Last night I caught the tail end of the Saints/Bears game. It was easy to miss as I cannot get into the mindset of watching a pro football game on a Thursday night. Couple that with the NFL network being hidden somewhere in the 400 range of my cable channels on the dial, and it is almost a miracle that I caught any of it.
What I did see was the game tying field goal, and all four minutes or so of overtime. The observations I come away with are this:
There has got to be a better way of determining the winner after a tie game, and, the penalty for pass interference is absurd.
Regarding OT, the Bears won the coin toss, marched right down the field and kicked a field goal. With a system that dictates the only way to win a game is to score first, you cannot tell me it is not an advantage to start with the ball. And this is decided by a flip of a coin, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. These men play only one time a week, and while I know it is physically taxing on each and every one of them, I would love to see them play an entire extra quarter. If its still tied, play another one. If fatigue is an issue, then coaches may decide to actually try to score a TD, instead of closing the playbook and opting for field goals (like the end of every game today).
As for pass interference, the call at the end of OT was questionable at best, but be it as it may the rules are the rules. My question is why are the rules so heavily favored toward the offense. When a defender interferes with a receiver, the offense is given the ball at the spot of the foul, as if the defenders action negated what would have certainly been a catch. Fair enough, but if you go to that extreme, why not give the defense the ball for offensive pass interference, can't the assumption be made that the defender would have intercepted the ball had they not been interfered with? It may be a stretch but the way it is now, there is an inequity in the game. I would rather see a 15 yard penalty, which is what I believe they do in college (may be 10). That way you do not have phantom calls deciding the outcomes of games on long bombs, and the defensive penalties would match the offense.
These are my observations, humbly submitted to you on this glorious day of December 12th, 2008.