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Mike Martz: Officials Cost 49ers the Game on Monday Night

When Jason Hill got tackled at the 1 with like 20 seconds left, I said the worst thing that happened was that Hill slipped and went down shy of the goal, knowing it would be tough to punch in from there. I was right; the Niners were unorganized and dysfunctional in the final 20 seconds of their loss to the Cardinals. Still, the one thing I said on the final play is, “Why would they call that run from the two and a half or three yard line? From the half or one yard line, it’s a great call, but not from the two or three.” Well, good to know that Mike Martz isn’t that much of an idiot and he’s on the exact same page as me here. He says the refs screwed them over by giving them poor information:

“We go to the 1 — or the half-yard line — then spike the ball when, all of a sudden, officials tell us they’re going to look at the replay. While they’re looking at it, the ball stays at the 1. So we send in a play. Then, when they make their decision, they move the ball back to the 2½ and tell us they’re going to start the clock on the official’s wind.

“We couldn’t change the play. We had to go with what we called. If it would’ve been at the 1, we would’ve made it. But they moved it and didn’t give us any time. So what are we going to do? If they would’ve moved it to the 10 we still would’ve had to run the play that was called. We got screwed because of the spot, first and foremost.”

The head of officials says that the ball was spotted at the two because Frank Gore was ruled as down for a loss of one on the run where he was tapped and fell. Moreover, had the spike following the Gore run stood, the Niners would have been flagged for illegal formation and penalized five yards. Now that we have more information … I’m just relieved to know that Martz is on the same page as me here. Additionally, the final 20 seconds of the game was managed so poorly by the Niners that it really reflects negatively upon the coaching staff. How could they be so lost about something so critical like time on the clock and spot of the ball? They really cost their team on this one. And where was Shaun Hill to audible out of the call realizing it wasn’t going to work?



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  • SpinMax

    This reminds me of hail marys. If a team has 30 secs left and no timeouts and are at th 35 yard line…why not
    throw 4 hail marys? Doesn’t that increase your odds? Why keep using up the clock in small amounts and
    only give yourself one shot at the endzone? I never get that

  • Gene

    This is yet another instance of detrimental use of instant replay. I usually disagree with Mike Martz when he places blame on others, but this time I am totally on board with his position. The spot of the ball cost him the game. I wondered why they massed everyone in tight when they had 2 1/2 yards to go up the middle. Now I know. If the officials are going to change the spot of the ball because of instant replay, they have to give the team a chance to formulate a play based on the new spot.

    I also feel that instant replay is used to split hairs. The Eli Manning over the line of scrimmage call, while probably correctly overturned, should not have even been subject to review. Officials miss many things in the course of a game, and that is just part of the game. He got away with doing the wrong thing by a technicality. His heel was barely touching the alleged line of scrimmage. If the replay showed a Giant lineman grabbing the jersey of an Eagle, there is no remedy. My point is that replays take longer and longer and should not be referred to as “instant”. This is especially true of a play that “splits hairs”. Pretty soon the reviews will lengthen games to four hours.