He also wrote about the game (here and here). In the latter he places more emphasis on what the Saints should have done to draw attention to the events.
Florio argues a good case. On the broadcast he produced one image of Tampa Bay’s left tackle, Donovan Smith, performing something like the Heimlich Maneuver. It was not penalised. At the time, and for the majority of the game, Tom Brady and his colleagues trailed. They could only manage 3 points until late in the game despite the protection, of questionable legality, being provided by Smith. Without the benefit of the officials’ doubts then the game may not have been close coming into the final quarter. We don't know for sure.
While broadly agreeing with Florio, I want to argue that not enough attention is being paid to the Tampa Bay touchdown that was overturned because of a holding foul by Donovan Smith. With 19 second remaining, Brady threw a touchdown pass to Godwin. Immediately, the celebrations were muted because of the presence of a flag. It was as if the officials were trying to ensure that Donovan’s actions would not be decisive. Unfortunately for them, Tampa Bay found another way. As a result, the early game decisions cast a longer shadow.
While the overturned touchdown also supports Florio’s case, I want to argue that there was a logic to the way the game was called. There is uncertainty over many calls. Should officials always call decisions on the balance of probabilities? It might be worth turning to the law (Florio’s previous career). A few years before Florio graduated with his law degree, Frank Easterbrook was writing about the cost of errors in the context of antitrust (competition law). Easterbrook argued that we need to accept that there would be errors in decision but that we should minimise the costs of these errors. The argument is frequently illustrated by the line “it is better to allow 10 guilty persons go free than sentence one innocent person to the gallows”. The costs of false positive and false negatives can vary with the dynamics of the game. It could be argued that the officials called the Smith transgressions when the cost to the Saints was the largest and gave Smith the benefit of the doubt when the cost to the Buccaneers was larger.
Yogi Berra is alleged to have said “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. We don’t know what would have happened if calls were made differently earlier in the game. And when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future, I believe that all sports participants would endorse a version of Easterbrook’s cost of errors approach. We want officials to get the calls correct, but where officials are in doubt then they should err on the side of keeping the game competitive.