Up The Gut Week 10: PI Review Will Ruin A Playoff Game

If officials won't overturn obvious pass-interference calls, why is it even a challengeable play?

The DA Show
November 08, 2019 - 9:33 am

By Shaun Morash

Cold Open
The month has changed, but the NFL's biggest problem in 2019 has not. The unnecessary overreaction to last year's NFC Championship game is getting worse as coaches are continuing to challenge obvious – yes, I said obvious – pass interference misses by officials only to not have them overturned. This was never more evident than on Monday Night Football where Pat Shurmur, who seems to be the king of very stupidly continuing to challenge these misses, challenged one on a pass intended for Evan Engram in the fourth quarter. Shurmur, whose in-game decision-making is as questionable as my diet choices on a Sunday, has not learned that he is wasting a timeout by doing this. In the end, his spitefulness in continuing to challenge these to prove some sort of point may lead to him being fired. While that may be the best thing for the Giants long-term, the bigger issue here is the NFL should never have given the coaches an opportunity to do this.
If it is going to be beyond rare that a non-pass-interference call will become pass interference upon review, despite the review showing that it is in fact pass interference, why have that be challengeable? Why many will laugh it off now at how ridiculous the whole situation has become, this is a freight train that has lost its brakes headed for a major postseason problem. Come Wild Card weekend, either coaches aren't going to challenge one of these situations because the regular season has told us it is a waste, or they will, and if they lose the challenge the league now will have an NFC Championship situation, but only worse. It will be worse because they will refuse to fix something we all see on our HD TVs as pass interference, and it will be worse because elimination games will be decided by it. If the coaches never had this option, they could always save face with human error. They created a rule they refuse to work with, while letting head coaches look worse by the week. Roger Goodell's refusal to take this power away from coaches at the midway point is a joke, and simply saying it can be discussed in the offseason is not good enough. There is now a 100 percent chance a playoff game will be marred by a pass interference call for the second straight postseason. 

Ten Yard Gain

1-Peyton Manning should stick to bad Brady Paisley commercials and do less telling NFL teams who they should hire in his retirement. For the second time he went to the mat for Adam Gase as a head coach, and already for the second time it is an unmitigated disaster. Look, if Peyton Manning told me as an owner how great a coach somebody is, I would listen. Not anymore. Gase is a joke, and thus so is Peyton Manning's word. 

2-Cam Newton is done for the season, but is he done as a Carolina Panther? Kyle Allen, a hidden-yet-developed quarterback is a rarity by teams, but the Panthers may have done this. He could be this generation's Tony Romo. Cam Newton's style of play may have caught up with him. His strength is not as a pocket passer, which you need to be in the backend of your career at the position. Carolina should say farewell, as long as Allen continues to show what he already has.

3-Minshew Mania is mercifully over. His mustache and fashion hid the major flaws in his game. The Jaguars, despite that loss in London, are still very much alive for an AFC Wild Card birth. The addition of Nick Foles and his big-game reputation the last couple of seasons will make Jacksonville a scary out for teams like the Texans, Chiefs, and Patriots if the Jags can get to the post season. Minshew would have made Jacksonville a Wild Card Saturday loser and afterthought. 

4-Are the Cowboys frauds? At 5-3, they have had a roller coaster first half. They have struggled in all of their wins, including Monday Night and versus the Dolphins. Four of their five wins have come versus three of the five worst teams in football. The record may be there for Dallas, but the idea they are on the same level as the Saints, 49ers, or Packers right now is laughable. 

5-Credit to Bill Polian. The former General Manager turned analyst was crushed for suggesting Lamar Jackson was better suited as a wide receiver. In an interview with USA Today, Polian admitted he was wrong. Not enough people admit mistakes in this business, a business mind you where most people are more wrong than right when it comes to predictions or analysis. 

6-Andy Reid not winning the big game continues to befuddle me when you are constantly reminded just how good a head coach he is in the regular season. Up against the Vikings defense, with Matt Moore under center, the Chiefs competed and functioned the offense perfectly. Any other team not coached by a Belichik, Sean Payton, or Andy Reid that loses an MVP at quarterback would lose every game that team played, Reid is upper-echelon, yet continues to make mistake after mistake in big playoff games. It makes no sense, and never will. 

7-Not only should the Steelers not allow Mike Tomlin to leave after the season, the man deserves a five-year contract extension. This is his best coaching job yet, and it may not even end in the postseason. At 4-4, in a season in which they no longer employ Le'Veon Bell or Antonio Brown, in a season where Ben Roethlisberger was lost in Week 2, he has them one game out of a playoff spot. If the Steelers make the playoffs, he should absolutely get Coach of the Year. 

8-The circus continues in Cleveland, now with Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. putting the Browns staff in a position where they were told both players could be ejected for their selfish cleat choices. The NFL rule about footwear is ridiculous, but thinking you are above the rules as your team is struggling to win games and putting focus in your cleats is just as bad. The Browns are a train wreck, and the little things may seem like little things, but they add up to a big dysfunctional mess that Freddie Kitchens cannot control. 

9-Mike McCarthy has begun assembling a coaching staff to have in place if and when he gets a job in 2020. There is a lot of bad coaching in this league, maybe more than ever. Sure, Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers’ systematic problem reared its ugly head. However, McCarthy is stability, and there is something to be said for that for many of these teams with young quarterbacks and potential vacancies. 

10-Twenty-nine games in London, not one game between two teams that were above .500. Now the rumors of the Chargers’ endgame being London have peaked. Yes, Dean Spanos is throwing cold water on those rumors in a hurry, but the league, for all the marketing it has done, keep trotting out bad football in London and fans still are showing up. If that isn't enough proof the NFL needs to take an American franchise no fans care about and move them to London, nothing will be. I'm not saying I'd like the Chargers there, but from the NFL's mindset, it makes a ton of sense. 

Five Games To Chew On

5) Rams @ Steelers: As previously noted, Mike Tomlin got the Steelers back into Wild Card contention. The Rams come into this game needing every win they can stash, as the defending NFC champs are dealing with a division that features the 49ers and Seahawks. The loser of this game will once again find themselves in big trouble in the playoff picture, while the winner can exhale for a week. 

4) Lions @ Bears: The appetizer to these teams meeting again on Thanksgiving Day is here. The Bears season is railing off the tracks, while the Lions have shot themselves in the foot and likely will finish the year wondering "what if" when looking back at close losses. It is desperation time in a competitive NFC. For the Bears, their starting quarterback may be playing for his career from here on out. 

3) Panthers @ Packers: The NFL flexed this game into the late-afternoon window to give it some juice. Kyle Allen now has the Panthers torch and a full audition to be the man of Carolina's future, and present. The playoffs are more of a probability than a possibility should they upset the Packers in Green Bay. Snow fell in Wisconsin this week so expect cold temperatures, which just may be up Christian McCaffery's alley. 

2) Vikings @ Cowboys:  It may be a fraud-versus-fraud NFC showdown on Sunday Night, but this matchup is spicy and ripe for some fun. The Cowboys are good; I just don't think they are great. Which is basically the same with the Vikings, only Kirk Cousins spits up all over himself unlike Dak Prescott. Yet another prime time game for Cousins, yet another game versus a team with a winning record for Cousins. Can he try and get back to his October ways or is the Tom Petty Free Fallin' remix back on for the Purple People Eaters? 

1) Seahawks @ 49ers:  A rarity is back again: the best game of the week featured on Monday Night Football. The 49ers come in as the lone unbeaten, but their defense has yet to face the front runner for league MVP in Russell Wilson this year. In Wilson's early years of his career this was the rivalry in the NFL. With San Francisco back from the dead, this game has the potential to reignite some fun hatred. 

My Picks

A horrific 0-3 week has me at 15-12 on the season. For this week:

Saints -12.5 vs Falcons:  The Falcons have packed up their equipment, rolled up their socks, and begun winter vacation plans. If they were to give you any effort, it would be here, off of a bye week, playing their most hated rival. They aren't on the same level as the Saints, who also come in off of a bye week. Drew Brees is rested and ready for a stretch run where every win will be so critical if they plan on getting home-field advantage or even a bye in the playoffs. They can break the Falcons’ will in the third quarter and never look back. 

Cardinals +4.5 @ Bucs:  The Bucs are a team of almosts all season. Now they are laying 4.5 versus a team that is showing ridiculous upside and promise as a spoiler for 2019 and building toward a contender in 2020. How will the Bucs defense be able to contain Kyler Murray? The Cardinals defense is an opportunistic group, and that spells bad news for Jameis Winston on the other side. While these two teams record-wise and talent-wise on paper might appear even, the arrow is up on the Cardinals while the arrow is down on the Bucs. Give me Arizona getting way too many points. 

Seahawks +6.5 @ 49ers: This rivalry being reborn makes me smile. Giving the best quarterback currently playing nearly a touchdown also makes me smile. I think we can all agree the 49ers are a very good football team, built right on the defensive front and also getting positive quarterback play offensively. They aren't 16-0 good, though, and at some point losses have to happen. The Seahawks pose a tremendous threat for that, or at the very least a very tight game down the wire. These points jump off the page at me, give me Russell on the road. 

Football Food Of The Week

Chicken and Waffle Sliders. My apologies to Moose and the gang @up_the_gut if they don't own a waffle maker because these won't quite be the same made between two Eggo's. Buy your waffle batter and follow directions on the box for what to mix it with for a hot waffle iron. For every waffle you make on the hot waffle iron, that will give you equal to two sliders. Take my previously mentioned Cheez-It Chicken Finger recipe but go back to normal bread crumbs instead of the Cheez-Itz. Take a nicely fresh fried chicken finger and put it in between two 1/4 pieces of waffle ad drizzle syrup on top for the perfect sweet touch. The math will come out to two chicken fingers per full waffle. Adjust accordingly. Serve and enjoy.

Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.