The Pittsburgh Steelers implosion against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night ended in diabolical fashion when the special teams unit was flagged for three offside penalty that gifted Los Angeles the win. Although it would be short-sighted to suggest that blown calls by the referees were solely to blame for the Steelers defeat in Week 13, it would appear that Pittsburgh was at least deprived the opportunity of overtime thanks to some questionable tactics from Chargers’ long snapper Mike Windt that went unnoticed by the officials.
While some fans will rightfully question if Joe Haden was even offside in the first place, no one should be in any doubt about who was attempting to induce the Steelers to jump. Rather than a lack of discipline by Pittsburgh, it turns out it might have been the intentional pre-snap movement of the ball by Windt that caused players to move early.
Thanks to a detailed breakdown by Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis, you can see exactly what the center did to inspire Pittsburgh to jump offside.
Wondered why there was no analysis of the 3 offsides on the game winning FG last night from the broadcast. Here you go. The simulated snap from the Chargers long snapper drew the Steelers offsides pic.twitter.com/syJR9GitSN— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 3, 2018
This is far from the first time Windt had done this in a game, according to Cleveland Browns linebacker Joe Schobert, but inexplicably, it seems to be something the officials are willing to let slide.
Chargers long snapper is notorious for twitching and moving the ball before he snaps. Pointed it out to refs during our game and was told “he’s been doing it his whole career” it’s not gonna get called. https://t.co/wZTFRJxTx3— Joe Schobert (@TheSchoGoesOn53) December 3, 2018
If Windt has done this before, you would have hoped that Danny Smith had highlighted the issue with his players, and even if he hadn’t, it is disappointing to see the Steelers might have fallen for it three times in a row. Pittsburgh will hope to rebound against the Oakland Raiders in week 14