When explaining recently on the league-owned network that Steelers linebacker Joey Porter shouldn’t have been on the field after receiver Antonio Brown was injured, NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino said that the remedy would have been not to throw the flag but to simply get him off the field.
The final analysis of the situation from 345 Park Avenue suggests otherwise.
By fining Porter $10,000, the league concedes that Porter did something he shouldn’t have done. Which reasonably means that it’s something for which he should have been flagged.
Indeed, Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak was fined $10,000, too, and the officials flagged Munchak for his behavior, which included pulling the hair of Bengals safety Reggie Nelson. The five-figure fine for Porter represents a concession that he, too, should have been penalized.
If he had been, it would have at a minimum offset the 15-yard penalty imposed on Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones, who made contact with an official while protesting Porter’s presence on the field. At best, it would have wiped out the 15-yard penalty imposed on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for applying an illegal hit to Brown, since Jones perhaps wouldn’t have so zealously objected to Porter’s presence if Porter had properly been flagged.
So, basically, it’s fair to say that the inaction of the game officials decided the outcome of the game.