Some people are blaming the referees for the Denver Broncos victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. I heard this complaint incessantly on the national radio spots throughout Monday, as if that singular play would have changed the outcome of this game.
The play in question was a pass from Cam Newton to Jerricho Cotchery that was bobbled as he hit the ground and ruled incomplete. After a Panthers challenge, even I was certain the call would be reversed based on the replays CBS was providing us all.
Well, I never saw this replay.
That clearly shows the nose of the football hitting the ground and jarring the ball loose. I'm sorry Carolina, but that is an incomplete pass. It sucks, I know, but the game of football often comes down to near misses or barely got it's.
Two plays later, the eventual Super Bowl MVP, Von Miller, would strip sack Newton for the first time, while his teammates Malik Jackson and DeMarcus Ware scrambled onto the ball for the Broncos first touchdown of the game.
That play set the tone for the defense and Newton's confidence would only shrink further away from the moment, but it all came from that one correct call by the referees.