The Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8. But the way some members of the NFL media reacted to the game’s referees suggested that the Steelers were also playing against the referees.
In the last seconds of the first half Steelers kicker Chris Boswell missed a 61-yard field goal. But a series of questionable decisions led to the miss, which was Boswell’s first miss of the 2023 season.
Several media representatives then criticized the match officials on Twitter.
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett suffers injury from unpunished hit
The series of unfortunate calls for Pittsburgh began when quarterback Kenny Pickett ran to the sideline for what appeared to be a 10-yard gain. The secondary functionaryHowever, only gave Pickett a 9-yard gain that would make the next play a second down.
Upon closer inspection, the referees concluded that although Pickett scored the first down, he fumbled the ball forward before going out of bounds. Because of this, reversing the replay resulted in a 10-second runoff.
The Steelers could have saved the 10 seconds, but decided to keep their final timeout of the half. So instead of having 27 seconds to get into better field goal range, the Steelers only had 17 seconds.
On the next play, Jaguars defensive end Adam Gotsis tackled Pickett after he released the ball and slammed him to the ground. Officials believed the game was legal.
But that seemed to contradict an earlier play when Steelers safety Keanu Neal received a harsh passer penalty for a hit on Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Unfortunately, Pickett never returned after taking the hit from Gotsis. Without Pickett, the Steelers are unable to stage a comeback in the fourth quarter the 20:10 defeat.
A penalty against Gotsis might not have changed the outcome of the game since Mitch Trubisky would still have played the entire second half. But obviously a 15-yard roughing penalty would have put the Steelers in better field goal range.
To add insult to injury, the Steelers lost their final timeout of the half. Under NFL rules, a team must be charged a timeout due to injuries within the two-minute warning.
Mike Pereira says the officials shouldn’t have called offside points on the field goal attempt
After this series of unfortunate events for Pittsburgh, Boswell made a 56-yard field goal attempt with six seconds left. However, another penalty canceled out the free kick.
The officiating team called guard Issac Seumalo offside, which turned Boswell’s attempt into a 61-yarder. After the miss, the Steelers trailed 9-3 at halftime.
During the second half of the game, former NFL vice president Mike Pereira joined the conversation on Twitter. He argued that the officials should not have imposed the offside penalty.
“In Pittsburgh off the offensive guard? Officials are told to say that if a lineman has his head in the neutral zone on short-yardage push plays, not on field goal attempts.” wrote Pereira.
Even though the league has placed an emphasis on offside lineman on field goal attempts, it’s hard to see on replay where Seumalo was misplaced.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he was not given a detailed explanation as to why the offside penalty was assessed.
“I didn’t get a lot of dialogue and I haven’t seen that in the 17 years I’ve been on the sidelines.” Tomlin told reporters in his postgame press conference. “Away from a guard on a field goal protector.
“It didn’t matter what they said. I’d just never seen that before.”
From the CBS broadcast, it appears that Tomlin attempted to speak to the official about the offside penalty.
Dave Holcomb is a sports reporter who covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions for Heavy.com. Originally from Pittsburgh, Holcomb has covered college and professional sports for media outlets such as Fansided, Rotowire and Yardbarker. More about Dave Holcomb
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