AFC South: Greg Gautreaux
September, 22, 2009
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
|Sam Greenwood/Getty Images|
|A possible missed pass interference call on the Cardinals Bryant McFadden against the Jags Tory Holt was a game-changer last Sunday.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
The situation: Down 10-3 in the early second quarter, the Jaguars’ Sean Considine recovers a punt muffed by Greg Toler, positioning Jacksonville at the Arizona 26-yard line. After a sack and a run, the Jaguars face third-and-12 from the Arizona 28.
The Jaguars line up quarterback David Garrard in shotgun with Maurice Jones-Drew to his left, a tight end Marcedes Lewis is to the right of right tackle Eben Britton and back a step. Three receivers are deployed, two to the right and Torry Holt to the left.
The Cardinals have three men on the line with their hand down. They are in nickel or dime -- I cannot identify the player to the left of Darnell Dockett, who functions as the left end here. The unidentified defender and safety Adrian Wilson, who’s a step behind right end Adrian Branch, creep forward as if to blitz from both sides.
Here’s what I saw unfold after the snap:
Garrard takes the snap and drops back an additional three or four steps. He might have looked middle then left, he might have been looking at Holt the whole time. He’s sandwiched by two rushers just as he lets go of the pass.
Wilson drops off and when he sees Jones-Drew come out of the backfield and head to the left flat, he follows him.
Branch gets a good rush from the right, sliding around left tackle Eugene Monroe at the end to hurry Garrard.
The defensive back or linebacker on the left side blitzes, and while Britton holds him up, Dockett loops around, loses right guard Maurice Williams as he gets caught up in what’s going on his right and gets to Garrard as he throws.
Holt has 10 or 11 yards of cushion from cornerback Bryant McFadden at the snap and runs straight, turning left just after the 15-yard line. He inches back while cutting to the left sideline. Before the ball arrives, McFadden’s initial contact with Holt is his right hand on Holt’s right shoulder, pulling and turning the receiver. McFadden winds up with each arm over each of Holt’s shoulders before the ball arrives. It ties up Holt’s arms and he cannot reach for an on-target ball as it arrives.
Holt argues about the non-call with field judge Greg Gautreaux. It unfolded in front of Jack Del Rio, who pulls out his red flag but is helpless and it’s not a reviewable play.
Result: Fourth-and-12 from the 28. Kicker Josh Scobee attempts a 46-yard field goal. Calais Campbell blocks it, Antrel Rolle recovers it and returns it for an 83-yard touchdown.
Ultimate outcome: With the pass interference call, a team with little margin for error would have been in position for a touchdown to pull even at 10-10. The field goal would have made it 10-6. The block and return make it 17-3 and the Jags are never closer than 14 points again.