Tuesday - Apr 23, 2019

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What do I know? Heading into Week 12

Getting it Right

On the very last play of the Steelers-Chargers game, Troy Polamalu batted down a lateral, scooped up the ball and returned it for a touchdown. But wait, the NFL goats, err, um, I mean referees intervened and

with the aid of review came to the conclusion that there was an illegal forward pass and therefore, the play was dead. Really? Forget the fact that there was no illegal forward pass, the ref’s (Scott Green) excuse was that there was a misunderstanding about which lateral was in question. Really?? The correct final score should have been 17-10 or 18-10 (the extra point was never attempted because of the botched call on the field). Forget the betting implications or even the fantasy implications (and I do feel for all of you who started the

Pittsburgh defense) but shouldn’t there be a provision for the NFL to review the final score and adjust it? Never mind the conspiracy theories between the NFL and Vegas (Pittsburgh had 13 penalties for 115 yards while San Diego had one for five yards) or the fact that another referee overturned the initial touchdown call on the field. So what is Mike Pereira’s, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, answer to all of this? He said during a televised interview that the league and its rule-making competition committee will discuss the possibility of making a procedural modification before the playoffs that would permit the referee to consult with the replay booth more than once on a call.

Pereira said that should prevent a recurrence of Sunday’s mistake. Really??? My point is, if it was wrong, make it right. I know refs are human and they will make errors but when they’re that obvious to everyone but them, isn’t the right thing to do adjust the score? I have seen enough instances this year that makes me question whether the NFL is really that concerned about getting it right and that’s not only sad but calls into question the integrity of the league.

Fresh Legs part 2

A few weeks ago I mentioned three players in this

column who would be worth acquiring for the stretch run to your league’s playoffs. Since one of them, Ryan Torain, promptly received a season-ending knee injury, I thought I would add one more player to scoop up for not only the stretch run but also your fantasy playoffs. Larry Johnson. I know, I know but let’s look at the teams he plays with their rush defense ranking starting in Week 12…

Buffalo (18th), at

Oakland (30th), at

Denver (26th),

San Diego (14th) and

Miami (ninth). The only one of those teams with a rush defense in the Top 10 is

Miami who he plays in Week 16 at home. By then, I think the kinks in the KC offense will have been worked out, namely how LJ will fit in with the modified offense that Herm Edwards has employed since LJ has been sidelined. Not only does LJ have fresh legs, he has plenty of incentive to win back the fans of KC and show the rest of the league (should he not factor into the Chiefs future plans) that he still has what it takes physically and mentally to be a top running back in this league.

Game of the Week

Miami Dolphins hosting the New England Patriots. This game will potentially determine each team’s playoff fates. Since

Miami already pasted the Patriots in Foxboro thanks in large part to their novel “Wildcat” formation, they would hold essentially a two-game advantage over the Pats and the inside track to a wild card spot if they could duplicate that feat. New England on the other hand, has likely come up with a defensive scheme to reduce

Miami’s formation to nothing more than a novelty. It will be interesting to watch what Bill Belichick’s defensive mind has concocted to neutralize

Miami’s offense. For the Dolphins, it will be interesting to see if they can baffle the Patriots once again and utilize their home crowd to their advantage. On top of that, the Dolphins defense will have their hands full now that Matt Cassel has settled into a comfort zone within the

New England offense. This should be an epic slugfest.

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