The referees have made an unbelievable amount of game changing decisions this season and it looks like the Steelers were the victims in Week 14. There seems to be a long discussion every week where officials have changed the result of a game which is the absolute last thing you want to see in a competitive sports league. It sadly appears that that trend is going to continue into the first game of Week 14.
What was this official looking at during the Steelers-Patriots game?
On 4th and 3, Pittsburgh was lining up to punt against New England with approximately 8 minutes on the clock. When a New England player jumped across the line of scrimmage, the fans and players in Pittsburgh erupted as they assumed that the refs would be calling an offsides call against their opponents and provide the offense with a first down.
HOW THE HELL IS THIS A FALSE START ON THE #STEELERS.
THE REFS DO NOT KNOW THE RULEBOOK. pic.twitter.com/ltS5vh2ele
— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) December 8, 2023
This is where the confusion erupted. The officials failed to call what clearly appeared to be an offsides penalty and instead dropped a false start penalty against the long snapper. The fans and players still didn’t know exactly how to respond as the players went ballistic. After watching the video above, I certainly can’t blame them. The rules specialist said that the refs were calling the tweak in movement from the long snappers neck but also said it was a completely legal motion.
Refs in the Steelers Patriots game pic.twitter.com/7ivuGvNqVy
— Dylan Holt (@DylanHolt_) December 8, 2023
While the tweet above is satirical, it certainly shows the disbelief of the fans and I would argue that this seems like an obvious call that the official missed. Pittsburgh and New England would go on to trade a few punts and deliver New England their third win of the season. Pittsburgh will most likely drop out of their current wild card slot as they drop to 7-6.
The fans tweet above certainly make my point for me because the tin foil hat seems to be screaming to come out this season. As gambling begins to really erupt onto the scene of professional sports, it appears that the script is getting easier and easier to read. While I don’t REALLY believe that the script exists, the increased number of obviously missed calls will always make me wonder. I shall remain a skeptic that the NFL has become a better hidden WWE but the fact that the league hasn’t addressed all of the missed calls certainly makes you wonder.