The talk on this is out of control and 95% of what I said last night was not heard correctly so I thought I would write it all down.
Here is my take on the calls and the officiating which I said last night was awful, was an embarrassment to the league and definitely was influential in the game
D-Jack TD offensive pass interference -- I can somewhat understand why the call was made since it was directly in front of the official and it had all the bearings of offensive pass interference. However, in reality it was a terrible call that cost the Hawks a touchdown.
Big Ben TD – The mechanics of the official were brutal, when he runs in from the side he has his hand up signaling 4th down and then on the second replay you can see when he raises his hand and it is when Michael Boulware walks in front of the officials vantage point the official then sees the ball in the end zone that he raises his arm for a TD. That makes the difference because the head official Leavy has the lowest % of overturned calls in the last 3 years so he was going to keep the call on the field no matter what the call was.
D-Jack TD on the bomb at the end of the 1st half – this is D-Jack fault. He has to get feet in. That is a lack of focus. But what infuriates me on this is that it was close, in fact I think it was a TD, his second foot knicks the pylon before his next foot knocks it over. What is overwhelming is that the Steelers call a TO and the guys upstairs never review the play. How can that be, How can they not review it or take another look at it when there is a timeout on the field.
Locklear Hold negating play to the 1 – Honestly I don’t know enough to understand what is and what isn’t holding. However, I will go with what Madden and others who I know said and they think it was an awful call. There has been a good deal of talk about whether or not the Steelers were offsides on this play and the next. I went frame by frame and didn’t think it was offsides, but it is obvious that they had figured out the snap count the Hawks were using or that Tobeck or Hasselbeck did something right before the snap, because they were moving unnaturally.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Hawks were responsible for this loss with their own mistakes. The next question is if these calls were all made correctly or mechanically correctly would the Hawks have been able to overcome their own errors?
The officiating had a huge impact on the game, the flow, etc. That is undeniable.
At the same time, the Hawks inability to finish drives. The Hawks inability to make plays and moreover the Stevens and Engram drops were huge. The injury to Manuel put the onus back on Ken Hamlin for his poor decisions in Pioneer Square, the injury to Bernard took away a huge play maker. The Steelers took advantage of that.
The officials were an influence on the game, more so then the NFL should ever allow. Did they determine the outcome of the game, that is up for debate.
Was the officials inadequacies intentional and part of a fix or a conspiracy. No. Get real that is crazy talk.