The officials seemed content to take this game into their own hands. The Broncos were up 7-3 and received a punt. Trindon Holliday, who scored on a kickoff return the previous week, took the punt back 76 yards to put Denver up two scores. What the refs missed was an obvious block in the back and Holliday dropping the ball prior to crossing the goal line. The first non-call is understandable - it happens - but the second is inexcusable. Every score is reviewed, so it just blows my mind how they were able to miss something so blatant.
Now, could Peyton Manning just have scored on an ensuing drive without the help of Holliday? Absolutely - he was on fire the entire afternoon - but the fact that something so shady went down makes me believe that Carolina never had a chance anyway.
Why was this so important? Well, even though the final score was 36-14, it was the difference in the game. With a double-digit lead, the Broncos were able to tee off on Cam Newton. They pressured him relentlessly, recording seven sacks - a ridiculous number considering Elvis Dumervil's shoulder injury (he left in the second quarter). Denver even stripped Newton once - a recurring problem this year - and intercepted him twice. One of the picks, which was returned for a touchdown, was an extremely dumb throw. Newton was under heavy pressure and forced a pass to prevent a sack. It was taken back 40 yards by Tony Carter.
Newton went 21-of-36 for 241 yards, two touchdowns (one in garbage time) and the aforementioned two picks. What's puzzling is that he had just four scrambles for seven rushing yards. Newton needs to stop trying to become a passing quarterback. His best trait is running the ball. If he doesn't take advantage of that, he's only making things easier for the opposition.
I appreciate his comments, all except the bolded one. He got one thing wrong, that it was 7-3 when that PR TD happened, but his point is more or less valid. We probably would have lost the game anyway, though. I doubt going down 14-7 off that PR TD is what made Chud go full retard mode on the playcalling, but you never know.