Good morning sports fans, and welcome to another episode of What’s A Catch?! In this controversial episode, the NFL has its fingerprints all over the outcome of Week 15’s ‘Game of the Week’. The New England Patriots took their talents to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. A game with major playoff implications in the AFC could only be called by the one, the only (broadcaster who doesn’t know how to shut up), Tony Romo!!
Through the cold and rain, the 1st quarter remained even. After Rex Burkhead dove in for a 1-yard touchdown, the Steelers marched down the field, tying the game at 7 on an Eli Rogers touchdown. The energy at Heinz Field was intense, as this game lived up to the hype.
Despite carrying a 17-10 lead into halftime, the 2nd quarter was a living nightmare for the Steelers. With just over 13 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Ben Roethlisberger attempted to hit his favorite target, Antonio Brown, in the end zone. Brown was unable to hang on to the 25-yard touchdown pass, as his leg was slammed between 2 Patriots’ defenders. Brown fell to the ground clutching his left calf. Early reports indicate Brown has a partially torn left calf muscle. To see the play, click here.
Without Brown, the other B stepped up; Le’Veon Bell. Bell had 165 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. He walked into the end zone from 3 yards out with 1:33 left in the 3rd quarter, giving the Steelers a 24-16 lead. That would be the last time the Steelers would score. Football fans over the past 15 years know that’s not a recipe for success against Tom Brady. 1 Patriots’ field goal and a Steelers’ 3-and-out later, Tom Brady had the ball, down 5, with 2:06 remaining.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it??
Brady targeted Rob Gronkowski 4 times during this 2-minute drill. Gronk would haul in 3 of those targets for 69 yards. It was like there was no one else on the field, and Brady and Gronk were playing catch in the backyard. In UnBradyLike fashion, the Patriots scored with too much time left on the clock (56 seconds). 1 play later, Big Ben and the Steelers were on the Patriots 10-yard line. Here’s where it gets interesting….
After the Steelers burned their final timeout, Big Ben connected with tight end, Jesse James, for a 10-yard touchdown. Heinz Field erupted. Jesse James and company celebrated. And Jim Nantz and Tony Romo saw nothing to suggest the play was in question. And then the review (every scoring play is reviewed) started to take a minute. 2 minutes. 3 minutes. A line from Cinderella Man instantly popped into my head:
“I’ll tell you this much, when they take this long to make a decision, they’re gonna decide to screw somebody.”
Obviously, the touchdown was overturned. Watch the play, then we’ll talk….
I don’t care that the NFL says a player must maintain possession of the ball through the entire motion of a catch (including contact with the ground). That silly rule doesn’t apply here. Jesse James scored a touchdown yesterday. He caught the ball while hitting the ground, THEN turned up field and reached for the end zone. After crossing the plane, and theoretically already scoring a touchdown, the ball jars loose from his Kung-Fu Grip, barely touching the ground.
Sooooo, the Steelers dusted themselves off, and took 2 more shots at the end zone. After a completion to the 7-yard line, the Steelers hurried back to the line. Big Ben faked a spike (that faked out 2 of his own receivers), and threw into traffic. A Patriots’ defender batted the ball up in the air, and it was intercepted. No touchdown. No field goal. No overtime. The Patriots stole another one against the Steelers, 27-24.
Home field, in the AFC, goes through Foxborough — for now.
Was it a catch???? Tell me in the comment section below.
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