Based on the fact that we now have what appears to be a full-blown officiating controversy in the NFL, we sure picked a good year to starting documenting all of the stupid things that take place in the world of professional football. Week 14 didn't disappoint. Or did it? I guess it depends on whether your team got screwed.
The stupidest fourth-quarter coaching strategy
As soon as Colin Kaepernick converted a first down inside Seattle's 10-yard line with 3:18 to play in a game that the Seahawks led by a point, Pete Carroll should have done the quick math and opted to let the Niners score. The Seahawks were out of timeouts, which means San Fran was able to run the ball three straight times to take the clock under the 30-second mark before making a chip shot field goal. The odds of them missing that kick or turning the ball over on first, second or third down were still definitely lower than the odds of Seattle scoring a touchdown in a two-minute drill to finish the game.
Had Seattle let San Fran score on first down, the 'Hawks would have had about 2:30 to respond with a game-tying or game-winning touchdown (depending on what happened on the Niners' two-point attempt). So for all intents and purposes, Seattle had to choose between these options:
1. Drive for a field goal in about 25 seconds with no timeouts.
2. Drive for a touchdown in about 150 seconds with the two-minute warning.
To me, that shouldn't even be a debate.
The stupidest fourth down defensive formation
This one comes from Sam Monson over at Pro Football Focus…
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) December 9, 2013
Yes, Tom Brady picked up an easy first down on a drive that resulted in a field goal.
The stupidest pass interference call
But there were plenty of horrendous calls to choose from this week. The other that really stands out came from Jerome Boger's crew late in the Cleveland-New England game. Trailing by five, the Patriots were attempting what was essentially a Hail Mary with half a minute to go. It landed incomplete, but the officials apparently deemed this to be pass interference on Leon McFadden…
That was a 29-yard penalty, and it probably decided the winner of the game. Unbelievable.
The second-stupidest pass interference call
There was also this phantom DPI on Chad Greenway with half a minute left in the Vikings-Ravens game.
Without that call, Joe Flacco's interception isn't wiped out and the Ravens lose. These silly calls are carrying major playoff implications.
The stupidest post-play decision
Darnell Dockett lost his cool and decided to stomp on Chris Williams' hand:
Found this tweet from Dockett back in June…
Sorry, Darnell, but even in the NFL, that isn't acceptable. He deserves a hefty fine.
The stupidest officiating decision
Two questions about Jeff Triplette.
1. How in the world did Triplette determine during a replay review that there was conclusive evidence that BenJarvus Green-Ellis made it into the end zone on this fourth-down run, despite the fact that he clearly did not?
2. How in the world is Triplette still employed by the NFL?
“Are you kidding me?" said Greg Gumbel on the broadcast. "Are you kidding me? Not touched?”