Bears forced to Waste Challenge on Bad Call, Even After Official Signaled Pass Incomplete

Chicago Bears head Coach Lovie Smith was furious after he had to use a challenge flag to correct what should have been an obvious call.  It was so obvious in fact, that one of the officials on the field signaled that the pass was incomplete.  This would imply that the official saw the ball hit the ground.  If he saw the ball hit the ground then why would he let the play be ruled an interception?  If he did not see the ball hit the ground then why did he rule incomplete?  Whatever happened, this crew is going to have a lot of explaining to do after this game.  This play and a few others really made it seem like officials were on the Packers side in this game.

The ruling on the field was eventually corrected and overturned, but Lovie Smith was forced to waste a challenge flag because the officials screwed up an easy call and did not trust one of their own crew members who made the correct call immediately after the play.  These kinds of bad calls need to be addressed.  The head coach of an NFL team has enough to worry about, he shouldn’t need to do the officials job for them as well.  Coach challenges are meant to be used when plays are so close that they cannot be correctly determined on the field at full speed.  In this case one of the officials on the field saw the ball hit the ground and correctly ruled the play an incompletion, but was overruled by the rest of his crew.  I would like to hear an explanation from the league about this call, because unless an official knew that the ball did not hit the ground (impossible because replays clearly show it did hit the ground) then they should have trusted the official that did see the ball hit the ground.

You can see a replay of the play here: around 4:40 in

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