There were a lot of major storylines from the NFL this past weekend: teams starting 3-0, teams starting 0-3, big performances, surprise performances, injuries – the list goes on.
But what was the biggest storyline from Week 3?
“I’m going to go with the Roethlisberger injury – that it happened, how it happened,” Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Marshaull Faulk said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Between that and the Ed Hochuli/Cam Newton exchange.”
Ah, yes, the exchange.
Newton was hit hard by Saints defensive tackle Tyeler Davidson after throwing a pass in the fourth quarter of the Panthers’ 27-22 win in Carolina on Sunday. Newton thought a personal foul should have been called on Davidson and lobbied with Hochuli accordingly. No flag was thrown, however, and the 26-year-old Newton later alleged that Hochuli told him he wasn’t old enough to get that call.
The NFL intends to investigate Newton’s claim.
“We have mics everywhere on the football field,” Faulk said. “I hope we caught that. And I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt to Cam – because just the reaction by him in the video that we saw, Hochuli said something. There’s no doubt he said something because it stopped Cam in his tracks. His body language said, ‘What?’ That’s what his body language said to me. It’s amazing that everybody’s point of view that they have – you don’t really get to see the play so you can say, ‘Okay, he deserved the call.’”
Which is ridiculous.
“We only have 22 cameras on the field,” Faulk said sarcastically. “I don’t know why we don’t have that play. And then with all the mics on the field, we don’t have the sound yet. It just blows my mind.”
As Brian Jones noted, though, it’s not farfetched to believe certain players get certain calls – in all sports. From traveling to calling a borderline strike a ball, star players get star treatment.
“And let’s be honest: The officials are human,” Faulk said. “And let’s say this: They’re fans as well. Sometimes they get caught being a fan. That’s it. That is possible. I am not going to exclude that from the realm of possibility, but I hope that they continue to call the game the way that they are supposed to and they don’t huddle up as officials with their brethren and decide we’re not going to give Cam any more calls. Football is fair. We’re not as bad as baseball. The baseball umps – I feel like if I played baseball, he and I would have to come to blows the way that he’ll toss out a manager or the way that they deal with players throwing them out. That’s just too much power. You get to affect the game way too much. If you have a bad day in baseball, you can affect the game as an umpire.”