The talk of the weekend was the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks Sunday Night Football clash. However, it wasn’t for the game itself. Instead, it was for a bizarre regulation ending that featured a DK Metcalf catch and fumble followed by one of the most puzzling reviews in recent memory. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not hold back after the game and let the officials know his true feelings about the absurdness that went down at the end of the 4th quarter.
Sure, Pittsburgh won the game, but it could have cost them a victory, and Tomlin would have been ever more livid with the situation. However, he wasn’t the only one to voice his opinion on the situation, and one former NFL referee discussed what went down at Heinz Field.
Mike Tomlin gets solace from Gene Steratore
Former NFL referee and current rules analyst Gene Steratore is one to come out and talk about the confusion that occurred on Sunday evening. This “review” will be questioned for some time, and perhaps the NFL digs a bit deeper into the officiating this season as they aim to make some changes.
“The initiation of the review itself seemed confusing because of the clarity of the catch itself.”
Gene Steratore on the review in Steelers-Seahawks game
Everybody was confused, and Cris Collinsworth was doing his best to try and explain what was happening during the broadcast. Metcalf fumbled the ball, and Freddie Swain recovered it, then Swain ran the ball back to the line of scrimmage so Geno Smith could spike the ball to stop the clock.
After that sequence, the referees reviewed the Metcalf catch — for some reason –, and Tomlin was furious after they added time to the clock and enabled the Seahawks to tie the game with a Jason Myers field goal.
The officiating will be under the microscope even more
As if the NFL officiating hadn’t received enough backlash, this will gain even more eyes. In the offseason, the league added a taunting penalty, which has been highly controversial through the first six weeks of the season.
Now the latest blunder by the zebras has everybody questioning the accuracy of the referees, especially in high-leverage situations such as what happened on Sunday night.
“It’s a valid point.”
Gene Steratore on Mike Tomlin’s comments
Just watch the play. Metcalf took plenty of steps and made a football move before the fumble, putting the catch review into question. It was absurd, bizarre, confusing. You name it.
Steratore agrees with Tomlin, and he knows a thing or two about being an NFL referee after a 15-year career at the highest level. He now provides analysis for CBS and comes on to discuss calls such as these.
Unfortunately, the game was on NBC, so Steratore’s comments weren’t aired live, but he still took the time to discuss this highly-debated topic after the fact.
Regardless, the Steelers got the victory, although Tomlin might receive a fine after expressing his infuriations toward the refs.
All eyes on the NFL officiating going forward
The ball is in the court of the NFL league office. Tomlin’s comments might warrant a fine. Instead, it would be surprising if he doesn’t get hit with a punishment of some sort.
However, Steratore’s comments have to be seen by the NFL and might send them to examine this situation further.
The officiating all year — and for the past few years — has been a hot topic. Now is the perfect time for the league to sit down and crack down on situations like this one. If it weren’t for TJ Watt’s strip-sack of Geno Smith in overtime, the Seahawks might have won the game and sent Tomlin into even more of an outrage.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference