Pittsburgh Steelers Defeat Green Bay Packers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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The Ugly

ClarkThe Refs (AGAIN!!) – I just knew this was going to happen after about five weeks ago I said I never call out refs.  I think it’s been five weeks in a row now that I have.  The refs were simply awful, and they were awful in handling each ummm…. unique…. situation.  What I wouldn’t give for a pair of Ed Hochuli’s arms to b!%#@ slap the crew that was officiating on Sunday afternoon.  I don’t think I really need to go into great detail about what happened.  We’ve all seen the replays.  We all know that Ryan Clark clearly had possession and lateraled the ball to William Gay, who then dropped, blah blah blah blah.  Here’s the thing that really has my Steelers boxers in a bind.  If you look at the initial angle of the replay, you can see that the side judge throws the blue flag onto the field once Clark laterals the ball.  That little blue marker means that possession has changed – from the Packers TO the Steelers.  It’s the same blue marker thrown after a fumble is recovered, a pass is intercepted, a punt is received, etc.  Why oh why was this not considered when the refs were huddled?  Or was it, and another official overturned that call?  The explanation to the stadium was crap, and I can only imagine how it was explained to Tomlin and Danny Smith that got them so fired up afterwards.  The lesson in all of this? – either have a challenge system or don’t.  If you have a challenge system then all plays should have the ability to be challenged.  I hope the league uses this as a huge example of the flaws inherit in the system.

Honorable Mention: Steelers defense blows 10 point lead in second half.

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  • Carl Eagan

    Just rewatched a couple of plays from yesterdays game. Green Bay didn’t put the ball into the end zone as the linebackers knee was down before he reached out. However there was no indisputable evidence to prove Bell fumbled before his knee was down. Also Not only did Clark have possession of the ball he was also down before he lateraled to Gay. His knee was down and he was clearly touched by a packer.

    • Dom DiTolla

      Too bad that Clark play wasn’t reviewable. He was a moron for even attempting to pitch it.

      • John

        The key to this call was not the illegal batting, but the rule of possession. The official ruled that the Steelers never had possession of the ball. The NFL Rule Book states that possession is gained by the defense when a field-goal is missed. Therefore, the Steelers gained possession of the ball when the field-goal was blocked. At that point during the play the Steelers are now the offensive team and the Packers are now the defensive team. It is up to the Packers to regain possession, NOT the Steelers. The illegal batting was a penalty, and should of resulted in a 10 yard penalty, or half the distance to the goal line, and a first down for the Offensive Team, which is now the Steelers.

        • Craig

          Am I wrong in interpreting the rules that possession does not change until the ball crosses the line of scrimmage and is touched by the other team? That’s why the officials don’t throw the blue marker until it is touched on a punt or kick return. Same thing happened on the blocked field goal. The kick alone wasn’t enough to change possession – but when Clark touched it and possessed the ball, the official on the sideline threw a blue marker. At any rate, John you are right about the illegal batting part. The ball WAS the Steelers and they should have maintained possession no matter what the penalty was post Clark touch.

          • Dom DiTolla

            The play, meaning Clark’s possession, not reviewable though and that was the way the cookie crumbled. Did the refs botch the call? Absolutely. But Clark was a moron for not eating it. Why would he pitch it near the sideline if he is on his knees in the first place? Where did he think Gay or anyone else was going to go if they were corralled to the sidelines? Gotta play it safe & smart there and let the O back on the field.