Sunday, December 19, 2010
First-half calls favor Jags in Indianapolis
By Paul Kuharsky
INDIANAPOLIS -- Lots of fans are big on conspiracies on how the league maximizes the chances of the Colts with the way Indianapolis games are officiated.
Through 30 minutes, Sunday’s conspiracy theorists can claim something entirely different.
The controversial calls in Jaguars-Colts have gone to the guests, and certainly Jacksonville is down only 14-10 in part because those things have gone their way.
The biggest question is about Mike Thomas, who fielded a second-quarter punt after his left arm might have waved for a fair catch. The arm came out more than up, above his shoulder. Referee Mike Carey and his crew didn’t take it as a fair catch and allowed Thomas to bolt 78-yards for a touchdown return.
The other play in question was a third-down flag that resulted in no penalty but that Carey declared would result in a replay of third down. Rashad Jennings had an unsuccessful carry on the initial third down, and the flag did nothing that appeared to warrant washing away the play. The Jaguars ultimately converted a fourth-and-3 en route to a 22-yard field goal by Josh Scobee.
To me, a semi-weak pass interference call against Jacob Lacey for grabbing Mike Sims-Walker’s arm was quickly offset by an offensive pass interference call against Marcedes Lewis on a slight push off.
I thought a helmet-to-helmet call against Antoine Bethea for a hit on Thomas was correct.
If the Colts lose, expect a lot of discussion about the non-fair catch call and the five down controversy.