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Did Cardinals Get Hosed on Two Pivotal Calls vs. Chargers?

The Arizona Cardinals saw two turnovers taken away in a game where they lost by one point.

The Arizona Cardinals, much like every other team, hasn't always exactly seen officials through a rose colored lens. 

It's part of your job as an official: Make 99 correct calls but get chastised for one incorrect whistle and deal with the consequences temporarily. 

The introduction of instant replay has helped sway most calls in the right direction, but gray areas have only expanded with interpretation of rules and how they are implemented. 

The Cardinals found out firsthand in Sunday's 25-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. 

To say Arizona lost due to bad calls would be a massive overstatement. The Cardinals crumbled in similar fashion to what their fans accustomed to seeing. 

However, two separate turnovers taken away from Arizona in a one score game doesn't exactly help settle things. 

The first was a fumble recovery from Trayvon Mullen in the first half, which was found from the bottom of a scrum. The call was initially ruled in favor of the Cardinals before a lengthy review overturned it. 

Via a pool report from NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson, here was the explanation given:

"An Arizona player ended up getting his hands in there, but the Chargers player had hold of the ball on the ground and therefore he is down by contact at that point with control,” said Anderson. 

“The Chargers player reached with one hand and brought the ball underneath him and then his other hand came in. He had control of the ball on the ground. In that situation we had a good look at the ball for a long period of time. 

"At best for (Mullen) it would’ve been simultaneous control, but because the Chargers were the offensive team then it would by rule be awarded to them had we deemed it simultaneous possession.”

The next turnover (or lack thereof) came with just under eight minutes remaining when Zaven Collins appeared to have intercepted Justin Herbert. 

The Cardinals, still holding a seven-point lead, may just have put the game out of reach with a score in opposing territory. 

Instant replay, which reviews all turnovers, deemed the ball hit the ground. Anderson agreed with the call:

“It was clear that the ball touched the ground before his hands ended up getting control of the ball."

The Cardinals went three-and-out three consecutive times in the fourth quarter to ultimately keep handing the Chargers chances, but the sentiment of "what could have been" remains with Arizona's chances of winning. 

From Kliff Kingsbury's press conference afterwards:

On if he received an explanation for the reversals of the turnovers defensively:

“Yeah. The one on the fumble apparently, they said we took it from them—which I hadn't seen that called yet this season. Then the interception they felt like it hit the ground.”

On if any of the coaches in the booths told him what they saw on both turnover plays that were reversed:

“Yeah. They felt differently.”

The fans feel differently, too. 

Arizona didn't lose this game to poor officiating, but rather poor play. 

Still, calls going the other way will certainly stay in the minds of Cardinals fans over the course of their bye week. 

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