Week 17 saw a lot of “winner take all” action and a few controversial calls. San Diego secured the number 6 seed in the AFC with a 27-24 win over Kansas City in overtime. But a review of the Chiefs’ missed field goal that would have finished off the Chargers postseason hopes showed an overload by the defense that should have resulted in a penalty. The NFL acknowledged the error but too little, too late for the Steelers who were bumped from the NFL playoffs by the eventual outcome of the game.
Later in the day the Dallas Cowboys were driving for a potential game tieing touchdown when they were flagged for a delay of game penalty. Television replay showed an obvious technical malfunction that changed the play clock from 40 to 25 seconds in an instant. To the bewilderment of the players, coaches, fans, and commentators, time ran out before it really ever got started. The Cowboys were penalized but eventually overcame the loss in yardage and scored on the drive.
Peyton Manning and Denver throttled AFC West rival Oakland in a game that saw multiple single season records broken by the Bronco offense, specifically the single season passing yardage record of Drew Brees. However Frank Martin took a closer look at one of the pivotal passing plays that would eventually catapult Manning over the Saints’ signal caller and give him the record…or did it? You judge for yourself.
The Football Educator
By Frank Martin
So Peyton broke Drew’s yardage record by 1 yard…
But did he really?
Play in question:
1-5-OAK49 1:28 1st Quarter
(No Huddle) P.Manning pass short left to E.Decker pushed ob at OAK 42 for 7 yards (C.Chekwa).
Figure 1 – SNAP
Next… notice where Peyton releases ball.
Figure 2- Point of Release
I drew a line to indicate what would be parallel… It’s not official. (But neither is the record as you will see.)
Figure 3 – With line as close as correct I could get
Next, here’s the ball in midair… Not looking good for Mr. Forward Pass.
Figure 4 – Midair
And finally the catch…
Figure 5 – Point of catch
I re-drew the lateral line… TADA!!!
Compare and then check the rule book definition of a forward and backwards pass.
It’s more like…
Peyton had 259 yards vs. Oakland
*Note – Elias Sports Bureau upheld the call from the stadium stats crew as the pass being forward according to NFL spokesman Michael Signora. The claim is that an alternate camera angle from above shows Manning deeper than the 48-yard line. The play will be upheld and the record will stand. Any chance we’ll see the video from that perspective?