I thought the officiating was terrible, but I have a hard time using it as an excuse why we lost this game. When Decker ran to the endzone to celebrate that touchdown, they could have penalized us there, but didn't. That right there tells you a little about how they were going to officiate this game, which is to say "just let the players play." This is what people are always demanding of the officials - especially in the post season. That means be agressive. And frankly, we weren't - and that's the problem, not the officials.
That was our house, and we played not to lose. Not just Fox, but the entire team - outside of guys like Holliday. Were was the pressure on Flacco? 1 sack all day? Meanwhile the Ravens sacked Manning 3 times, forced 2 fumbles, and 2 interceptions. Peyton Manning was fighting for his life back there and still managed 3 TDs - and still people complain that it wasn't enough.
I put this loss on the coaches - Fox, McCoy, Del Rio. And I have to say that the defense played without too much pride back there. They read too many of their own press clippings, and played the game like they thought the Ravens offense was just going to hand them the game.
We need a middle linebacker who can be an emotional team leader and bring the kind of intensity that Al Wilson brought - not to mention give us the size to help with one of our chief weaknesses - the TE. And this is the draft to do it. This is probably the deepest draft class for middle linebackers in a few years.
As far as the coaches go, I don't want any of them fired, though I won't be sad to see McCoy move on. I was never convinced that he's the kind of OC that can out-plan some of the better defenses in this league, and the way they played against the Ravens didn't give me any confidence in him. I remember when Shanahan/Kubiak would break out something special to exploit a match-up. If that happened at all this game, I sure didn't recognize it. Seemed pretty vanilla out there to me - which is very frustrating for a playoff game.