In the post game press conference Norv Turner was asked "Do you have an explanation [for] what happened on that snap?" This question will undoubtedly be asked repeatedly in the aftermath of Kansas City’s gutsy win. Everybody seems to be overlooking what actually happened, but not the AP faithful.
My take is that the win really lies on the shoulders of our defense. Don't worry, this isn't one of those posts. Moreso, I'd like to bring you the kind of in-depth analysis that we can only get at AP. True, our defensive squad forced four turnovers and stymied four scoring opportunities. True, in those moments that football fans have come to expect greatness from Rivers and San Diego’s offense, our defense denied the touchdowns, forcing field goals instead. True, Arrowhead was en fuego for MNF. True, Cassel stepped up when it mattered. But this isn't one of those posts.
On the snap in question, commentators are pointing to Rivers buckling and playing bush league at a critical moment. Most are saying that he goofed and tried to handle a snap with palms clasped.
Close, but not quite. After being smacked in the grill all night by a defense playing tough football Rivers got, understandably, jumpy and lost focus.
From the replay provided, I think the explanation is clear: Rivers focus was not on the snap and precipitated what happened next.
At 0:07 you can see that the ball jams directly into his ring finger. In the next few frames, you can see the extent of the jam. First, notice the deep depression on the ball at the point of impact. Next, Notice the degree of hyperextension at the knuckle. His hand immediately cringes and is unable to grasp the ball. In fact, even as the ball is falling, it remains clasped.
When he finally opens his hand, at the 1:40-1:48 mark his finger is noticeably catawampus. At the base, the knuckle appears to be bulging. I think he suffered a significant dislocation and it may affect his snap handling here on out.
I’m no MD, but I had a similar injury with a interphalangeal joint so dislocated, from football, that my finger was 90 degrees to the side at the knuckle. Painful? Yes… After popping it back in and taping, I was able to finish the game. It turned out I had cracked the condyle as well, so he may be facing something similar. My finger looked like mashed up meat product and took about 4 weeks of healing time with no further aggravation.
Wost night ever? Indeed Mr. Rivers. Happy Halloween