The Pittsburgh Steelers started their tough three-game road stretch off against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, winning 23-22. A win is a win, but it comes in a very controversial fashion. Down by two, the Steelers had the ball on the Dolphins two-yard line and went on to call a questionable quarterback sneak with their big quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.
Ben dove for the end zone and was hit as he was crossing the goal line, causing the ball to come loose. The refs signaled touchdown and blew the whistle.
However, after further review, it was proven to be a fumble. The only question was: Who recovered the ball? Being that the play was called a touchdown, the Steelers players didn't pounce on the ball right away. The play was over. It was a touchdown. That being said, even in the review of the play, it still wasn't conclusive of who came up with the ball.
The NFL rules clearly state that if there's no conclusive evidence of who recovers the ball, the ball goes to the offense. The Steelers got the ball back at the one, kicked a field goal and took the lead. As a Steelers fan, it feels like the Steelers were given a win. The win feels a little dirty. I'll take it. It just doesn't feel as good.
However, it's not the Steelers fault that the game ended on a bad call. They played very well, especially on offense. The Dolphins had plenty of time to go down and kick a game-winning field goal, but they were stopped by the Steelers. During the game I actually thought that the Steelers were going to lose at that point.
I can't blame the refs. They don't make the rules and actually did a great job of explaining them to the public. There were other missed calls in the game and in every game, so one call can't win or lose a game.
Of course Miami fans or Pittsburgh haters will say the refs handed the Steelers the game. A couple of points: The refs didn't force the Dolphins to choke on two fumble recoveries in the first quarter, and the recovery would not have guaranteed victory. There was still 2:30 left in the game.
It sucks that the game ended that way, but the rules are the rules. I personally felt the play should have resulted in a re-do on downs. It happens when both teams commit a penalty, why not in this scenario? Either way, the Steelers are 5-1 and moving on.
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