A game does not come down to one or even two calls on a field. But fans shouldn't be discussing officiating in a game as if it was a play call on third down, or whether a punt should have been fair-caught.
That isn't the case this year.
Along with multiple interesting officiating interpretations during Steelers games this season, fans were treated to another interesting interpretation in a game that didn't involve the Steelers. Not directly, anyway.
Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira tweeted Sunday, taking exception to a play in San Diego's overtime win over the Chiefs. Officials declared the forward progress of safety Eric Weddle dead without having used the whistle-like device that usually declares a play dead. Weddle had the ball stripped from him, and the Chiefs returned it for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown.
Replay did not stop the game because the ruling of forward progress is not reviewable. Should have been a strip and TD in my opinion.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) December 30, 2013
The play came on a fake punt on the first possession of overtime. Had the officials not declared the play dead, Kansas City would have won the game, and the Steelers would have qualified for the postseason.
Clearly, myriad things could have happened for the Steelers to have gotten them into the postseason. When the rubber meets the road, they weren't good enough.
The Steelers are likely willing to accept their lack of quality play this season, and they're paying for that loss of recognition, reputation and job security now.
It's a wonder if NFL officials ever experience similar penalties for incompetence.
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