Chiefs should have gotten another chance to boot Steelers into playoffs

At a time when plenty of Steelers fans are griping about the decision to wipe what would have been a game-clinching fumble return off the scoreboard in overtime of the contest between the Chiefs-Chargers, all Steelers fans should be complaining about the failure of the officials to miss a blatant foul as the Chiefs tried to win in regulation.

As kicker Ryan Succop lined up on the right hash mark to try a 41-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, seven Chargers positioned themselves on the line of scrimmage to the left of the long snapper.  But a new provision added this year by the NFL to Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 states that “[n]o more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap” when Team A lines up in a conventional field goal formation.

Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL believes a flag should have been thrown.  The league office could acknowledge the error publicly as soon as Monday.

The seven Chargers lined up to the left of the Chiefs snapper in plain view of at least two members of referee Bill Leavy’s crew.  If the officials had called a penalty for illegal formation, the Chiefs would have had another chance to make what would have been the game-winning kick.

Succop’s shot at immediate redemption would have come from  36 yards out, with four seconds on the clock.  If good, the Chargers most likely would have had no time left for a Stanford-band attempt to win the game.

While it’s impossible to know whether Succop would have made his Mulligan, the point is that he should have had a second chance, due to the San Diego penalty that somehow wasn’t called.  If Succop had converted, the Steelers would be celebrating one of the most unlikely playoff berths in franchise history, courtesy of Week 17 losses by the Ravens, Dolphins, and Chargers.

Instead, Steelers fans will spend the offseason wondering whether their team could have replicated what the Steelers accomplished in 2005, when Pittsburgh parlayed the No. 6 seed into the long-coveted One for the Thumb.

224 responses to “Chiefs should have gotten another chance to boot Steelers into playoffs

  1. Oh, God. Here comes that steeler guy(s) with another long diatribe about his Steeler’s Football League.

    Thanks for nothing PFT…

  2. The Steelers were eliminated on an officiating error and the Bengals and their new punter breathed a huge sigh of relief.

  3. The refs aren’t perfect. You either have a fail-safe system in place or you don’t.

    Not sure why it’s much of an issue, every game is important not just the final week and there’s all kinds of sloppy issues that are in play in every single game that are worth cleaning up. But until the league has a will for a professionally managed game we will have to just be patient and enjoy whatever shoddy product they dump in front of us.

    If you don’t like the taste, then stop feeding them dollars. Tell those people to get a job, or to do the one they already have.

  4. “Instead, Steelers fans will spend the offseason wondering whether their team could have replicated what the Steelers accomplished in 2005, when Pittsburgh parlayed the No. 6 seed into the long-coveted One for the Thumb.”
    Thanks to the aforementioned Mr. Levy, who had a pretty big impact in helping that happen and has repeatedly admitted that fact. What goes around comes around I guess.

  5. Aww for God-sake, knock it off!!!! Pittsburgh, if ya wanted to get in the Tournament, ya should’ve won more games period!!!!
    Ya wanna win another Lombardi Pittsburgh? Here’s a thought……GET BETTER!!
    WHO DEY & out!

  6. The phantom stoppage of play on the fake punt is far worse than this. They made a ruling after the TD that he got the first down and they decided that based on nothing.

    The Chiefs and Steelers got jobbed.

  7. If there was ever a question of Florio being a Steelers homer I think the two posts tonight about the refs screwing up calls to eliminate the Steelers (news flash the refs have screwed up calls in almost every game this year!) and the constant allowing of the off topic posts by the Steelers commenter (while many other comments are deleted) confirms it.

  8. wow look at this website today crying about not winning.. You guys don’t even try to be bias. If the roles were reversed this site WOULD NEVER bring this up..
    Go cry in you’re yellow towels

  9. This coupled with the delay of game penalty levied against Dallas proves that, despite the presence of officials on the field and in the booth, the refs and their supervisors do not know the rules or how to enforce them. There is no quality control.

  10. Correct me if I’m wrong but this has been the worst year for officiating since I started following football. Too many missed calls. Too many legitimate calls that were overlooked. Too many flags thrown for legal plays…and too many “phantom” pass interferences. It’s both shocking and disappointing because, on the next day, people are talking about officiating instead of the games!

  11. The refs gave them that “one for the thumb” just like they gave the chargers this one. That terrible towl is always good for wiping the the tears away, though.

  12. Give me a break Florio. You’ve always been a Steelers apologist. Bad calls aren’t why the Steelers are missing the playoffs. The officiating this season has been terrible across the board. You’ve got all off-season to dry your tears with your terrible towel. Good luck with that.

  13. You mean the refs missed a call like they missed a handful against Cincinnati that helped helped the Steelers win?


  14. Let it go. Do it better yourself if you think you can. Anybody can look at a picture later and see the miss. It didn’t cause the choke. Steelers blew their chances including losing to MN. They were no threat to win. You probably hated the replacement refs too. So there isn’t any way to satisfy you.

  15. Boo hoo!! Maybe if the Steelers didn’t start 0-4, they wouldn’t have been in that position. Steelers fans can’t complain. Cardinals fans can. 10-5 didn’t get them in the playoffs but the 8-7-1 Packers make it? Blasphemy!!!

  16. Let it go, that’s why you don’t put your playoff hopes in other teams hand. The steelers are where they should be at home watching the playoffs.

  17. As a Steeler fan I can say there are four good reasons they aren’t in the playoffs.

    AB stepping on the sideline.

    Eliminate any one of those and all of this is moot.

  18. I absolutely despise the Steelers. Hate them with a passion. But…fair being fair, Succop should have had to kick that again. And he likely would have made it…just cos the Steelers suck.

  19. Maybe its just me, but the seventh guy (far right) look to be a bit off the line.

    Either way, sucks for Steelers (I am neutral on both Pittsburgh and SD) that they got that close but they have nobody to blame except themselves for their poor start.

  20. I have a feeling that a Manning-Brady AFC Championship is already written in stone. A shame, the Pats are clearly a poor team this year. It’ll be interesting to see how far the refs go to make it happen.

  21. More passing leads to more plays. More plays leaves more opportunities for missed calls. The NFL is getting what they wanted. Offense!! These officials are the best out there and its not even close. Of course a few like Pete Morelli need to be replaced. 180 plays in a game decide it not the officiating.

  22. Hey league – – since you tried to screw us last week with the blocked field goal ruling and you did screw us this week with multiple improper calls in the San Diego game, why don’t you take that “you’re going to lose a draft pick” threat and pretend you never said something so stupid.

  23. Steal-ers won a Super Bowl (vs Seahawks) vs the refs.
    Whatever happens, they deserve the shaft for eternity.

  24. Yeah, right. It’s all the officials fault the Steelers missed the playoffs. Had nothing to do with the games THEY lost. Cry babies.

  25. Doubt the Chiefs or their fans really care that they got screwed on this call. Win or lose they had the same fate.

    For Steelers fans, yes that’s a different story. However, like others have said above, these kinds of things happen all the time.

  26. The Chargers lost in week one against the Texans largely because of a bogus call on a field goal. It gave Houston a first down, which led to a touchdown (rather than a field goal) in a game that they won by 3. The NFL even admitted that it was a blown call. When I brought it up after the loss, I was shouted down as a bitter fan complaining about the refs. Looks like things have evened out in the end. But excuse me if I’m not eager to pity the Steelers or Chiefs.

  27. steeler fan here. after starting out 0 and 4, the steelers dug their own hole. but its funny as hell to see all you idiots gloating. don” you all know that we love to be the bad guys. we love to be hated and we really love it when we get under your skin.

  28. This game was extremely dissapointing to watch as a Steelers fan. Obviously missing the short yardage FG was a heartbreaker, but to now learn there should have been a penalty is a killer. I’m still not sure why they didn’t review the fumble in OT either.

    Nonetheless, there’s nobody Steelers can blame but themselves. Inexcusable to start of 0-4 and lose to the likes of Tennessee, Oakland, Minnesota. And we should have found a way to sneak out a win in Balti or against Miami, but we didn’t. So just the mere fact that it came down to this game was miraculous in of itself.

    Hopefully Tomlin takes some time management classes over the off season and we pick up some solid draft picks. I think Steelers are in as good of shape as anyone to contend in the AFC next season.

  29. Funny, usually Florio doesn’t post on Sunday nights….this time he has 2 about the Steelers missing the playoffs! The Steelers are out, Mike…get over it.

  30. Come on now, everyone got jobbed by poor refereeing this year. But indeed it hurts worse when it really matters.

  31. it’s so funny that this website is only mentioning the chiefs because the game related to a big market team. this site and national media avoid giving chiefs Attention. Goodell doesn’t want the chiefs to go to playoffs or win anything, small market teams have less fans. also want San Diego to win to get them more fans for possible move to los Angeles

  32. They had 16 games to get a playoff spot… Hard to put an excuse on one play.

    Whatever justifies your rationale I guess…

  33. So the season is in the can for the Steelers. They looked awful at the start but finished strong. Next year they will be contenders, no reason to think otherwise.

  34. True enough, not like the Chargers ever had bad calls go against them… watched all the games.

  35. So, no story about the Chiefs backups almost beating the Chargers on their home field? Chiefs didn’t start any of their 22 and no comment about that?

  36. “And so god yawned, producing strong winds, that pushed the ball wide left and effectively denying the team of god the playoffs…

    Realizing that he had screwed up, god yelled… d’oh! d’oh! d’oh!…”

    — Book of Steelers 4:15

  37. Just our of curiosity Mike, could Andy Reid have challenged that? I know they let you challenge 12 men on the field, but do they let you challenge formations like this?

  38. Quit whining about the Steelers you pathetic East Coast sports clown. The Chiefs are not some magical team there only to promote your sad sack team of rapists and losers into the playoffs.

    Your disgusting bias is obvious to all. If it were up to you biased journalist clowns, the Super Bowl would *mandatory* have an east coast team every year.

    You babies cry if the Jets, Giants, Pats, Steelers, Eagles, Ravens or Skins are not in the Super Bowl. You cry like a baby.

  39. @atwatercrushesokoye There has never been a doubt, and you would think NBC would do, or could do better.

  40. This particular rule is silly and wouldn’t even matter if the kicker hit the 41 yarder. Seriously as a pro that distance should be automatic in fair weather.

  41. I saw nothing wrong with officiating this year. If you listened to the play by play or the ex officiating official on national tv, it was perfect.

    Stevie Wonder

  42. ‘Illegal Formation’ rules are some of the worst in sports. A team should be able to line up however the hell they want to line up. On defense, If they want to rush nobody, so be it. If they want to line up in punt block formation every snap, so be it. If a team wants to go after a specific lineman on a FG attempt then they should be able to load up that side of the line to have a better shot at blocking the kick, they should be able to. On offense if a team want to have only the center up in the line of scrimmage, more power to them!

  43. The NFL that Roger Goodell operates is a sham. He isn’t concerned with the quality of the game, and his punative actions only pertain to the players.

    These union fed officials think they’re bigger than the game, and the league does nothing to change their point of view.

    I wouldn’t be suprised to see a gambling scandel in the near future.

  44. Did yinz ever think that starting the season 0-4 may have booted you from the playoffs? Get over it…no 8-8 team deserves to be in the playoffs!

  45. Florio, start being part of a sports news blog rather than a smarting Steeler fan. If the Steelers play-off hopes didn’t depend on the Chiefs-Chargers game, you would most likely be mute on this subject.

    Wring out your terrible towel and hang it up to dry until next year.

  46. ‘Illegal Formation’ rules are some of the worst in sports. A team should be able to line up however they please. On defense, If they want to rush nobody, so be it. If they want to line up in punt block formation every snap, so be it. If a team wants to go after a specific lineman on a FG attempt then they should be able to load up that side of the line to have a better shot at blocking the kick, they should be able to. On offense if a team want to have only the center up in the line of scrimmage, more power to them!

  47. thestrategyexpert, well said! Mike Holmgren was on a radio show recently and the host asked why not have the refs full time. Mike was part of the competition committee so he had insight and shut the idea down. Mike implied it was an impossible task that has been discussed multiple times. My point is why or who is holding a billion dollar business from hiring full time, fully trained, stellar staffed crew to ref these games?…..follow the money or lack of.

  48. Cute! I see plenty of bitter Steeler haters crawling out of the gutter.

    Facts are facts. The officials did blow two calls in the KC game. Simple as that. Sometimes you get calls against you and sometimes the league covers for you i.e. Spygate and the tuck rule, right Baaaston trolls?

  49. Instead of focusing on the two teams who actually played, Florio inexplicably has to make the real story about the Stealers. Waaaaah.

  50. hey bengal guy, you talk like the bengals were a dynasty or won a super bowl or two. does the name bungles ring a bell. as soon as your team plays a road playoff game your history if not sooner. lmao

  51. As a long-time Steelers fan, I was annoyed by the officiating. Overall, however, I am still proud of the effort that the team gave in the second half of the season. The Steelers overcame an abysmal 2-6 start and many key injuries to finish 8-8 and were alive right until the 4:25 game in week 17. If you told me in week 8 that I would be cheering for a playoff chance in the last week of the season, I would have called you crazy. Congratulations to the teams that made it in and hopefully the steelers build from the late-season momentum!

  52. When you have to rely on a team to get in you don’t deserve to get in. It’s probably karma though. I’ve seen the steelers (just one example) get so many breaks at the expense of other teams especially on their two title runs. And don’t get me started on the Patriots! It all comes back around though.

  53. As a Steeler fan, I could blame the officials for their gaffes, for Andy Reid for playing backups, and for Ryan Succop’s miss of an easy field goal. But when you start the season 0-4 and lose to teams such as the Vikes, Titans, Raiders and Miami (at home in the snow, no less), it’s perhaps time to look forward to next season. On a positive note, Mike Tomlin kept the ship afloat and no one quit on him. The players who stepped up in the second half of the season will make it an interesting off-season regarding inevitable changes coming to the roster.

  54. It’s ok Steelers fans. So the refs took a playoff spot from you, big deal. Don’t forget their generosity when they handed you that “One for the Thumb” back in ’05.

  55. It does seem that not only are there several officiating errors occurring this year but also occurring at pivotal moments of the game. Some of these errors are split-second judgment calls, but others are simply not knowing the rule or even knowing of the rule.

    I think this speaks more to there being too many rules in the NFL. How can a small team of people know all of these rules and apply them in a split second? This FG pre-snap rule I have never heard of. I only knew of the FG pre-snap rule where you cannot lineup a guy right over the center. What is the point of this rule? Safety? Of who? The kicker?

    Think about how many rules are added each year, but you never hear much about rules being removed.

  56. Dallas had one flag against them the entire game, despite a ton of holding, on both sides of the ball. Six flags on Eagles. Don’t want to hear about one flag called on Dallas.

  57. Hey Steeler fans…you’ve got your Bill Leavy calls from Super Bowl XL to comfort you this offseason. Snuggle up to them and enjoy them!

  58. And we want to blame the refs? Each year, more rules are added, but none are taken away, and the NFL expect the refs to just “keep up”. Well this is what happens when each ref has 50-100 rules to keep track of.

  59. When a team has to rely on officiating or another team’s success or failure, to get into the playoffs then they aren’t taking care of business. If the Steelers wanted in perhaps they should have won more games.

  60. mike florio:

    Born: Wheeling, West Virginia (1 hour from pittsburgh)

    Raised: Wheeling, West Virginia (1 hour from pittsburgh)

    College: Carnegie Mellon (pittsburgh) and WVU

    I am never surprised by stories like this by you.

  61. Not even a peep on this site when new england stole a win against Cleveland with a bogus pass interference call.

    Not even a peep.

  62. If the Chargers blocked the kick because of it I could see some legitimate whining but it didn’t influence the kick so who cares.

    KC can get in line with the rest of the 31 teams that have had bad and questionable calls that have impacted games.

  63. I can live with mistakes like the refs inexplicably going for illegal contact instead of Pass interference despite contact being initiated before AND after on a pass thrown which was catchable. That kind of judgement error happens in many games. Hell, Steelers fans were pissed when Balt didn’t get a penalty on the 2 point conversion for PI even though I personally felt it was not a major injustice. No use complaining about those calls. What we can complain about are obvious blunders like no penalty on TOmlin in that Ravens game or the horrible calls in the GB g- Steelers game.

    But this game takes the cake. I can’t remember a team sneaking into the playoffs as SD did with so many lucky breaks – playing at home against a team resting most of its starters, and then winning the OT coin toss. But OK, that’s luck that is not uncommon. But then, on top of that, they benefit from three big calls, two of them blatant in a span of 10 minutes at the end of a game which gives the other team less of a chance to make up for the errors and each call could have resulted in the other team instantly winning, yes, people have a right to bitch. Not to mention, these lucky calls came at the literal end of the AFC conference season.

  64. Not so goodell hates the steelers as much as he loves the pats. I hate the steelers too but i like to watch fair games which wasn’t so much for the sd vs kc game. And for all those thinking he hss no control over the refs or the nfl needs to wake up cause he runs it and if they do something he doesn’t like they get basicaly pats fans you need to realize you get lots of calls

  65. I’m a steeler fan. But how can any NFL fan be happy over a bad call? My least favorite team in the NFL is the Packers. I was not happy when they got jobbed against Seattle (iI believe that was last year). I believe d Jackson got jobbed in super bowl against Pittsburgh on the push off. Yes I know its very technical because he did slightly push off, but I hadn’t seen that call all season on similar plays. The consistency of the refs is awful this days. I wasn’t happy seeing the ravens get screwed on the “unnecessary roughness” when the Bengal game was still within reach. Where the hell did fan integrity go? The steelers made their bed with an 0-4 start, I can live with that. I can’t leave with moron homers of every team who believe every other franchise other than theirs should get screwed because of “karma”. If you are gonna act like a JV fan, go watch some NCAA. I cheer for correct calls, and for the team who deserved to win winning a football game. I’m proud the steelers didn’t sign Curtis painter after an 0-4 start and play the draft pick game after only 25% of the season was done. Some franchises try to win with integrity still. Good luck all playoff teams, thanks for playing as hard as you could chief backups I can’t be mad your team earned the right for some rest.

  66. Last year the NFL wanted a brother vs. brother Super Bowl. They got it. This year they seem to want Peyton Manning to win another Super Bowl. I have a feeling that they’ll get that too.

  67. You can hate the Steelers all you want and be glad they missed the playoffs. But as an NFL fan, you should be disgusted that none of the referees on the field, in the booth or anywhere in relation to that game, knew the rules.

  68. If the Chargers had blocked the kick or disrupted the kicker that might carry some weight. But Succop shanked it all on his own. Mistakes in reffing are a part of the game and all the whining won’t change next week’s playoffs.

  69. Steelers didn’t make the playoffs not because of the call but because they couldn’t beat the Raiders lol

  70. Well maybe it’s time to replace these officials who seem to be way too old and slow. IMO, once you’re over 60, no way you should be on the field with these guys and be expected to keep up…amazing there hasn’t been a serious injury/or heart attack yet…

  71. Hmmm…haven’t the Stealers won a few Superbowls with questionable calls? Didn’t they tell everyone to get over it? That if they had played like championship teams, then a bad call or two wouldn’t matter?

    Isn’t karma a beatch? 🙂

  72. they botched the fake punt in multiple ways, first not reviewing the fumble, but also not reviewing the spot before the helmet came off. they allow SD to have OL push the HB until he fumbles then oh, lets force a play in there

    then there is the FG. they had 12 men, and 8 on one side which is also illegal.

    if this was game of any meaning for KC, it would be one of the worst screw jobs in recent memory.

  73. And the 49ers should have won the west, if it hadn’t been for the bogus call n drew Bree’s….but there’s blown calls in every game, every weekend….

  74. The officiating has been horrible this year…but what are they trying to officiate with? A terrible, bloated, confusing rulebook. At this rate, every potential scoring play will be reviewed, not just actual scoring plays.

  75. I would bet my last dollar if that was the Raiders … the Chiefs would got a second shot of making that FG.

  76. It’s fixed!! And once the league office handles all reviews, it will be worse!! Not because of poor decision making, but because of marketing & tv ratings-based officiating. Small market teams won’t stand a chance unless they have a political reason to curry favor with the powers-that-be….it will look more & more like the WWE

  77. Haven’t we been told over and over and over that the NFL favors certain teams, such as the NFL team in the SW corner of PA? Or is it doG who favors some teams over others?

    I guess the NFL and officials (or is it doG) just didn’t have enough time to get the signals to go in favor of one of the NFL’s favored teams?

  78. The rules are the rules of course, but during the course of the season, the Steelers lost to a sub-par Vikings team, got beat by Terrell Pryor and the Raider, lost the home opener to the Titans, who went on to prove that they weren’t a very good team. The icing on the cake was losing at home to the Dolphins during a snow storm. Any Steeler fans bemoaning the refs for this call hasn’t been paying attention. The Steelers just aren’t a playoff caliber team.

  79. If we have to worry about every call going right in every game during week seventeen, we probably didn’t deserve to be playing for the title anyways. We struggled to start the season and caught a roll towards the end. We still have gone ten years without a losing season, which is not too shabby. A lot to build on for next year.

  80. Who caress. A lot of teams have been screwed by calls this season that didn’t result in as many stories. Lets not blame the refs in a game where the steelers aren’t playing in…..blame the Steelers for their 0-4 start and finishing the season 8-8. Mediocre.

  81. PFT = Pittsburgh Feels Taken?

    Sometimes, when you’re tired and feeling grumpy you just can’t help but let your true feelings be known. Your boys didn’t make the playoffs (again) mike, time to give it a rest.

  82. So I guess that’s why the Chiefs called timeout before the Chargers kneeled for the final time in regulation… Too bad the refs didn’t pick up on that and, you know, review the play.

  83. Why should they be upset? They only made it this far because of two no calls that helped them win earlier – the no call against Tomlin in the Ravens game and the no call in the Bengals game when the punter was hit. Both no calls affected the final score of the game. What goes around comes around.

  84. What would have gotten the Steelers into the playoffs was beating the Vikings,Raiders and the Dolphins. Play better football and Pitt is in. No excuses from this Pit fan. Andy Reid always rests his players if he can. Then again how many Superbowls has he won?

  85. It appears to my eyes that the rules have become overly complicated, so much so that I’m not sure any group of officials can keep them all straight during the excitement of the games. Maybe the rules committee could try some simplifying in the off-season, you know the “KISS” methodology.

  86. I’m a Steeler fan and I ain’t whining. We only have ourselves to blame as we didn’t win enough winnable games early in the season. Blame yourself when performance falls short – not others. If you are relying on others to do their job (Leavy, Succup, Reid et al) to get in the tournament … well,you didn’t belong there anyway.

    As for Florio being a Steeler homer. Seriously folks. Get a grip. Two whole articles on a critical game to determine playoff participants and that proves Florio is a homer? Guess they don’t teach deductive reasoning in your part of the world. So what do the umpteen articles by the same Florio on Big Ben and his misadventures constitute then? If articles written about subjects constitutes favoritism I’d suggest the Jets and Rex Ryan are more the favorites. Dozens of articles about nothing instead of two about a legitimate topic.

  87. I’m not sure what has been worse this year the horrible officiating or Florios so called journalism skills. Every fan of every team has got hosed this year by the refs at some point.

  88. It shouldn’t have come down to this anyway. The Steelers only have themselves to blame for missing out on the postseason. Should have never lost to inferior teams like the Ravens, Raiders and Dolphins.

  89. The week before the league acknowledged that the refs didn’t let the Packers hike the ball when the clock started running giving the Steelers the win and a chance at the playoffs.

  90. Aww for God-sake, knock it off!!!! Pittsburgh, if ya wanted to get in the Tournament, ya should’ve won more games period!!!!
    Ya wanna win another Lombardi Pittsburgh? Here’s a thought……GET BETTER!!
    WHO DEY & out!

    just what the bungles will be doing next week
    WHO DEY ONE & out!

  91. Please stop pointing out how Leavy’s ineptitude cost the Steelers a playoff berth as it prevents Seahawks fans from running their “Leavy is a Steeler homer” thread. It’s much better to have them believe they were cheated out of a SB instead of beaten for one.

  92. So people are ok with an officiating error not only affecting the outcome of a game, but the playoff seeding as well?

    This is a huge error by the league and I’ll be shocked if they acknowledge publicly how they screwed up and possibly put the wrong team into the playoffs.

  93. the chiefs should be fined for not putting their starters on the field in a division matchup that had playoff implications. if the steelers are mad at anyone, it should be andy reid.

  94. Steelers are not in the playoffs because they are not good enough.

    You can’t open a season 0-4 in September and expect to play on January.

  95. Think of all the eggs the Steelers laid early in the season. If they had won just one of those games, they would be in.

  96. I never thought I’d be defending the officiating in the NFL, but this is an example of an obscure rule that I’ll bet the logic of which is lost on the vast majority of fans. How are the refs supposed to remember every rule in what has to be a 6-inch thick rule book?

  97. I think it’s funny that Florio mentioned ‘One for the Thumb.’ Wasn’t that the SB that was given to the Steelers with call after call?

    NOTE: Weddel’s helmet came off during the fake punt attempt. The play then stops at that moment – BEFORE there was a fumble. Wasn’t anyone watching?

  98. “Instead, Steelers fans will spend the offseason wondering whether their team could have replicated what the Steelers accomplished in 2005, when Pittsburgh parlayed the No. 6 seed into the long-coveted One for the Thumb.”

    Trust me, Steelers fans would be doing this anyway. It seems you can’t root for the Steelers unless you sign a paper vowing to do nothing but belly ache about every unthrown flag, even flags that aren’t thrown against division rivals in games the Steelers aren’t even playing.

  99. Forget about this play – If they determine an error was made on the fake punt play, for the first time in the history of the NFL the W should be reversed and given to KC.

  100. How can one not look at a formation and realize it is wrong? How much do the nfl refs gamble?

  101. I wish there would be more division games. If the Steelers could play the Ravens, Bengals and Browns more often, it’d be a cake walk into the playoffs every year.

  102. Trust me, Steelers fans would be doing this anyway. It seems you can’t root for the Steelers unless you sign a paper vowing to do nothing but belly ache about every unthrown flag, even flags that aren’t thrown against division rivals in games the Steelers aren’t even playing.

    Now that is funny. Thanks for the laugh cry baby. Your posts since the ravens loss are borderline hysterical….relax skippy it’s just a game….also keep in mind you have the entire off season to bash the steelers…slow down you’ll hurt yourself.

  103. rocketcrab says: Dec 30, 2013 8:02 AM

    I never thought I’d be defending the officiating in the NFL, but this is an example of an obscure rule that I’ll bet the logic of which is lost on the vast majority of fans. How are the refs supposed to remember every rule in what has to be a 6-inch thick rule book?

    How are the refs supposed to remember every rule in the rule book? Easy, they get paid to do a job. And, every official on the field gets paid to pay attention to a certain area of the field. The ref that is paid to pay attention to how the defense lines up on a field goal attempt did not know his job. Therefore, he should not be paid. I can promise you that he made sure that no defender lined up on the head of the long snapper. Face it, the officials blew it.

  104. Not much that can be done here. Unless the league wants to bring KC back to San Diego and have the Chiefs try a 36 yard field goal to get the Steelers into the playoffs.

    I am sure if you go back and watch the entire game film. There will be plays where both teams could have been flagged for diferent things. Illegal formations, holding etc etc etc

    The rule was missed and the refs will be penalized for it by losing playoff money. The key thing here is that the kick was missed. The refs are more at blame here for not explaining the Weddle fumble. You owe it to the league to explain any rulings or non rulings on the field. If you determined that Weddle’s forward progress was stopped or that the play was over because his helmet was off. Then, state it after the play happens. Own up to your decisions.

  105. If you need a flag to be thrown in a game you aren’t even playing in to make the playoffs, there is nobody to blame but yourself.

    How about concentrating on winning your own games so you don’t have to rely on someone else winning/losing in week 17 to make the playoffs?

  106. Yes it’s the steelers fault for starting 0-4 but keep in mind they didn’t have pouncey,foote,miller, spaeth, or leveon bell.
    Pittsburgh has improved every game , and should be in the playoffs.
    Every team fighting for the 6th seed needed help from another team so do you blame them as well?
    San Diego got away with a horrendous no call by the refs, if you couldn’t see that the left side of that line was stacked then you shouldn’t be a ref, plain and simple.
    Just wait until next year all you steeler haters this team has found it’s groove finishing the season 8-4 in their last 12 games, need a few pieces on defense but this is easily a 10/11 win team in ’14

  107. As an NFL fan, I have never seen such bad officiating across the board in my nearly 40 years of watching this sport. I don’t know if the reason is that the refs have gotten worse, or because Goodell, in his zeal to make the game super safe, through the competition committee, has created TOO MANY rules that are hard to follow for the refs.

    Regardless of what was on the line for whichever team, it was still no excuse for the refs getting that call wrong. The two refs were looking right at the SD Chargers’ behinds while Succop was attempting the FG.

    All those referees had to do was COUNT. SD had 7 on that one side. Flags should have been thrown. Period. I don’t care what the outcome would have been. Succop should have gotten another shot.

  108. Yeah, funny you don’t see Steelers fans whining about the NFL acknowledged non holding call that cost them a playoff win against JAX. Google and you wont see much whining . Or the call in the TN playoff game in 2004. Despite both of those calls having a finality on the outcome with no chance of the steelers making up for those calls. Y0ou know why?> maybe some of us do exepect a certain amount of error among refs. What you saw in SD was beyond regular human error. Not only did we have to endure Succup making a mess of a great chance, we had to see the refs not only bungle on field rulings multiple times on the final 3 drives of the game, there were multiple blunders on the same fake punt play where forward progress ruling was so iffy, but then KC was incorrectly denied every a replay on the spot of the first down. how the hell did Leavy even rule where forward progress was ruled whe SD was clearly stopped more on one spot before first down. When the fumble happened , the SD players were moving more than they were before the earlier pause short of the first down. Worst case, because of the helmet rule, KC should at least have been given the ball either on downs or on the fumble but no return since the helmet fell off

  109. I am a Steeler fan. Yes, the refs blew it, but so what? It happens to every team. You know what’s funny? I don ‘t see any Steeler fans crying about the lousy officiating. In fact, I see fans saying they should have played better during the year and controlled their own destiny, as I have said a number of times. They started out poor but came on pretty strong and frankly were playing as well as anybody at the end. They humiliated the Bengals a few weeks ago and beat the Packers. It just wasn’t meant to be for them this year. Steeler fans have nothing to be sad about. We have had more than our fair share of success over the years.

    But what I Do see are dozens and dozens of other teams’ fans, yes those fans whose teams are also out of the playoffs, who are totally whining about Steeler fans supposedly whining! These people are merely trying to make themselves feel better since misery loves company. It is laughable! Go look in the mirror, whiners! We will let you borrow a Terrible Towel to wipe your tears. HA HA HA!!

  110. the no call against Tomlin in the Ravens game and the no call in the Bengals game when the punter was hit. Both no calls affected the final score of the game. What goes around comes around.

    Idiot, Steelers still lost that game. You don’t hear many steelers fans whining about the lack of PI on the final 2 pointer because that is analogous to how Seattle wsa whining about many of the calls they felt didn’t go their way. I personally feel the Steelers ddidnt deserve that PI call even though Flacco gets those kind of calls routinely .
    Seattle, YOU LOST BY 11 points. Steelers got robbed by the refs on a phantom holding call on Aaron Smith in a great 3rd Q comeback aginst NE in 2004. But Steelers couldn’t whine, you know why? Steelres lost that game by a double digit margin at the end. And they ahd time to make up for that call which is a judgement call.

    As far as Cinci, how many points did Cinci lose by? You seriously say that call or non call is in the same league as the fumble or non penalty on the FG attempt in terms of obvious non calls? And even if you did, Cinci got beaten decisively even before that punt. That was not a close game.

  111. Florio, Steelers should have won more games and not had to rely on someone to win for them. Pathetic way of using that excuse.

  112. Gotta love idiot Steeler haters! The refs blew the game! Let’s concentrate on that and realize how terrible they’ve been all year! You love it when it costs another team a win or in this instance a playoff spot but when it’s your team you scream and rant. Hate the Steelers and the fans all you want but don’t let that get in the way of a real issue, the integrity of the game! Now hate on you dolts!

  113. What a shame. After all, the Steelers NEVER get any calls their way.

    Karma sure has been a b*tch since Tomlin’s “accidental” move on the sidelines against the Ravens.

  114. @thinredline69 says: Nov 29, 2013 4:08 PM
    Like it or not, the Steelers will be in the playoffs this year. Go ahead and roll your eyes, chuckle, whatever you have to do….but I encourage all doubters to BOOKMARK this post then comeback to take your medicine once this prophecy is fulfilled.

    Bookmarked!!!! And BTW Steelers fans, we are not whining about you whining. We are smiling and chuckling!!! Have a nice offseason.

  115. I didn’t have a dog in this fight but the officiating has been horrible all year. I think fans do not realize that it is perfectly legal for the NFL to fix outcomes of games. It is illegal for players and gamblers but the NFL can do what they want in the best interest of the league. It is one rung down the ladder from WWE.

    It is quite obvious that certain officials should not be on the field. The referee position has become a look at me contest. They want to be noticed and have egos as large as the players. The officiating changes based on the score and it has ended up costing teams that have built a sizeable lead in the first half.

    Most guys working the side cannot even accurately spot the ball. Fouls like illegal contact and offensive PI are called on a whim without consistency. If you cannot remember to count the number of players on each side of the center on a critical field goal, something is up. They effect the outcome of the game by not calling a foul. Perhaps this is the by-product of too many obscure rules? Perhaps these rules should be enforced by the replay official?

    The state of NFL officiating is in it worst condition ever. If the league was about integrity, things would change. Coaches should be able to challenge any play and keep challenging as long as the win the previous challenge. Shouldn’t the goal be to get every call correct. Shouldn’t officials be removed from assignments when the error on calls?

    One example from last nights Cowboys game. The HL – on the Cowboys side at the time – called a hold on the Eagles center on a run to his side. The problem is his key is the tackle on that play. The referee and umpire have the center and neither called a hold. At that point in the game the Eagles were in control and headed for another score. This call stopped the drive and kept the Cowboys in the game.

  116. Team partizanship aside, the refs have been hideous all year. And each week they found creative ways to screw a different team and ruin the premise of uncorrupted sport.

    I’m a Patriots fan and all year I have been yelling about this aspect of the game. And I continue to warn all of you not to celebrate it when it happens to a team you hate. Yours may be next.

    God forbid, the playoffs begin this coming Saturday.

  117. People whining about SBXL is like Cornhusker fans crying about the Penn State game call from 32 years ago.

    Get over it!

  118. I dont see any Steeler fans whining or making excuses and blaming the refs for not making it in the playoffs.

    In fact, most, if not all are saying the steelers blew it early in the season losing to some weak teams.

    That being said, horrible officiating yesterday ( most of the year actually!) I can deal with calls or non-calls made as judgement by the refs. I can’t accept, nor should any fan, missed calls on standard things like formation, or not knowing what the rules are!

    As far as the fake punt thing goes, I’d at least like an explanation from the refs etc as to why it’s not reviewable? How did they come to think forward progress was stopped when the whole pile was still moving? It’s ridiculous really!

  119. the chiefs should be fined for not putting their starters on the field in a division matchup that had playoff implications. if the steelers are mad at anyone, it should be andy reid.

    As mad as I was at Reid for starting so many bench players, let’s face it, at least he had a right to do so. I do think he should have played a few more starters to tune them up for a quarter or a half, but that did not cost the Steelers a playoff berth as the backups were the ones that nearly won this game. The one guy who messed up was the kicker who was not a backup. It is unfair that SD lucked out playing backups, but it is perfectly legal and not uncommon. No, I will only blame the refs for three bad calls in three final drives of the game though the third call was not egregious but more of a judgement call where they called illegal contact instead of PI. Still the timing and severity of the other two calls is what stings. It seems like SD was getting a break so many times in those final minutes. Each time, it seemed like KC would overcome that call, the ref would mess up again.

  120. I am one of the biggest Steelers fans you will find and although it’s been a tough year; I am proud of my team. One word of advice for those who have a team in the playoffs: Pray for leniency when being assigned a referee crew. I remember when a blown call would have caused all hell to break lose, now it’s part of the game. Don’t forget last year’s Seattle-GB game.. To all those who don’t think this is a big deal, I have to assume your team has yet to be affected. The integrity of the game has taken a back seat to the rabid search for late hits and helmet to helmet contact. I have to believe the rulebook, like the tax code, is too daunting and ambiguous; I had no idea SD should have been flagged for a penalty on KC’s last second field goal.

    Steeler hater or not, the refs were directly involved in yesterday’s playoff seedings. Did SD commit a penalty on the last second field goal; Yes…. I know there are those who will say “he could have missed his second attempt..” The tragedy is that we will never know and now must wait for the clowns in black and white to screw up again..

  121. Can’t blame no one but ourselves for this. We started out too slow. But, the refs have blown so many calls this year… it’s ridiculous!! They need more training!!! Not just for my Steelers but for the rest of the league as well!!! Incompetent!!! But, I’ll take them over the “replacements” anytime!!!

  122. Clearly obvious the NFL wanted the Chargers in the playoffs this year. Last weeks refereeing insanity against Oakland, and more blatant officiating again this week.

    Chargers didn’t earn this, it was given to them.

  123. Oh for crying out loud, Go Home Pittsburgh you’re drunk! This is proof positive that the Steelers have never lost a game in all of their time in the league, they have always been screwed….GET OVER IT, YOU SUCKED THIS YEAR! If anyone should have been there it should have been the chiefs, you should have never had a chance.
    How many games have the officials gone the way of the Steelers just because they were the Steelers? Karma is a bitch!

  124. …and a very Merry Christmas to all, and to all Steeler fans good night!

    PS – don’t forget to watch the Bengals, rulers of AFC Norris division in the pa pa pa pa-layoffs!!!!

  125. Oh for crying out loud, Go Home Pittsburgh you’re drunk! This is proof positive that the Steelers have never lost a game in all of their time in the league, they have always been screwed….GET OVER IT, YOU SUCKED THIS YEAR! If anyone should have been there it should have been the chiefs, you should have never had a chance.
    How many games have the officials gone the way of the Steelers just because they were the Steelers? Karma is a bitch!

    A little too much red bull there skippy. If you look real close the whiners are not steeler fans.hey, don’t let reality cloud the truth….hate on loser.

  126. I am a tried and true Steeler fan born and raised in the Burgh! The Burgh is a small market area that has a huge fan following, and owners with integrity.

    Yes, did I want to see them in the play-offs of course, that is what the team and the city are Champions, so to all the Steeler haters out there hate away we don’t care. There are few teams in the NFL or any other sport out there that has what Steeler Nation has.

    I don’t live in the Burgh anymore and the Steeler nation is huge in the south where I live now! It is huge no matter where we travel we travel with integrity. Blue Collar ethics travel with us all.

    Call us squealers, or cry babies or God’s team whatever you want, it does not matter. Nor do true Steeler fans care.

    We beat ourselves this season, we did not deserve to make the playoffs this year. Bad calls are made all of the time, it happens. The NFL needs to look at simplifying the game rules too many vague off the wall rules in place.

    Look out next season, the Steelers will be back and ready to go. So what are you all going to cry about and play the blame game about then?

    Florio is from the Pittsburgh area, of course he is a fan. Think of all of the greats that came from Western Pa that play[ed] the game it is mind blowing, we grow them that way in PA! So grow up and deal with it. 🙂

  127. gallopinggilmore says:
    Dec 30, 2013 12:33 AM
    I have a feeling that a Manning-Brady AFC Championship is already written in stone. A shame, the Pats are clearly a poor team this year. It’ll be interesting to see how far the refs go to make it happen.
    So how do you figure that when they gave the Jets a second chance at a game winning field goal? That call aside, they Pats are #1 seed. That was based on a new rule as well. Interesting they got that one right. How about the Keukley no PI call on Gronk in the Carolina game? Every team has had it’s share of phantom PI calls so call that a wash.

    Pats have suffered the most games lost to starters of any NFL team this year(190) and lost Hernandez before game one. They lost 3 Pro Bowl players (Wilfork, Mayo, Gronk). They handed Welker to Manning and Woodhead to Rivers and STILL get a bye.

    Best Team, Coach, QB, Organization in NFL history, whether they win or lose this year. And yes, Brady v Manning is still what everyone wants to see.

  128. billybone:

    Yeah good thoughts. But I don’t think full-time refs is the issue. It doesn’t matter because no ref can be perfect all the time. This isn’t a ref issue so much as a process issue. Although there are still ref issues because the refs are indeed not nearly as good as they should be, but that’s skinning a cat the more difficult way if you are only focusing on how to get better refs or make them better. That’s still possible and should be done, but as an extra bonus on top of creating a great officiating system that doesn’t allow injustices to occur.

  129. This is what’s been going on all year with the officials they should have ended the season 12-4 with 2nd stringers it was a clear infraction but there is a lot of teams that have the same argument about them in different games

  130. Dear Steelers,

    Handle your OWN business, then you won’t have to depend on Kansas City or an official’s call to get you in the playoffs. Remember that underachieving start at the beginning of the season? Well, re-visit that and you’ll find why you missed the playoffs, not because of an “illegal formation.”

    The same goes for my Saints. We had NO BUSINESS rooting for the enemy Falcons to beat the Panthers! Dat was sick! If they handled their business in St. Louis, NY, and New England, they would have had a first round bye. Because they didn’t, they go to Chilly Philly. Plain and simple.

    When teams make their beds, they must lie in them~on the road! In hotels. Then Tom Bodett has to leave the lights on for them.

    Don’t blame others~including officials, or a kicker for not bailing you out in the end. Treat every game with urgency like Seattle and Denver did, no stupid personal fouls, and other penalties, and you can sit awaiting the lowest seed to come visit you.

    Geaux Saints. Let’s see what you’re made of.

  131. I’m not sure which was worse, the officiating in this game that kept the Chargers alive time and time again, or the fact that the Chargers had to go to OT to beat the Chiefs 2nd and 3rd string players…LOL

  132. Not that I’m crying about it, but the NFL officiating this season all around really sucked. Need to fine all of them and bring back the replacements…..oh wait, that didn’t work out too well either.

  133. From a Steeler fan, the Steelers needed to win enough games to get in the playoffs on their own. With that said the KC Chiefs, Steelers, and the fans got screwed however, this happens to most teams. The NFL has to do something to fix the problem with the Ref’s. NCAA football can do it why not the NFL? On another note. The Steeler haters and crying Seahawk fans need to get over it. The Steelers DOMINATED the Seahawks the entire Super Bowl. The Seahawks were the number one offense in the league that year and got dominated and were totally out coached.

  134. But wait, I thought the Steelers were the refs’ pets. I thought they ALWAYS got the calls. What happened?

    It’s quite a problem for the haters. They so love laughing, but by laughing they’re admitting the Steelers DON’T always get the calls, because then they wouldn’t be laughing in the first place. But WAIT — if the Steelers don’t always get the calls, then all this smack they talked was wrong in the first place. Uh oh!

    True Steeler fans don’t cry and blame the refs, they man up and admit the real reasons their team didn’t make it. Only Seahawk fans and haters use the ref excuse.

  135. I dont mean to berate Steeler fans. They seem ok. …unlike whining Bronco fans. Its just the way it is. Bad calls go around for everyone. and we have had our share.

  136. Yeah–like the missed call on an illegal helmet to helmet cheap shot on a defenseless player that was the Bengal’s punter Huber that would have negated a returned touchdown on a punt–calls like that that are missed by the officials–good point

    Awwwwww, cry me a RIVERS, Stoolers fans!!!! You’re out, your team is crap and a bunch of cheap shot artists with a cheater coach, stepping on the field, sexually assaulting QB and you have the worst fan base in history—empty seats for MNF??? Get lost and get over it cry babies

  137. I will say this, all teams do get bad calls during the course of the season. But this one cost the steelers at chance at the playoffs on the last regular season week of the year. Its totally different. I don’t see many steeler fans whining but if they did they certainly have probable cause too. I’ve seen fans of all teams whine about something in a game that didn’t even have playoff implications.

  138. Can’t believe all the belly-aching over an extra man being on the other side of the center. Does not negate the fact that the kick did not go through the uprights. Having that extra man lined up wrong did not cause the football to duck hook or the field to wobble.

    The Chargers are the poster children for having ref mistakes keep them out of games/playoffs. Having them line seven on one side of the ball did not cause the Steelers to lose their first four games.

    No defense like a good offense right Tomlin?

  139. Lol at everyone hating on the Steelers! Omg if it was YOUR team, you’d be crying and complaining the same way! Just like Packers fans were when that abysmal call was made last season during the Seahawks game. Officiating does matter! It costs the Steelers a playoff spot and Kansas City a win (whether that win mattered or not).

    Should the Steelers have handled their business games ago? Absolutely! But like other Steelers fans have said, I’m actually happy the way they played the rest of their season out. 8-8 isn’t terrible when 2 of your key and main players are out for the season, injuries here and there from key starters, adjusting to a new offensive system, losing Mike Wallace to free agency….oh and starting out 0-4. That goes to show the kind of franchise and dynasty they are.

    The way the Steelers started to play, if they had made playoffs, I believe they could’ve done some damage in the playoffs and been a dangerous team. So you’re welcome Cincy, because guess what? If the Steelers got in, you guys would be one and done like you are every season you make playoffs! I hate the Ravens with a passion, but at least they’re a threat…cincy not so much. And as a Steelers fan, I’m excited for next season. Especially with Big Ben’s play, Bell, Brown, the offense coming together, Polamalu fully healthy, etc. If they make the right moves in the offseason, I’m confident they’ll take the AFC North and make a heck of a superbowl run, if not, get a superbowl title.

  140. My point is this. It had nothing to do with the outcome of the play. Had they lined up heavy on one side, rushed in and blocked the kick, all the whining would be justified. It was more like a hold 100 feet away from the play. The kick was missed period. Now go away and embrace your mediocrity.
    Who knows?…..maybe….just maybe… next year…..Mars, Venus and Uranus will line up, you guys can lose your first four games and back into the playoffs with dignity and once again proclaim you greatness.

  141. Steelers were the 5th LEAST penalized team this year, so the conspiracy theory is a bunch of b.s. The refs were poor all year all around. If the steelers were any good this year ( just like the ravens) they would have won more games and made the playoffs. Look it up and come up with another excuse.

  142. Instead of worrying about some bad calls in a game in week 17, maybe Steelers fans should be more concerned about having started the season 0-4.

    Enjoy watching the post-season from home for the 2nd straight season.

  143. Firstly, officiating errors are common in all sports. Secondly, the NFL Rule Book is becoming almost as complicated and arcane as the Rules of Golf and the officials are expected to make judgment calls on the fly, so there will be mistakes made. Having said that, I would think that one of the primary jobs of the official in the bottom right corner of the picture accompanying this article is to count the number of players on each side of the center. It’s a dead ball situation: he had time to make the proper call.

    I would suggest 4 things to improve the current

    1. Let coaches challenge any call.
    2. Have an automatic review of any play that could result in a change of possession, depending on the call.
    3. Have an automatic review of any play that could result in a score, depending on the call.
    4. Give each team 1 challenge in overtime.

  144. The refs aren’t getting worse. Who could possibly think this is true?

    The problem is that there are more and more rules added every year.

    How could a ref ever possibly call a game 100% accurately with so many damn rules?

  145. All the non-call did was rectify the wrong call from the Week 1 Texans vs. Chargers game. Had the officials got that call correct, the Chiefs/Chargers game wouldn’t have changed the playoff teams one bit.

    Enough already.

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