Chargers Screwed by Ed Hochuli’s Whistle on Jay Cutler Non-Fumble Call

It was 2nd down, final two minutes of the game, Broncos looking to tie it up. In a play that seemed all too familiar to anyone who had seen the infamous Brady tuck rule play against the Raiders, Jay Cutler rolled right, let the ball escape his hand, and seemed to have fumbled the game away to the Chargers. Only problem, Ed Hochuli inadvertently blew his whistle as soon as the ball hit the ground, meaning only the fumble/interception could be overturned. By blowing his whistle too early on, Hochuli prevented the Chargers from taking over possession of the football. Hochuli knows he screwed up, and the Broncos know they caught a lucky break:

“I blew it,” is how Hochuli explained it to Turner on the sideline.

“That is not acceptable,” Turner said. “This is the NFL. Our guys fought hard to come back. It was just disappointing to have that kind of performance spoiled by that call.”

“I think it was a fumble,” Cutler said afterward, and he was one of many Broncos to say so.

That’s a terrible break for the Chargers, but there’s no way to be certain that they would have recovered the fumble had the whistle not blown. Additionally, the Chargers still could have stopped the Broncos on the 4th down play or the two point conversion to get the win. They didn’t do either. Sure, I’m disappointed since the Chargers were one of Doc Brown’s picks, but reality is that San Diego had this game won. Check out video of the final minute around the 2:20 mark to see the blown call:

Around The Web

  • http://bayareashows.today.com/2008/09/15/petition-in-protest-of-nfl-referee-conduct-ed-hochuli-chargers-broncos-september-14-2008/ JR

    Here is a link to a petition against Hochuli’s performance. Let’s try to get as many people as we can and really light a fire under ‘em.

    Go Chargers, we will turn this season around.

  • Robert

    “but there’s no way to be certain that they would have recovered the fumble had the whistle not blown” Were you watching the same game? The only players near the ball are Cutler and the Charger. The other players do not stop until the Charger is out of bounds with the ball in his possession.

  • Crash

    hey, where’s the clip of the screw up with the replay equipment and the refusal to use other available video replays? That resulted in Denver also continuing a drive and getting another 7 points. The NFL messed up 2 situations and screwed San Diego out of a win here. The NFL has the power to make this right. Will they?

  • Dan

    I am tired of all the crying about this. Then explain to me all you smart charger fans why the chargers couldnt stop Denver on 4th and goal or the 2 pt conversion. get over it. The bottom line is Denver got the win when the opportunity presented itself. BTW CHargers what happened to that great cornerback Cromartie. Marshall abused him. Nice defense also

  • SpinMax

    The NFL needs to go to a college replay system. Every play is reviewed just like us watching the replay at home and they can override calls like an inadvertent whistle to GET IT RIGHT. And when they DO call the head official about reviewing a play, it’s usually judged by the time he gets to the phone. It takes a full 5 mins on many replays…
    coach waits 30 seconds
    coach throws flag
    refs discuss issue with coach
    ref announces there will be a replay
    ref walks to replay booth
    2 more mins to replay
    another minute to walk back on the field, discuss fix with other refs, announce, set ball etc….about 5 damn minutes

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    The bright side is it appears as if the NFL will make a change to this rule.