With their 13-9 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers captured the AFC North title and a first-round bye in the postseason. But their win didn’t come without a little controversy, which is something that the Steelers have become accustomed to this season.
Down 9-6 with under a minute remaining in the game and facing a third and goal from the Baltimore 4 yard line, Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger found receiver Santonio Holmes on a broken pass play. Holmes was ruled down at the one-inch line after his momentum carried him out of the end zone, but the play was overturned by replay and Pittsburgh was awarded the eventual game-winning touchdown.
Even after looking at the replay multiple times, there’s no way officials had a definitive camera angle to determine that the ball was across the goal line. And considering the original call on the field was that it wasn’t a touchdown, it’s amazing the call was overturned. Doesn’t there have to be indisputable visual evidence to overturn a call?
The controversy comes in not only because of the fishy decision to overturn the call, but also because had the play not be overturned, the Steelers would have had a fourth and goal at the Ravens’ one-inch line. Maybe Mike Tomlin would have kicked the field goal to possibly force overtime. Maybe Pittsburgh would have gone for it and scored anyway. Or maybe the Ravens come up with a goal line stand and win the game. We’ll never know, which of course is the most frustrating part about all of this.
In a perfect NFL world, a game would never be decided by an official’s replay decision. But as we’ve seen multiple times this season, this isn’t a perfect NFL world.