The Ravens-Steelers game has gone to overtime, but the officials nearly robbed the Steelers of another chance for victory.
With under 25 seconds to go in a 17-17 game, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was sacked and fumbled the ball at the Steelers 42-yard line. Guard Ben Grubbs recovered the ball at the 37-yard line, where Billy Cundiff lined up to attempt a game winning 56-yard field goal.
The kick came up just short, but it shouldn’t have been that close. As pointed out by NBC’s Al Michaels, NFL rules state that “only the fumbling player is permitted to recover and/or advance the ball. If recovered by any other offensive player, the ball is dead at the spot of the fumble unless it is recovered behind the spot of the fumble.”
The ball should have been spotted at the 42-yard line.
Somewhere, NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira is not happy. (And Ed Hochuli is doing extra push ups as penance for his mistake.)
But Pereira should be happy Cundiff doesn’t have a bigger leg or the entire AFC playoff race could have been marred by controversy for the rest of the season.