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Published on 09/15/2008 at Mon Sep 15 07:04.
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Jay Cutler Fumble vs. Chargers
The fumble that was called an incomplete but ruled a fumble. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

San Diego Chargers fans feel they have something to complain about after yesterday’s wild 39-38 Broncos victory. The referee of the game, Ed Hochuli, took the time to explain to the fans exactly what went down as Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler dropped back to pass with 1:14 left in the fourth quarter. Take it away, Ed…

Statement on play
“The ruling on the field was that it was an incomplete pass. We went to replay; it should have been ruled fumble. By rule, by the instant replay rules, on that particular play where there’s a pass/fumble, a quarterback pass/fumble the rules do not permit you to give the ball to the other team. All we can do to fix it is put the ball at the spot that it hit the ground, which is why we moved it back to the 10-yard line and the down counts and it becomes third down.”

No change of possession by rule?
“No change of possession, by rule, yes, by rule.”

Is replay the issue in that case?
“Because on replay when we reverse it like that, when we reverse it on a quarterback pass/fumble play your whistle has been blown as soon as the ball comes out, before it’s recovered, so it’s really not even a whistle issue. It’s the rule, that in instant replay, the only thing we can do is put the ball at the spot that it hit the ground and count the down. The rules of instant replay do not permit that you award the ball to the other team.”

All in all, the blown call doesn’t matter. The Chargers were almost gifted a win by the Broncos offense that their defense didn’t earn. The better team won Sunday.

Thanks to the Broncos PR Staff and Jeff Legwold of the Rocky Mountain News.

  • Ro Daddy

    I’m sick of this!! Yes it was a botched call but the Chargers had THREE different chances to step up and stop the Broncos. AND GUESS WHAT?! THEY DIDN’T!! And as a Broncos fan I have seen waaaaaaay to many bs calls go against the Broncos. As I said before, San Diego had THREE different chances to stop the Broncos. So it wasn’t like the touchdown was handed to us. Good teams find a way to win even when things don’t go there way.

    You lost Chargers fans!!! Deal with it!!!

  • lb

    there is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Ed is obviously a letter of the law type guy. Often the best refs go by the spirit of the law which is completely circumstantial. if it would have gone the spirit of the law this time, chargers would have won by 14 points. All of this = Chargers are a much much better team…

  • grant pearson

    All I can say is, It was a fantastic game and I wish both teams the best. SUCK IT UP AND MOVE ON.. Both teams may learn from this and be better for it.

  • Dave

    I dont understand, the call was that Culter attempted to pass the ball, (the incomplete pass call) but the ball was clearly thrown behind Cutler, so at the least it should have been called a lateral, therefore the chargers should have possesion and the whistle never should have been blown in either case.. Stupid ED!!!!! You are a moron, go back to shooting your roids and stop messing up calls.

  • BroncoFanNumero7

    This article thinks Ed Hochuli should run for President in 08! I’d vote for him!

  • Hochuli Hater

    Oc course a paper written in Denver would say that the better team won. They go lucky and little baby cutler won’t have Hochuli to save him on December 28th when the Broncos come to San Diego with refs who actually call a game

  • sammy

    Don’t blow the whistle until when? The ref’s job is to protect the QB. So just let ’em keep playing till you loose all your QB’s. It’s the right rule. If SD hadn’t let Marshal catch 18 passes …. who’s to say the SD wouldn’t have fumble the ball on the next play if they had been given the ball on the ten. He’s a good ref who missed one call out of how many thousands? Quit whining and get over it. SD couldn’t stop the Broncos even after they had been “given” a 10 yard loss. It wasn’t as if they knocked the ball out of Cutler’s hand or anything.

  • T. Butler

    Thanks once again to David Briggs, my note to Ed Hochuli resulted in this very sweet response. Nice to note that the hundreds of haters (ninnies!) are being outvoiced by thousands of lovers.

    He wrote:


    First of all, I’m sorry this response is so short, but I have been overwhelmed with emails of support, like yours. In fact, I’ve received thousands of emails since yesterday morning. I can not tell you how humbling it is to have received this kind of support from folks like you.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write me. I really do appreciate your words of support. I will forever regret the mistake I made this past Sunday, but the kind words of support have helped me deal with it, learn from it, and begin to move on.

    Thank you so much,
    Ed Hochuli


    Yes, I know he didn’t compose that to me personally, and I don’t care. He got to read a couple of paragraphs of appreciation and support, and it helped. I’m so glad David Briggs made it possible for me to reach out and touch someone.

    : D

    Haters lose!

  • Boys in 08

    For the record I am a Cowboys fan. I thought the call was horrible. It gave the game to the Broncos. And for all Broncos fans saying it didn’t matter because SD had 2 chances to stop the Broncos, BS. If the right call had been made, Broncos don’t get 2 more chances.

    Also, as for Bronc fans calling the charger fans babies. Get real. You guys would be melting down if the shoe was on the other foot.

    It is all academic anyway. The NFC is back and Broncos, Chargers or whomever will be stomped in the Superbowl. That is if Ed Hoculi isn’t officiating. LOL

  • SDChargersFan

    Well last night’s game was a victorious win for San Diego! Broncos got what they deserved!