bigger. Right after catching a TD to bring Denver within one, Royal beats Chargers safety Clinton Hart and hauls in a game-winning 2-point conversion with 29 seconds left.
Rick Wilking, Reuters
Even without Tom Brady, the Patriots are far from patsies. New quarterback Matt Cassel doesn't throw a touchdown in his first NFL start, but the defense delivers plenty of hurt as Brett Favre and the Jets fall at home. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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Peyton Manning sheds his rust just in the nick of time against the Vikings. After being held down all game, Manning rallies Indianapolis back from a 15-0 hole and moves Adam Vinatieri into position for a game-winning 47-yard field goal with three seconds left. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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It looks like the Redskins offense bashing was a bit premature. Jason Campbell tosses a 67-yard touchdown strike to Santana Moss, bottom, for the longest completion of his young career, as Washington stuns the Saints 29-24. Even Antwaan Randle El couldn't help but leap for joy. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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Aaron Rodgers is doing his best to make Green Bay fans rest easy at night. Rodgers shreds the Lions secondary like Wisconsin cheddar, and the Packers hold off a huge rally in a 48-25 win over Detroit. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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Darren McFadden has arrived, and coach Lane Kiffin's job is safe for now. The Raiders rookie steamrolls the Chiefs for 164 yards and his first NFL touchdown as Oakland prevails at Arrowhead. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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The defending champs make it look ridiculously easy on road turf. Eli Manning completes 20 of his 29 passes and tosses three scoring strikes as the Giants trample over the floundering Rams. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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The Bills are making a strong case to be called the new kings of the AFC East. Marshawn Lynch, left, dives for his second touchdown of the season and QB Trent Edwards impresses again, as Buffalo edges out a close victory over the Jags. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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In a battle of two surprising contenders, it's a bruising rookie who makes all the difference. Jonathan Stewart bowls over the Bears for two late touchdowns as the Panthers win 20-17 in their home opener. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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You're not playing Detroit anymore, Matt Ryan. The rookie quarterback is sacked four times, makes two costly interceptions and puts up a 29.6 QB Rating as the Buccaneers clobber the Falcons 24-9. Read Recap | Check Box Score
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First, there was the Champ Bailey "strip" which did not get overturned ... because Denver's replay technology stopped working. Hey, that's convenient! But whatever, let's move on.
To the second problem, where Jay Cutler oh-so-clearly fumbled the ball on second and goal with less than two minutes remaining. Instead of doing the sensible thing and letting the play finish on it's own accord, Hochuli got loose with his whistle and blew it dead for an incomplete pass. This is ridiculous because, as noted by the giant bold letters above, there are less than two minutes left; if it's incomplete, the replay will show that. If not, don't blow the whistle, so that way no one gets burnt.
He did anyway, and the Chargers got torched as Denver got another shot for third down (a draw play!) and fourth down (touchdown Eddie Royal!). Then, Master of Evil Mike Shanahan thought, "Hey, we're at home with a chance to tie it! Why not go for two?!?"
Naturally, one Broncos 2-point conversion later, the Chargers were beyond reeling and trying to deal with a one-point deficit, 26 seconds on the clock and no timeouts. You can imagine how that played out.
But it just stinks -- much like the BYU-Washington game in college last week -- to see the outcome of a game solely decided because a referee simply couldn't keep his whistle in his pants.
It also makes the Chargers the best 0-2 team in the NFL (move over, Jaguars!) and gives the Broncos a ridiculous cushion to start the season in the AFC West. All that being said, yeah, needles appear to have the same effect on Cutler as they do on Jose Canseco so at the very least, there should be some excitement in this division until the end of the season.