Norv missed a chance to make an early challenge

For much of Sunday night’s game, it looked like the decision by Chargers coach Norv Turner not to toss his red handkerchief on the first drive of the game seemed barely relevant, given the 28-point hole into which Turner’s team fell.

In hindsight, however, it might have made a difference down the stretch, since maybe the Chargers wouldn’t have been storming back from such a deep deficit.

We’re talking about a 35-yard pass from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to rookie receiver Mike Wallace, which moved the ball from the San Diego 49 to the San Diego 14.  (A link to the highlight appears in the official play-by-play.) 

Two plays later, the Steelers scored the first touchdown of the game.

After further review, Wallace didn’t get two feet in bounds after making the catch.  Two years ago, it would have been ruled a good catch, under the now-defunct “force out” rule.  Now, however, the player still must get both feet down — and Wallace didn’t.

And so Turner should have asked for a replay review.  If he had, the Steelers would have faced second down and 10 from the Chargers 49.

Though we’d have to take the game back to that point and press “play” in order to determine the ultimate impact (if any) on the outcome, any opportuniy on the opening drive to take 35 yards away the team with the ball must be utilized.  While Turner himself probably wasn’t responsible for the screw up, he gets the credit when it works, and the blame when it doesn’t.

24 responses to “Norv missed a chance to make an early challenge

  1. Now you are second guessing coaches decisions. Damn Florio, who died and made you a football God?

  2. Should Coulda Woulda are things losers say….
    If Norv Woulda washed his face as an adolescent, he wouldn’t look like Freddy Kruger today…

  3. I commented on this a couple different times and nobody responded. It didn’t look like a catch and the talking heads at NBC pulled a Braylon Edwards and clearly dropped the ball.

  4. It was pretty annoying watching Chris Collinsworth and Al Michaels show the catch over and over again in slow motion, just talking about how AWESOME Ben Roethlisberger instead of talking about (or even mentioning) how it wasn’t even a catch.

  5. That rule is for the rest of the NFL. Steeler players only need 1 foot down. Kind of like the phantom tag 2nd base rule on the double play in baseball.

  6. The way the Chargers defense was playing (or not playing), it would not have mattered. Steelers would have scored anyway and just taken a few more seconds off the clock.

  7. The Chachas got Norved again!
    But not unlike Tom Cable and Al Davis. Norv continues to be AJ Smiths puppet. Thats why he still has a job.

  8. I noticed this real time, and on the replays. It was clear before the next play was called that it was worth tossing the flag. And I was shocked by the announcers showing it again and again, and failing to even come close to noticing one foot never touching. Glad to see it wasn’t just me.
    Well, anything that gets Norv closer to being fired is all good.

  9. What was even more amazing after the non-catch, was watching the official spot the ball 3 yards further down the field.
    I guess Roethlisberger has now earned the right to get those “legacy” calls that Brady and Manning always get.
    They even drew the play up again after the touchdown, stroking the Burger….instead of noting :
    1) Cromartie was caught standing there looking for his PDA to twitter an in-game update.
    2) That , yeah, duh…it wasn’t even close to being a catch.

  10. Now that was a blown play even the bandwagoniest Charger fan would have seen. How did that game end anyway?

  11. Sometimes I wonder if the coaches upstairs rely on the announcers to tell them to challenge a play.
    Ever notice how a red flag seems to come flying out about 5 seconds after an announcer suggests a challenge?
    Unfortunately, Chris Collinsworth was too busy talking about how great Big Ben is while tearing up the Chargers’ JV defense.

  12. I am a huge Chargers fan and I think the blame on that play should fall on the Chargers defenders not telling their coach to challenge it. Cason and Weddle had clear views of one foot in and the other not even close. Thank god for the bye we need to practice fundamental football.

  13. I still can’t believe Norv Turner got no less than TWO more chances to ruin franchises as their HC after all those years of incompetence as HC of the Redskins.

  14. I am a huge Steelers fan and the first thing I said after the catch was “run another play!” Idk why he didn’t challenge I think when in doubt challenge the play wtf are you saving it for if not a 35 yard catch? Of course letting the chargers spend half the game ripping the ball out of Logan’s hands after forward progress had clearly been stopped would suggest that the refs weren’t blindly supporting Pitt as so many fans of other teams love to suggest.

  15. The bigger problem here is the challenge system itself. Why should a coach, who has his own job to do, have to do the ref’s job as well? Switch to the college system and get the calls right.

  16. Thank you Finally. I was screaming at my tv for Norv to throw the flag. I thought he clearly only got one foot down before I even seen the replay but once I did see it there was no doubt. I was saying to my dad this guy most not know the rules or something(pretaining to the new no force-out rule). Then he sarcasticly said I cant believe you havent been hired as a head coach yet. Thats besides the point but anyway I think it was a real bone-head move on his part. The only way he gets a pass is if they didnt show the replay on the jumbotron and b/c that he had to rely on his men in the booth. And if thats so he needs to get some new eyes up there or he does deserve the blame.

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