Patriots escape Pittsburgh with 27-24 win

AP

Steelers fans rode an emotional rollercoaster at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon and it ended in a pit of sadness.

Ben Roethlisberger faked a spike and tried a slant to Eli Rogers over the middle with seconds to play in their game against the Patriots. The ball was deflected by cornerback Eric Rowe and intercepted by Duron Harmon to put the icing on a 27-24 Patriots win that puts them into the top spot in the AFC playoff picture.

The interception came a couple of plays after the Steelers thought they had the game won. After a Dion Lewis touchdown with 55 seconds left in the game, JuJu Smith-Schuster took a short pass from Roethlisberger and went 69 yards to put the Steelers on the New England 10-yard-line. Roethlisberger found tight end Jesse James on the next play and James was ruled to have scored a touchdown, but the play was reversed to an incomplete pass when a review of the replay led to the ruling that the ball moved out of James’ grasp when he reached across the goal-line.

That swirl of emotions came after the Patriots erased an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter of the game. A fitful offensive day finally turned fruitful when Tom Brady hooked up with Rob Gronkowski on three catches covering 69 yards to set up Lewis for an eight-yard touchdown. Brady hit Gronkowski again for the two-point conversion to up the lead to three points and open things up for a wild ending.

All of this action came hours after Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, out after a spinal injury, made a surprise appearance at the game and got the crowd going by waving a Terrible Towel. That boost to everyone’s spirits was followed by Steelers wideout Antonio Brown leaving the game with a calf injury in the second quarter. Brown was eventually taken to the hospital and we await a further update on his condition.

The Steelers were able to remain productive on offense after Brown’s injury, but they punted twice after moving their lead to 24-16 on a Le'Veon Bell touchdown and that left the door open just enough for the Patriots to shake off their earlier doldrums and rally for a victory that could wind up making them the hosts for a playoff rematch.

225 responses to “Patriots escape Pittsburgh with 27-24 win

  1. Despite Jesse James having his right hand underneath the ball, the refs saw enough “indisputable evidence” to overturn the touchdown call? Yeah, everybody but the Pats fans know this is a total, complete travashamockery of an outcome.

  2. Damn good game. I’m still not sure how NE wins consistently with that defense, but when you have Brady and that offense, it becomes a little clearer.

  3. Like i said TOM BRADY OWNS THE Steelers

    And yes!!! The call was CORRECT he wasn’t touched and his left hand came off the ball and the ball rolled.

    Ha ha ha Steelers fans thought they won.

    Steelers = Brady’s whipping boys

  4. I’m a Cowboys fan. I hate the Steelers and was hoping they would lose. But they should have won. I give the Patriots a * next to the win. I’m sick and tired of these BS calls on catches.

  5. The only real threat to the Patriots in the AFC is the Jaguars. What a weord sentence to write.

    I’d still call it a win for Pittsburgh to see Shazier at the game like that. Chills. And I hate the Steelers.

  6. I never want to read another post from tylawhits or whatever his name is complaining that the league has it in for the Pats.

  7. Been saying it since Megatron’s called back TD years and years ago – Two Feet down (or, in this case, two knees). Possession of ball. Catch.

    Why the NFL finds that so difficult is beyond comprehension.

  8. Had to overturn that otherwise both Calvin and Dezs are both catches. At least they’re consistent on the ruling whether its a good rule or not is debatable. And I hate both teams.

  9. At least the Patriots fans can’t whine about the officiating in this game. Of course had they lost they would have made any number of excuses.

  10. I cannot believe one franchise has had the benfit of so many calls. NE is the luckiest team ever. Not good…weak division…right side of calls. No way is Brady the GOAT.

  11. It wasn’t a TD. Bring on the crying Steelers fans. They’re so spoiled and used to winning that they will blame the refs, and not their tight end for losing control of the ball.

  12. Great game decided by a horrible review. Sad it ended that way. I’d live with a game winning Brady drive, but this game was decided off the field. See ya in a few weeks.

  13. He caught the ball, controlled it, knee down, reaches for the endzone, elbow hits, ball moves, hands still under the ball, called a TD on the field, after a call to the NFL office, overturned.

  14. Congrats on a great game Pittsburgh! It’s not often a big game lives up to the hype. Hope AB is okay and hope to see you in the playoffs! Tomlin will get grief about going for it by all the armchair QB’s but any real fan has to respect the stones if not the logic. Now the trolls will come in and ruin the aftermath with all kinds of bs…
    But Pittsburgh is on to Houston and the Pats go home for the Bills.

  15. I’ve never liked the fake spike play. If the defenders were allowed to hit the QB whenever he spiked the ball then allowing the QB to fake a spike would be fair, but otherwise it’s just taking advantage of sportmanship by the defensive line (and their fear of getting flagged and fined if they try defend the play normally). In my opinion, a fake spike should be like a fair catch, you signal for the spike and then that’s what you have to do.

  16. Don’t even sweat it Steelers fans, when you play the Pat’s unfortunately you have to play against the refs too. Your team was clearly the best team even without your best player. This is a meaningless game.

  17. If you don’t think the NFL/Refs try and influence the outcomes of games to suit their agenda, you are naive. Just today the refs were trying like hell to help the Puckers win and then in the Pittsburgh game they overturned a clear game winning TD for the Steelers. WOW, pathetic!

  18. Officials shouldn’t be determining the outcomes of games. Steelers got robbed on a horrible call. They need to change this nonsensical catch rule. A catch is a catch except when it’s a catch. Got it!

  19. Despite Jesse James having his right hand underneath the ball, the refs saw enough “indisputable evidence” to overturn the touchdown call? Yeah, everybody but the Pats fans know this is a total, complete travashamockery of an outcome.

    Huh? The left hand was empty when he went towards end zone, with ball bouncing off turf. Hmmm……

  20. Steeler tight end made football move caught it low . then raised arms back uo and extended arms crossed plane for td actually not hard to decipher they robbed pittsburgh

  21. arlingtonassasin says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Not even a steelers fan but that ball was well over the plane with control before it came loose. Another game decided by terrible officiating. Makes me sick
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    You clearly do not understand the rule. The ball crossing the plane counts if you are running it in, even after a catch.

    When you catch in, or going into, the end zone, you have to keep control “all the way to the ground”. He did not since his left hand came off the ball, probably caused by the ground.

  22. On the Pats last TD drive Cam had his jersey above his head on one play and on the TD 83 tackled our DB to get him in the endzone. I understand the officials don’t want to make a call to determine the outcome of game, yet they’ll overturn a TD call on the field when the guy kept his hands under the ball. CRAZY

  23. That was an easy call. The ball clearly was not caught. I’m reading all the silly comments about it being a bad call and realize that it’s just jealousy that makes people say those things despite what they saw with their own eyes.

  24. Just look at all these crybaby steelers fans.

    AFC North fans see it year in and year out.

    No surprise.

  25. Ball moved. What were you looking at? You seen Gronk’s catch a couple a weeks ago when he had it but they called it incomlplete? It is what it is. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose. Move on. See you next time.

  26. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm
    The ground cause his left hand to come completely off the ball. It was not a catch

    Thank you

  27. If he caught it in the endzone, then it would make sense that he’d have to complete the process (C.Johnson rule), but he caught it in feild of play and dove for the endzone, once he breaks the plain, play is over, td.bad,bad call.

  28. If you hate the pats u are gonna spit all kinds of “rigged” “fixed” stupidity. Fact is it was not a clear touchdown and could have gone either way. In this case it went the patriots way. Remove your bias hatred and no way can can honestly disagree. If it went the other way patriots fans would be making the same argument. It is what it is. Move on

  29. If I was a ref I would have called that a TD, just as I would have called the Dez play a catch. But I guess that’s the rule and the NFL is calling it that way.

    But after that, trailing by 3, Ben fires the ball into a crowd of Patriots for a pick when they could have kicked a chip shot FG to take the game to OT? How stood can you be?

  30. Well, that was the correct call by the refs much to the dismay of everyone who hates the Pats.That is exactly the way they have been calling that play for the last 6 years. Just ask Calvin Johnson. You have to maintain possession when you hit the ground right through to the whistle and James didn’t. Also to the people who say he had his hand under the ball and it didn’t hit the ground, That’s just blind hatred for the Pats. Also another great Coaching job by Bellichick and the Pats staff who are basically playing with a practice squad for the DL and LBs. Can’t wait to hear Tomlin cry about this one.

  31. Pats’ D did everything it could to win it for the Steelers. But even they couldn’t overcome the Men in Stripes….

    And the Vegas line was 2.5… how’d they know?

    Still, an interception by the Steeler’s D and Ben would just be taking knees….

    Brady and Gronk can’t play D. So this Pats team won’t go very far in the playoffs. But they did win that division.

    Hope Gronk survives next week….

  32. Great game decided by a horrible review. Sad it ended that way. I’d live with a game winning Brady drive, but this game was decided off the field. See ya in a few weeks.

    Who ya seeing in a few weeks? Steeler arrogance.

  33. No wonder we’re falling behind. NFL fans can’t even figure out that that was an obviously incomplete pass. It is such an easy rule, steelers fans must not be very smart

  34. YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE GROUND AND CONTROL THE BALL WHEN CATCHING AND FALLING. That ball nearly squirted out of his grasp it moved so much. He maybe had the BACKS of his hands on the ball after it completely changed orientation upon contact with the ground. End of story, lmao.

  35. Romo said it was a good call. Nance said the ball moved. Steelers had a chance to spike the ball, kick a field goal, and go to overtime but they chose a fake spike, a slant (not a fade) pass, and risked the interception.

    Will any non Patriots fan admit what Gronk did in the fourth quarter was the best playing you have ever seen on a football field. He and Brady willed and executed the team to victory. The play to end the game reminded me of the Wilson’s pass in the super bowl that Butler intercepted.

  36. Even though the Pats won it’s unfortunate that the NFL has complicated what a catch is to the point where something that was supposed to be obvious wasn’t. Brady and the offense got back on track this week but the defense got torched by Big Ben. The Pats cannot play like that on defense next week if they hope to win. Hope to see the Steelers again because that game was way too intense not to have again.

  37. Brady and Gronk can’t play D. So this Pats team won’t go very far in the playoffs. But they did win that division.

    Yeah you do know they were missing 3 d starters for this game that will return

  38. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; how come there are never any complaints with the officiating in a college game, but there is in every NFL game? Sure they miss a call every now and then, but they get it right in college for the most part.
    This is all because of Roger and all the stupid rules they have.
    Get rid of Roger, and the league office people and the game will improve.

  39. Somehow hitting the pylon and losing the ball = TD but lunging into the end zone with control of the ball isn’t a TD

  40. More juicy tears from the crybaby Stooler fans!!!

    WONDERFUL. It’s beautiful watching this team and fanbase got so OWNED every time these teams meet. Our front 7 will be much better if you are lucky enough to meet us in the playoffs.

  41. As a pats fan I’ll take it. But it’s a stupid ruling. It’s the correct ruling. But it’s STUPID. The nfl has to change that rule. It’s Dez Bryant all over again. So step back from the ledge. It isn’t a giant conspiracy. It’s not anfixed game. It is t the pats getting special favors. It’s a stupid rule. But no one with a brain can dispute the ball moved when he hit the ground. I just don’t think it should have been over turned. On a play like that it should be a touchdown when he breaks the plane and play over. Donit wouldn’t matter. Oh well

  42. Crappy that it came down to an overturned call but it was clear that when he hit the ground, the ball rotates and his left hand actually rotated and he’s trying to keep a hold of it with the top of his left hand.

    I was pissed when I thought the pats lost giving up a 70 yard slant play but the replay clearly shows the ball moves. It’s actually very clear on replay. This isn’t like the ‘Dez Bryant catch” or the Calvin’s johnson catch that was BS.

    Great game to watch for us viewers but no sour grapes folks; the right call was made. Worst call of the game was Ben trying to force a ball into that much traffic. Bad things can happen with too many bodies around as we saw

  43. I don’t like the Patriots at all but I don’t think it was a catch. He should’ve caught it but he didn’t. The Steelers had the game if their player made the INT on New England’s last drive.

  44. Saving a copy of these comments for the next time Steelers fans claim they aren’t the biggest sore losers on earth. Tomlin already blaming spy satellites or whatever.

  45. Let’s be real Patriot Hater. Don’t come at me with that weak smack. Be honest and be real. So I’ll start.

    1. That was a catch and TD in my beer league. That is NOT a catch using the convoluted catch rules of the NFL. Ask Dez about that.
    2. The catch rules have to be fixed.
    3. That was an MVP clinching game winning drive by Tom Brady. Let’s be honest and REAL. Yes it was.
    4. Ben or whoever called that play on third and goal is an idiot.

  46. I saw his knee down making it a catch – then the ball cross the goal line which makes it a TD then whatever happens after that is irrelevant…

    But I don’t pretend to know all the rules either.

  47. ARod(in his collarbone) says:”Damn good game. I’m still not sure how NE wins consistently with that defense, but when you have Brady and that offense, it becomes a little clearer”……………….. It’s not Brady that won that game that would be Gronkowski. Kraft really screwed up forcing BB’s hand to trade the wrong QB. Watch the accuracy of Garoppolo and then Brady’s the last three games, it’s clear who’s the more accurate QB.

  48. I’d love to jump on the “National Fixed League” bandwagon, but I have to figure that the absolute last team the league would put a fix in for is the Patriots

  49. Darren L says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm
    Somehow hitting the pylon and losing the ball = TD but lunging into the end zone with control of the ball isn’t a TD
    ——-
    Except in example two he didn’t maintain possession, kind of the point

  50. James’ KNEE WAS DOWN, thereby it was a catch before the goal line stretch. Shoulda been 1st & Goal. Pats cheat again, via Referee paybacks. Unreal.

  51. Ball was juggled and it touched the ground. Can you imagine if they ruled it a touchdown? After all the calls like Dez and Megatrons? Everyone hates the rule, but it is consistently called. The ball moved. It definitely touched the turf.

  52. Jesse James did all the right things but unfortunetly that ball bobbled just like Calvin Johnsons TD catch in 2010 vs Chicago. I felt like pittsburgh could have won if they had spiked it as it was 3rd down and simply had these options:
    Kick the FG and go to OT
    Get the touchdown.

    But overall a game that truly tested both teams. Look forward to the playoffs.

  53. Brady made a foolish pass earlier in the game, and he paid for it. Roethlisberger made a foolish pass at the end of the game and he paid for it as well. His was more critical though.

  54. Oh Everybody loves Goodell when he screws the pats……….but everybody hates him when HIS catch rules benefits the pats.
    It all evens out.. by the way the pats had no chance today did they???

  55. Good game Steelers. As much as I’d love to gloat I won’t do that… your offense is legit. Maybe we will see you again in a few weeks.

    To be honest Id rather not so I won’t wish you too much good luck.

    🙂

  56. There WAS NOT clear evidence that he lost control of the ball! It was ruled a catch on the field and you need conclusive evidence that he lost control…which he didn’t. That was 100% a completed pass & TD. If not for the officials, the Patriots would lose half the games they win.

  57. Karma indeed. The rule change stemmed from Martavis Bryant’s “touchdown” catch against the Bengals in the playoffs which shouldn’t have been called a TD.

    That said, it’s a crappy rule. Once you have the ball in your hands and cross the plane of the goal line, it should be a TD.

  58. More juicy tears from the crybaby Stooler fans!!!

    WONDERFUL. It’s beautiful watching this team and fanbase got so OWNED every time these teams meet. Our front 7 will be much better if you are lucky enough to meet us in the playoffs.

  59. Carroll took huge grief over the Wilson interception in the super bowl. Will Tomlin take similar grief for this interception? Steelers fans prefer to blane the refs.

  60. wallabear says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    James’ KNEE WAS DOWN, thereby it was a catch before the goal line stretch. Shoulda been 1st & Goal. Pats cheat again, via Referee paybacks. Unreal.
    =================

    not college rules Einstien

  61. Must be all those ex Jets executives changing calls for the PATS. Can we put that to bed now. Again. When you catch a ball and with both hands reach for the end zone with the ball that is a “football move”. Once over the end zone its a dead ball. Play is over. Plus they didn’t have concrete indisputable evidence that the receiver did not have a hand under the ball. It was called a TD on field, you didn’t prove it wasn’t. Makes you wonder.

  62. If not for the officials, the Patriots would lose half the games they win.
    —-
    Because we all know the league and the commissioner is in favor of the Patriots.

    Oh wait…

  63. Boy there are a lot of whiny b!tches that apparently didn’t watch the Lions/Falcons game. That play wasn’t a catch for Detroit either but bring on the outrage because it’s New England…predictable. Instead of giving it up for a great edge of the seat game it’s just whiny time for the little ladies of PFT. Hope AB is okay.

  64. Ben mismanaged the last 12 seconds. I know he was trying to take advantage of a confused D, but his own guys were too confused. Great idea. Poor execution. Butler came up huge with tackle keeping Steeler 88 inbounds on second to last play. 9 seconds on clock when Pitt snaps ball. Pats DBs were actually in place for the fake spike. Spike would have given Pitt at least one more final play with 8-10 seconds on the clock. Percentages. Ben didn’t play them.

  65. I don’t mind that they call it not a catch by James.

    I mind that they thought they had enough to overturn it AFTER they called it a catch.

    That is just wrong.

    Patriots fans crying about Steelers fans crying foul are just blind homers. They also seemed to miss Rogers getting tackled in the end zone on the game-ending interception too.

    Refs need to stop deciding these games.

  66. everyone keeps mentioning that the ball moved and his left hand came off the ball. It sure looked like he had at least 2-3 fingers of the right hand under the ball. You don’t need both hands to maintain possession. How the league saw enough to overturn that is beyond me. They say it has to be irrefutable. Was it? I Saw the exact same catch same circumstances the replay went to NY, and they called it a TD. Zero consistency when it comes to NY and these replay reviews.

  67. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm
    The ground cause his left hand to come completely off the ball. It was not a catch
    ————————————————————————————

    The left hand has NOTHING to do with it. His right hand controlled the ball and the ball never hit the ground. Don’t need two hands to complete catches. See OBJ for one-handed TD catches. Total hackjob by the refs.

  68. Perhaps Roger can chip off a bit of his $200MIL contract to hire someone to write a one sentence definition of what a catch is and then have the officials apply it consistently.

  69. If I were Steelers, I would have taken my team off the field and forfeited to the Pats, the refs decided they were going to win. It was a done deal!!!! If the Steelers would have scored again, the refs would have called it back on some crap penalty.

  70. Great game. Love the steeler fans built in excuses. Catch rule, such that it is, made the steeler TD call a no brainer incompletion. HURTS, DON’t IT. After all your predictions. Draft someone that can cover Gronk and hire a coaching staff with some brains. Then maybe something will change.

  71. This is one of those cases where I get it that the officials got the call right according to the rules. But its BS that the rules would not have called that a touchdown.

    I get it that the ball got jarred loose when it hit the ground so under the rules he never fully completed the process. But…he did have control and had he just held it against his body that catch was clearly getting completed (and possibly still gained the goal line) it was because after he had control and while he was still going to the ground he extended the ball (because he had it fully controlled and could do that) out over the goal line. So IMHO the rule in such case should be that it should have been a TD as soon as that ball broke the plane still in his control and the play over right there. If the rules worked that way the bobble when the ball hit wouldnt be anything because the play was over begore that. Sort of like how if a fumble happens after the ball breaks the plane.

    So, I have no anger at the officiating, they called it correctly. The blame here really goes to the NFL with all their tinkering with whats a catch. They are the ones that brought it to the point where Pittsburgh really did get robbed.

  72. That call on Jesse James in the end zone is why TV ratings on NFL games are declining. Clearly a TD. Overruled on some bizzare technicality. No wonder fans are tunning out for NFL games that do not offer a premium matchup like the Steelers, New England game.

  73. mark4steelers says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    There WAS NOT clear evidence that he lost control of the ball! It was ruled a catch on the field and you need conclusive evidence that he lost control…which he didn’t. That was 100% a completed pass & TD. If not for the officials, the Patriots would lose half the games they win.

    Ha ha TOM BRADY OWNS YOUR SORRY STEELERS

    and guess what CRYBABY, he’s going to beat them in the playoffs AGAIN

  74. Not even a steelers fan but that ball was well over the plane with control before it came loose. Another game decided by terrible officiating. Makes me sick
    —————————————–
    Doesn’t matter if it was over the plane the play is not over until he goes to the ground with control which eh did not have the ball touched the ground and moved. You don’t like it BUT IT’S THE RULE!

  75. fluiddarkness says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:53 pm
    whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm
    The ground cause his left hand to come completely off the ball. It was not a catch
    ————————————————————————————

    The left hand has NOTHING to do with it. His right hand controlled the ball and the ball never hit the ground. Don’t need two hands to complete catches. See OBJ for one-handed TD catches. Total hackjob by the refs.

    not only does the ball hit he ground it is clearly moving on the ground. it’s easy to see if you use your eyes instead of your heart.

  76. Just a great game – Steelers had a solid game plan (until the played one guy on gronk at the end) and pushed the Pats D around, but a little Brady, and a little luck and now a clear path to #1 seed

  77. Just a great game – Steelers had a solid game plan (until the played one guy on gronk at the end) and pushed the Pats D around, but a little Brady, and a little luck and now a clear path to #1 seed

  78. Ratings aren’t down due to Kaepernick kneeling. They are down because of plays like this. Such a joke.

  79. Not sure why I bother to post on this site-this comment is not likely to see the light of day….but- here goes- Not a Pats nor Steeler fan- but Must admit- Terrible call by the Patriot Officials- this is becoming an all too predictable trend and Gronk’s endzone display- really just confirms what a no class punk he really is –

  80. The fact is that James SHOULD have had a catch, EXCEPT for the rules of the NFL as what a catch is. I’m a Pats fans and I thought it was a catch. But once they showed the repla.y and explained what the rule is (strange as it seems), it was clear that it wasn’t a catch….IF you want to play by the rules.

    Lets not forget the Steelers had another play from the 5 yardline, and the refs didn’t cause Ben to throw that pick.

    Yes, it was a bad break and I hope they change the rules on what constitutes a catch, but as of TONIGHT the play was called correctly, and Steeler fans should admit and stop complaining and whining. They’ve had their own share of breaks.

    BTW, Smith-Shuster, is a great looking player and Sorry about AB’s injury and hope he’s back for the rematch

  81. Big Ben should retire after this season. He looked old on that last throw and a pick. The Steelers were overrated. Any team that gets embarrassed by the Jaguars is not a serious SB contender.

  82. joetoronto says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm
    I hate the rule but it is what it is, the ball was lying on the ground in the endzone.
    —————–
    The ball was never laying on the ground and his right hand never came out from under it.

  83. aj66shanghai says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:37 pm
    The only real threat to the Patriots in the AFC is the Jaguars.

    **************************************************************************************

    I’d love to see a Steelers-Patriots rematch in the playoffs. If you think the only real threat is the Jags (who I think are also a decent threat), then you didn’t watch today’s game.

  84. How many times have you seen a guy stick out the ball at the pylon… lose it..yet it’s called a touchdown? I’m not sure what a catch is anymore since the famous Charles Johnson catch in the endzone. It’s a joke.

  85. xxsweepthelegxx says:
    “..Darren L says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm
    Somehow hitting the pylon and losing the ball = TD but lunging into the end zone with control of the ball isn’t a TD
    ——-
    Except in example two he didn’t maintain possession, kind of the point..”

    Right…So sometimes you have to maintain possession and sometimes you don’t?
    Sure glad we cleared that up.

  86. The saltiness here is a thing of joy for us Pats fans. No one asked the Steelers to make the bonehead play that was intercepted. Rules are rules and we feast on your salt you crybabies.

  87. I don’t hear any of these complaining Steelers fans complaining about their 1st TD, where the flag was thrown for not one but TWO o-linemen downfield by more than five yards, and the refs picked up the flag, no call. No complaints about that, Steelers’ fans?

  88. Good call, bad rule.
    The ball was pretty clearly out of control & moving when it hit the ground.
    But by any sane rule, the catch would have been complete when James’ knee hit with control — then a TD when the plane was crossed.
    The rule is stupid.

  89. Nance: “There’s NO DOUBT it’s going to hold up….”

    Jump to

    Nance: I don’t know why this is taking so long to review, because CLEARLY Harmon’s nowhere close to him. Unless they’re looking at the football. Did it wiggle or anything. Did the ground…. That ball looks like a touchdown to me.

    Jump to

    Romo: Are they looking at the football… possibly losing control here…. OHH that’s what it IS, Jim. THEY DON”T THINK HE CAUGHT IT!…. THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT!…. Could go either way….. I mean this is…. It moved though, right? You saw it move?? Ahh he’s stretching out. Make sure you catch it….

  90. Terrible call no doubt, but the offensive play calling by the Steelers when they went 3 and out and had to punt back to Brady in the last 4 minutes and then the defensive coverage on Gronk was what cost them the game. Tomlin and staff are below average.

  91. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm
    Big Ben should retire after this season. He looked old on that last throw and a pick. The Steelers were overrated.

    *********************************************************************************

    Pats were equally- or outplayed most of the game, so I guess if the Steelers are overrated, we may as well throw the Pats in the same category. Pats homers on PFT are society’s dregs.

  92. FoozieGrooler says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm
    xxsweepthelegxx says:
    “..Darren L says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm
    Somehow hitting the pylon and losing the ball = TD but lunging into the end zone with control of the ball isn’t a TD
    ——-
    Except in example two he didn’t maintain possession, kind of the point..”

    Right…So sometimes you have to maintain possession and sometimes you don’t?
    Sure glad we cleared that up.
    ——-
    Let me clarify my point. I don’t agree with it, or even like the rule: it should’ve been a TD. BUT, by today’s current rules, the ball xleary moves and the right call was made. Blame Calvin Johnson I guess, I dunno. Much like Tuck rule, dumb rule; but properly applied. They’re are several stupidness NFL rules. When the ravens players all held the bengals players a year or two ago to purposes run the clock out comes to mind. NFL rule book is just goofy. They need to burn it and start over.

  93. Just watched it again in slow motion, he catches the ball, pulls it in to his right (demonstrating both a catch & control), then with both hands firmly around it, extends it out over the goal line in a football move. Then as he hits, his right hand stays under the ball…but by then he had already demonstrated control & made a football move for the TD. And too top it off, there was NOT conclusive evidence that he actually lost control. A ball can move, as long as control is maintained & the ground isn’t the reason the ball was caught. Absolutely terrible call. And given the history, it seems like just another time where the Patriots win because the refs were helping them…not because they deserved it.

  94. Roethlesburger said Haley made the call that resulted in the IT. Big Ben is a low rent bum! Man up loser!

  95. Even after the touchdown was overturned, they still could tie and goto overtime. Ben tried to force that pass and should’ve spiked it since the Pats D knew the fake spike was coming…or at the very least throw it high over their heads out of the endzone so you can kick a field goal and goto overtime.

    This was the game of the year with an awesome finish.

  96. The way the rule is, that was the right call. But it’s a dumb rule. If a RB is getting tackled and merely breaks the plane, it’s a score. But a WR breaks the plane and it’s not. No idea why it’s that way, but it is.

  97. It was a great game. I’m glad the Patriots won. I don’t think it’s appropriate to rub it in to Steelers fans although I think some of the Steelers fans were talking a lot before the game. The Patriots had a very thin roster, and Brady made the most of it. It was a very even game and should have been tied and gone into overtime. Brady made a bad pass that resulted in a Steelers touchdown, and Ghost missed an extra point in a big game again. Roethlisberger made a bad pass that resulted in no touchdown for the Steelers. Advantage Patriots. Game over. They’ll probably play again. However if they do play again I doubt we’ll be hearing from Tomlin.

  98. I’m surprised one of the steelers assistant coaches didn’t pull some opponent’s hair (like a girl) or run on the field to make contact with the opposing players.

  99. James did not complete all 3 phases of what’s defined as a catch in the NFL rulebook. That’s not the Patriot’s fault. The Steelers then mismanaged the clock and didn’t get out of bounds to stop it. Then,instead of spiking the ball and kicking the FG to send the game to OT,Roethlisberger gets greedy,fakes the spike and throws a pick. If the Steelers settled for OT,this is a different conversation.Sick of people saying it was somehow rigged or the refs sided with the Patriots. The Steelers GIFTED them the game.

  100. Steelers were the better team for most of the game, but that call was correct per the current rules.

    Pittsburgh should have run that right side toss to Bell a couple more times in the 4th quarter, the Pats had no answer to it.

  101. Pats fan here, and I believe the old rule that the ball could never touch the ground was the best, but the rule now only allows for the ball to touch without moving, there was irrefutable proof the ball moved. As for crossing the plane that means nothing as this was a catch and treated like a catch in the end zone. Player needed to maintain possession throughout the ground

    Steelers fans can be pissed if they want I probably would be also in thier shoes but the call is right.

  102. Patriots fan here. The rule is dumb. Always has been dumb, always will be dumb, but that’s how the NFL decides to call it and it’s consistent. That play did not make the Steelers lose the game. The awful fake spike, throw it into triple coverage is what lost them the game. If Ben just throws it out of the end zone, we are looking at overtime and the Patriots cannot stop a nose bleed. However, that awful pass will get overlooked because of the James play.

  103. doctorrustbelt says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:23 pm
    I’m surprised one of the steelers assistant coaches didn’t pull some opponent’s hair (like a girl) or run on the field to make contact with the opposing players.

    *********************************************************************************

    I’m surprised a Bengals player didn’t run onto the field during a game between the Steelers and the Pats and go for a knee or head shot.

  104. mmmpierogi says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm
    Big Ben should retire after this season. He looked old on that last throw and a pick. The Steelers were overrated.

    *********************************************************************************

    Pats were equally- or outplayed most of the game, so I guess if the Steelers are overrated, we may as well throw the Pats in the same category. Pats homers on PFT are society’s dregs.
    ________________________________________

    You must be one of the very few people left on PFT that don’t know 4life is a miami troll masquerading as a Jets fan pretending to be a Pats fan. Every so often she gets one of you to bite and it validates her sad existence.

  105. Not a Pats nor Steeler fan, yet on the replay it was clear the ball spun in his hands by seeing the laces spin.I don’t like the catch rule either but there has to be one and we as fans are stuck with it.Sometimes it benefits our favorite team and other times it doesn’t.

  106. doctorrustbelt says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:23 pm
    I’m surprised one of the steelers assistant coaches didn’t pull some opponent’s hair (like a girl) or run on the field to make contact with the opposing players.
    —-
    Don’t give Coach Trippy McTripp any ideas!

    🙂

  107. It was clearly not a catch per the rule. For those all lathered up, here it is. If you still think it was a catch, then you’re not understanding the rule, or blind.

    “A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession.

    “A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner.”

  108. I thought once the ball broke the plane it’s touchdown. Apparently that is no longer the case. At least when certain teams are playing.

  109. catchanotherpassadams says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm
    Not a Pats nor Steeler fan, yet on the replay it was clear the ball spun in his hands by seeing the laces spin.I don’t like the catch rule either but there has to be one and we as fans are stuck with it.Sometimes it benefits our favorite team and other times it doesn’t.

    —-

    THANK YOU

    everyone keeps saying his right hand was under the ball. It’s wasnt it was on the right side of the ball and you can see the laces spin then the ball hits the ground

  110. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    You must be one of the very few people left on PFT that don’t know 4life is a miami troll masquerading as a Jets fan pretending to be a Pats fan. Every so often she gets one of you to bite and it validates her sad existence.

    ***********************************************************************************

    Ha you nailed it — I didn’t realize that. Aside from articles on TB, BB, and Gronk (all of whom I respect quite a bit), I don’t follow the Pats whatsoever on PFT to know who trolls on their articles.

  111. As a Steerlers fan I want to say that James’s catch was a td, but it wasn’t. It was a good call.

    Ben calling the last play, I get the call, but the execition was horrible. One other receiver should have been in the endzone. That would have allowed Ben to pump fake to Rogers.

    What killed us was single coverage on Gronk. Miami double covered him and the beat the Pats.

    The most important part of the game was seeing Shazier at the begining. Shows you life is more important than football.

  112. footballfan2650 says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    That call on Jesse James in the end zone is why TV ratings on NFL games are declining. Clearly a TD. Overruled on some bizzare technicality. No wonder fans are tunning out for NFL games that do not offer a premium matchup like the Steelers, New England game.

    —————————————————–

    Yeah, a bizarre technicality like him not actually catching the ball…..

  113. jesusfreak063 says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    What killed us was single coverage on Gronk. Miami double covered him and the beat the Pats.

    ——————————-
    Yes, the Dolphins sent two defensive backs to sit on either side of Gronk on his couch at home.

  114. Only to a mentally challenged Steelers’ fan was that bobbled incomplete pass a touchdown. These fans see only what they want to see which is why they continue to stick with that loser QB.

  115. murraysons says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:22 pm
    The way the rule is, that was the right call. But it’s a dumb rule. If a RB is getting tackled and merely breaks the plane, it’s a score. But a WR breaks the plane and it’s not. No idea why it’s that way, but it is

    Its because the RB has firmly established control of the ball. A rummer who has the ball can “break the plane” then lose it and it’s a TD. You have to finish a catch all the way though.

    All the whining is something else, this is a pretty easy call, most football fans should know that was not a catch.

  116. Forget everything else. Focus on their key point: “Once he gets there, he loses control of the football, and then the ball hits the ground. . . .”

    It is not clear he “lost control of the football.” Replay is very inconclusive on that point.

    It is not clear that “the ball hits the ground.” Replay is completely inconclusive that the ball even touched the ground.

    It was a bad overturn. They overthought this. Once they established in their mind that the ball moved they slammed the door shut without actually looking at whether he really lost control or whether the ball actually touched the ground.

  117. ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:36 pm
    Damn good game. I’m still not sure how NE wins consistently with that defense, but when you have Brady and that offense, it becomes a little clearer.

    293 64 Rate This

    ———

    brady was
    awful most of the game

    the d turned it late after
    no help from a loaded offense in an offensive era

    same as the super bowl
    glad brady woke up

  118. Q: Taking into account Sunday’s game, how many times has Brady brought the Pats back from being behind to winning the game, including overtime, since he entered the league?

    A: 51

    Is there a pattern emerging here?

  119. With that Patriots defense and that O-line, it’s surprising that they still eked out a win. They will need a lot of fixing to go to the SB and win it. Brady also seems to be off lately. Still the Patriots scrappy spirit emerged at the end. With the Pats, teams have to play well up to the last second. Well now, the Steelers faced the elephant. Now they really feel mousy.

  120. A couple things:

    Rob Gronkowski is the greatest tight end to ever live.

    2.) Once in a while, you should try to not let him beat you single-handedly when Julian Edelman is watching the game from his living room couch since it was 90 degrees in August.

  121. Ok, the rule is garbage, but it was a good call based on the rule.

    Just crossing the plane isn’t enough, according to the rule. You have to control it all the way to the ground, when he hits the ground the ball comes out. If you are seeing something else, might I suggest a pair of glasses….

  122. donlogansb says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm
    Pats’ D did everything it could to win it for the Steelers. But even they couldn’t overcome the Men in Stripes….

    And the Vegas line was 2.5… how’d they know?

    Still, an interception by the Steeler’s D and Ben would just be taking knees….

    Brady and Gronk can’t play D. So this Pats team won’t go very far in the playoffs. But they did win that division.

    Hope Gronk survives next week….

    _________________________________________

    What are they going to do DIVE AT HIS KNEES? Nice try. What he did was wrong, and he was suspended and that pretty much cost us the Miami game. But don’t act like they aren’t mugging him and knee tackling him all the time. They are playing in Foxboro this time too… so don’t bet on a good time for the Bills if someone does go after him.

  123. The whole league is fixed. I don’t like either the patriots or Steelers but man it’s become obvious how rigged it is. Tuck rule, spygate, destroying all the tapes from spygate, deflategate, super bowl 49 & 51. Patriots have been helped all throughout Brady’s career. BB started spygate as soon as he got there. No other quarterback had such an extensive spying network to help him. Taped signals and stolen playbooks. Kraft helps the nfl with CBS and Goodell destroys all the tapes from spygate. Brady gets suspended for 4 games and is given the super bowl by the league. No other quarterback has been helped by the league as much as shady brady.

  124. I’m surprised a Bengals player didn’t run onto the field during a game between the Steelers and the Pats and go for a knee or head shot.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I’m surprised that the Bengals are still in the Steelers’ heads as evidenced by Smith-Doucheter’s TD celebration of his cheap hit on Burfict. “Oh, that ain’t me” he says after the hit. Sure it isn’t you punk. See you next year.

  125. Ok, I don’t think it was a catch, and I said it at the first replay. I also don’t believe there was irrefutable evidence that it wasn’t a catch, and however it was ruled in the field is how it should have stood. Unfortunately, Riveron doesn’t seem to understand the “50 drunks in a bar” standard, and he has ruled incorrectly all season in such situations. This isn’t a Patriots thing, it’s just a problem the league doesn’t seem able to deal with – their solution is to layer on even more rules that are open to interpretation. Steelers fans can lament not being able to convert a first down at the end of the game to keep the ball out of Brady’s hands, or the inability to coral the one guy you know Brady wants to throw to on the final drive, or even Roethlisberger throwning a ball into traffic when the play wasn’t there. But blaming the ref isn’t gonna get much sympathy, this sort of things happens to every team and you just have to overcome it.

  126. jwarden15 says:
    December 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    The whole league is fixed. I don’t like either the patriots or Steelers but man it’s become obvious how rigged it is. Tuck rule, spygate, destroying all the tapes from spygate, deflategate, super bowl 49 & 51. Patriots have been helped all throughout Brady’s career. BB started spygate as soon as he got there. No other quarterback had such an extensive spying network to help him. Taped signals and stolen playbooks. Kraft helps the nfl with CBS and Goodell destroys all the tapes from spygate. Brady gets suspended for 4 games and is given the super bowl by the league. No other quarterback has been helped by the league as much as shady brady.
    ———————

    You left out bugging the locker rooms. Other than that, it is clear you have studied The Patriots Hater Guide to Hating the Patriots.

  127. Learn the rules and stop talking stupid.

    Ball hit the ground. It moved in his hands.

    No catch.

    Repeat. Learn the friggin rules instead of whining and crying like a girl

  128. Steelers fought a pretty good battle, all things considered. They were minus two of the best players in the NFL (Shazier, Brown). They had to overcome the now-infamous idiotic replay call (in any other football reality, that was a touchdown) and the usual boneheaded decisions of their coaches (not double covering Gronk, Haley’s predictable and moronic play calling, stopping Ben from spiking the ball ln the final seconds), and still they almost pulled it out. Ben was generally on target despite a leaky o-line amd multiple hits, Martavis came through big time and Tuitt had a monster game. If they can stay relatively healthy and get Brown back, they have a shot.

  129. good game. steelers can absolutely win in fox borough with the huge talent edge they have. only superior coaching and the goat qb keeps pats competitive .

  130. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    December 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm
    Big Ben should retire after this season. He looked old on that last throw and a pick. The Steelers were overrated. Any team that gets embarrassed by the Jaguars is not a serious SB contender.

    He looked better than Brady the entire game. at least 2 roughing the passer calls that the refs turned a blind eye to, and the man still manages to get the ball off. Don’t know who made that last call, but the reality of it is this: we will never, ever advance while Haley is the Offensive Coordinator. the 2 drives prior to the final one by the Steelers and he goes conservative? When a team beats you consistently, you don’t run the ball on 2nd and 21. And you DO NOT play zone defense. That all being said, despite Gronk’s great play, and he is the best tight end in the game, lost a lot off respect for him tonight. No class at all.

  131. If Miami double covered Gronk it was back home in Boston because he was suspended.

    Romo is an excellent analyst. He called out Tomlin for sitting on the lead before Tomlin even did it. He also said the Steelers needed to score when up 8 because Brady would come back. He initially called the Jones play a catch but caught himself and saw the ball movement when the review started to take some time. He was okay with Ben passing at the goal line but said it should have been acless risky throw like a fade route.

  132. Keep crying, Pats haters. We learned what you were like in the Deflategate saga. Nothing makes me happier than watching you cry all those salty and delicious tears. PATRIOTS FOREVER!

  133. I don’t even blame Ben that much for trying to pull a Marino, but to throw it over the middle is asking for trouble. Either throw it away or fade it to the corner where only your guy can catch it.

  134. They were minus two of the best players in the NFL (Shazier, Brown).

    The Patriots were minus 3 of their 4 best receivers yesterday. All of them played last AFC Championship game (and so did Shazier, yes?) when the Steelers were blown out.

    #KeepingItReal

  135. whenwilliteverend says:
    December 17, 2017 at 7:37 pm
    At least the Patriots fans can’t whine about the officiating in this game. Of course had they lost they would have made any number of excuses.
    ——————–
    Nonsense. I’ve been a Pats fan since the BC days, and the only excuse that I’ve ever heard by any member of the Patriots organization when they lose is from one Mr. Belichick where he consistently states, “I have to do a better job coaching, this loss is on me.” Nice try, though…

  136. jwarden15 says:
    December 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    The whole league is fixed. I don’t like either the patriots or Steelers but man it’s become obvious how rigged it is. Tuck rule, spygate, destroying all the tapes from spygate, deflategate, super bowl 49 & 51. Patriots have been helped all throughout Brady’s career. BB started spygate as soon as he got there. No other quarterback had such an extensive spying network to help him. Taped signals and stolen playbooks. Kraft helps the nfl with CBS and Goodell destroys all the tapes from spygate. Brady gets suspended for 4 games and is given the super bowl by the league. No other quarterback has been helped by the league as much as shady brady.

    ========================

    Too bad Steelers had low PSI last year. If you believe Pats deflated footballs, you MUST believe the Steelers did too. Or was it the weather, most scientists thought it was the weather.

    And to quote Steelers own Bill Cowher:

    “We had people that always tried to steal signals. Stealing someone’s signals was a part of the game, and everyone attempted to do that.”

    Pats were busted for camera location, not stealing signals. You can’t film from sidelines (but its ok from other identified locations) and Pats were busted. And before the tapes were destroyed, they were shown to the media.

  137. I think we can all agree… What constitutes a catch in the NFL is a mystery. No one know this more than Cowboy fans, and it sucks that game had to swing on a call like that. Every football fan east of the Hudson river thought that game was lost (any one who disputes this is lying). To be honest, the Refs didn’t get the call wrong, the ball moved.

    The decision to go for it was the right call, and Eric Rowe made a huge play to deflect the pass.

    I think that was the game of the year. its games like that is the reason I love football.
    More please!!!

  138. Okay, the receiver’s knee went down but he went untouched by the opponents a yard short, and he turned whereupon his elbow hit the ground as he reached out for the goal line, still untouched. The ball crossed the plane but then hit the ground and was jarred loose.

    The controversy really goes back to whether or not the receiver had control at the exact moment the ball crossed the plane of the goal line. In the religion that is American football the sanctity of the goal line and the area that constitutes the end zone have always been the gold standard and the foundation upon which all of the other rules of football were built.

    The league changed the rule by saying receivers are different than running backs and will be judged by a different set of rules, but they didn’t change the religion. Calling it a fumble still is wrong and will always be wrong for that reason. The devout will always have a case to make until the sanctity of the goal line and end zone are restored.

  139. I should have called it an incomplete pass rather than a fumble. That’s the only distinction separating rules for runners and receivers, or is it?

    There are also different rules for runners and receivers regarding the width of the end zone beyond the goal line and the number of feet they have to get down.

    The fact remains that the receiver was down twice, then scored, then dropped the pass well past the goal line.

    The rule that the receiver was not down (twice) is grounds for another case and could be an added cause for controversy except that change has been universally accepted by the football fandom.

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