The Pittsburgh Steelers managed to win consecutive games for the first time all season, improving their record on the campaign to 3-3 after an important victory against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday evening. Despite his team’s 23-20 win though, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was clearly unhappy with the officiating following the contest.
Tomlin’s frustrations came near the end of regulation time, when Seattle were driving in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks were desperate to try and hit a game-tying field goal prior to time expiring on the clock and were helped out by the officials when they decided to review DK Metcalf’s 12-yard reception. The wide receiver had fumbled the ball inbounds after having it punched from his hands from Pittsburgh’s James Pierre but it was clearly recovered by Seattle wide receiver Freddie Swain inbounds.
The officials opted to stop the clock and review the play, leaving Tomlin furious with their decision.
“I hated it,” he told members of the media after the game, via ESPN. “I hated it. I cannot believe that game was stopped to confirm catch/no catch in that moment. That’s all I’m going to say. It was an embarrassment.”
The review allowed Seattle to spike the ball with three seconds left on the clock instead of one and ensured they had enough time to set up for the field goal on the field.
Ultimately, the Steelers went on to win the game in overtime with a field goal, but they were still left with a bitter taste in their mouth regarding the officiating. The officials stopping the game to review the fumble wasn’t the only play that left Pittsburgh upset either.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had tried to pump fake and lost the ball. Originally, the call on the field was ruled an incomplete pass but after Seattle head coach Pete Carroll decided to challenge the call, it was overturned and ruled a fumble instead.
“The way we saw it was it needed to be challenged,” Carroll said after the game, via ESPN. “And the way they immediately saw it was I think he threw it. That’s what we’re hearing. So I had to go against what they were telling me. And their assessment happened in just a few – you know, 20 seconds or something like that.
“And we see real difficult replays go three, four, five minutes or something like that. Well, I thought this play, if given all of that time, we’d have a chance. And even though they were – the recommendation is you shouldn’t challenge this, I went against it and I threw the flag and stayed with it, you know.”
Roethlisberger didn’t agree with Carroll’s assessment of the play or the call made after the review at all.
“I was told that even though the ball was going forward, my arm was going backwards,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN. “I had to ask Josh Dobbs, who’s an aerospace engineer, how that works. He said it’s not possible. I can’t get fined for that because I’m just telling you what Dobbs said.”
The Steelers will be off next week on their bye week, but return on October 31st to play division rivals the Cleveland Browns.