Here’s why the Broncos’ 11-10 victory over the 49ers should have been the first such final score in NFL history

When the Broncos outscored the 49ers in Sunday night’s Week 3 defensive battle to claim an 11-10 victory, they became only the second team in NFL history to win a game by that final score. But there is evidence to suggest that Sunday’s matchup really should have been the first instance of an 11-10 final. It dates back to 2008, when the Steelers beat the Chargers by the same score … but only after a last-second touchdown was erroneously ruled out for a penalty against San Diego.

That season, in Week 11 (go figure), the Steelers led the Chargers 11-10 with five seconds left. Philip Rivers took a shotgun throw as the Chargers’ quarterback with time for one more play from San Diego’s own 20-yard line. He completed a short throw to running back LaDainian Tomlinson with three seconds remaining, and as the clock ticked down, Tomlinson proceeded to throw the ball to wide receiver Chris Chambers, who played before attempting his own lateral to Rivers.

Chambers’s winger, going skyward, was deflected in the air by Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who then picked up the live ball and got past wide receiver Malcom Floyd to score a defensive touchdown. The score put the 17-10, in favor of the Steelers, before the extra point. But that’s when the referee team came in to steal – and rewrite – the show. Even though the fumble recovery was originally a touchdown, a replay overturned the ruling on the field and the official stated that an illegal forward pass had occurred and thus, by rule, the play was dead on said pass. .

See also  Indiana Basketball Player Profile 2022-23: Trey Galloway - Inside the Hall

The final TD was quickly erased and the Steelers won 11-10. Pittsburgh had little reason to complain, as the team improved to 7-3 under Mike Tomlin, then in just his second season as coach, and won Super Bowl XLIII.

But nowhere in the archived video of Polamalu’s scoop and touchdown, and the full-backs that preceded it, is it clear that an illegal forward pass was thrown during the play. Tomlinson throws the ball behind his back to Chambers after catching Rivers’ initial throw, and Chambers’ throw, from about the 27-yard line, clearly travels backwards and Polamalu hits it in the air at about the 23-yard line. lateral is not as obvious as the second, but the ball never moves upfield and is not even thrown forward.

It turns out that the sanction should never have been issued. The NFL, and specifically referee Scott Green, admitted after the game that Polamalu and the Steelers should have been given credit for the score, and that the rule had been “misunderstood.” But get this: They still ruled that an illegal forward pass had occurred, between Tomlinson and Chambers; it’s just that he hadn’t hit the ground, so the game could continue.

There were three passes on the play. The first was a complete forward pass from San Diego’s Philip Rivers to LaDainian Tomlinson. The second, from Tomlinson to Chris Chambers, was initially considered a legal backward pass, but was later reverted in the replay to an illegal forward pass. The third, by Chambers, was a legal backward pass that hit the ground and was returned for a touchdown by Pittsburgh’s Polamalu. …

If any forward pass, legal or illegal, hits the ground, the play is immediately dead. The refereeing staff erroneously determined that the backward pass that Polamalu legally recovered and returned for the touchdown was the pass that was reversed on the replay as forward and illegal. Therefore, the team ruled that the ball was dead when it hit the ground and the play ended. (The actual illegal forward pass, Tomlinson to Chambers, did not hit the ground and thus play is allowed to continue.) …

Had the situation been handled properly, the defense (Pittsburgh) would have declined the penalty for Tomlinson’s illegal forward pass to Chambers and taken the touchdown.

So the next time you’re talking about 11-10 scoring trivia in the NFL, go ahead and throw an asterisk at the Steelers-Chargers game as the first to post such a final. Meanwhile, the Broncos and 49ers can rest even more comfortably knowing that they were, unofficially but authentically, the first to finish an NFL game 11-10 up.

See also  Game Prediction: #5 Clemson Tigers vs #21 Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Leave a Comment