The Pittsburgh Steelers had a rough offensive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson thinks he knows the reason why. After the game, Johnson ripped the referees saying they cost them the game.
Pittsburgh Steelers Diontae Johnson Rips Referees
There were two calls that irked Johnson. The first was on a field goal attempt at the end of the half where a penalty negated a Chris Boswell field goal. The other was the inconsistency in the roughing the passer calls as Kenny Pickett got injured on a big hit.
“Refs were just killing us the whole game. The same refs we had at training camp. I didn’t like the refs today. At the end of the day, we can’t keep complaining about the refs. Like Coach [Mike Tomlin] say, we can’t worry about the refs, whatever. But everybody’s different.”
“I didn’t like the refs today. They must’ve got paid good today or something, but they blew — that field goal, that hurt us coming into the half. We needed that.”
“They was calling some stupid stuff,” Johnson said. “They should get fined for calling bad, making worse, terrible calls and stuff like that. That’s how pissed I am. They cost us the game. I don’t care what nobody say. They cost us the game.”
“[The officials] wanted [the Jaguars] to win, bro. They was calling, everything was in their favor. They was getting every little call, but it is what it is. But we can’t, like I said, I’m moving on from it. I’m ready for Thursday.”
Bigger Problems Than Just The Refs
Whatever you think of these calls, it was more than this that cost them the game. Johnson himself had some key drops and the offense continued its inconsistency. There is only so much that a team can rely on a defensive touchdown from TJ Watt. Bad calls can kill momentum but both of these cannot derail the game plan. In defense of Johnson, every NFL wants more accountability from the referees. This is just not a great look from Johnson as the team has many problems on offense besides bad calls.
Diontae Johnson will likely be fined by the NFL this week for his comments. The Pittsburgh Steelers need to figure out some answers on offense or they will continue to struggle.