Normally you don’t have such a bad taste in your mouth after a 35-3 win. If you know anything about me, it’s that I do my best to give referees the benefit of the doubt when it comes to questionable calls. But there was no question about the officiating today. The Steelers were not supposed to succeed in the eyes of Tony Corrente and his crew of referees. There is no other way to describe this, other than that the NFL is targeting the Steelers’ brand of football as illegal or dirty. But this game also serves as my basis for not blaming referees for a loss, because in the absolute worst-officiated game we’ve seen ever, the Steelers were still dominant and won the game. If there were ever a game that was determined by bad calls, this would have been it, but it did not deter the Steelers. It would be nice to see the league come out again and rescind most of those calls like they did after the Bengals game, but what’s done is done. The Steelers know they are a target for officials and the fans know it just as well.
Oh wait, I forgot the Steelers pay all the referees and get every call in every game. Jump for the recap.
Isaac Redman decides he’s a better option to field the opening kickoff than Emannuel Sanders. Steelers go 3-and-out.
Woodley gets a roughing the passer call for being an outside linebacker. At the time it looked like a bad call. Now it was probably the best call of the afternoon. Campbell sucks and throws a ball out of bounds. Some back judge feels bad and hands the Raiders another penalty. The defense is then allowed to play football for three plays and the Raiders kick a field goal. 3-0.
Arians goes all Whisenhunt on us again and calls the old modified flea-flicker. Randle El takes the snap, pitches it back to Ben, and he makes just an awful throw at Hines Ward downfield. It hits the ground. Nothing doing. Punt.
James Harrison drills Campbell in the hip. Ryan Clark torpedos Jacoby Ford with his shoulder in the back. Where he has padding. Clark is injured on the play. And then he gets a flag for helmet to helmet contact. As in, “you didn’t touch him anywhere near the helmet, but we’re being dicks today so you get 15 yards.” Dan Fouts or whoever he works with claims that the officials are sending a message considering these teams’ history (because Dwight White and Jack Tatum are obviousbly playing today) which means you have to flag every tackle because it’s Ryan Clark’s fault that Jack Lambert had lava for blood. The offense isn’t allowed to play either, so Ramon Foster gets called for… wearing a prime number, I guess. Mike Wallace gets tackled in midair (no penalty) but pulls in a catch for a first down.
Why on earth were we patient with this guy? Every WR since him has been a playmaker.
3rd & 7 should be the official down of Emmanuel Sanders. It seems like every other catch, he’s converting that.
The offense drives into the red zone on a Hines Ward catch-and-run.
Richard Seymour punches Maurkice Pouncey in a pile. Foreshadowing. That isn’t a penalty on Seymour because boys will be boys or something. Mendenhall headbutts a linebacker in the gut. Touchdown. Shaun Suisham gets a champion’s welcome in Heinz Field to kick the extra point. 7-3.
Thank god this thing is gone.
Farrior sacks Campbell and will probably be fined for not letting all the fans watch more pretty passes on every down. The announcers make a big deal about Shane Lechler dropping smelling salts on the field or some junk.
Antonio Brown runs a punt back to the house, but two penalties nullify a touchdown, of course. Silver lining: Antonio Brown is playing and is a thousand times cooler than Antwaan Randle El.
CBS keeps missing snaps like FSN misses faceoffs. Ben makes an ill-advised throw that somehow finds its way into Ward’s hands. Heath does what he does on a catch-and-run. A bunch of players start fighting each other and since the officials are trying to control the game, no penalties are enforced. Jon Scott is hurt on the play. Essex takes his place.
Sepulveda punts to a stumpy white dude. No clue what he’s about. Anthony Madison is everywhere on punts. What a player.
Shane Lechler comes back on with his smelling salts. Holy crap that is so interesting. I hope Chris Berman talks about that on Monday Night Football; we wouldn’t want the rest of the nation to miss out on all the smelling salt action in this game.
Wallace gets loose on a 19-yard double reverse. Announcer-that-isn’t-Dan-Fouts gets mad that an illegal block wasn’t called on the Steelers. I invite him to go chew on some tin foil for a few hours. He gets his wish when a nice Mendenhall run gets brought back on a holding call.
Ben does it himself on 3rd down. He rolls out, takes off, dodges a tackle, and stretches all the way into the end zone. Touchdown. Suisham for Pro Bowl. 14-3.
Madison makes another special teams tackle on Jacoby Ford, who is apparently a good kick returner.
Louis Murphy runs out of bounds as the ball flies over him. That is now a penalty on Ike Taylor.
Ike says “f you guys” and punches the ball out of Murphy’s hand on the next play. Timmons recovers his 900th fumble of the season. Backup tackle Matt Spaeth catches a ball just to remind you he’s still on the continent. Two-minute warning.
Ben hits Sanders and he bounces into the end zone. Touchdown, 21-3. Richard Seymour has a meltdown and punches Ben Roethlisberger in the face. Bye.
Get out, dirtbag.
I usually make fun of some dumb commercial or something in this spot, but I got nothin’. Instead, here’s a picture of Tom Brady being retarded.
Campbell falls down by himself and Harrison gets the easiest sack of his life. Smelling Salt punts.
Pouncey gets hurt.
Kemoeatu gets hurt.
A bouncing football makes its way to James Harrison. Intercepted. Nice hands.
The Steelers still aren’t permitted to make consecutive plays, so a Mendenhall run to the goal line is called back on holding. Mike Wallace tries to run before he catches a ball and drops it. Punt. Fair caught inside the 5.
Campbell throws a screen pass into the ground about 15 feet from his receiver. A microcosm of his day.
Harrison forces an errant throw, and Ike Taylor runs the pick into the end zone. But it comes back LITERALLY because James Harrison forced the errant throw. See when you get a quarterback in your arms, you can only knock him down if you don’t fall down on him now, but he has to have the ball, but if he doesn’t have the ball it’s only okay if he has the ball when you hit him, but if you’re James Harrison you lose and get fined regardless of what you do.
This is the worst officiating that has happened in the history of professional football. I’d kill for Phil Luckett to come back and finish this game. If I transcribed every personal foul that was called in this game, your browser would crash from the amount of text that would be on the page.
The fans start a “Ref, you suck” chant that is deafening even on TV. Great to see the fans have the proper reaction. Corrente’s wife is cheating on him right now.
Bruce Gradkowski relieves Campbell. All of a sudden the Raiders’ offense starts clicking. You remember 2009.
Somehow, some way, the defense goes a play without a penalty and Troy Polamalu picks off a pass.
Apparently Tony Corrente figured his work was done (for the next year or so) and took the beginning of the 4th quarter off.
Mike Wallace scores a touchdown on a sick run-after-catch. 28-3.
Clark hurts himself on a submarine tackle of Darren McFadden. The Steelers call a timeout. The Raiders punt. Antwaan Randle El is back to not fumble as the Steelers go into ball-protect mode.
Ben runs for 32 yards but TONY CORRENTE IS BACK IN ACTION. Holding, 10 yard penalty. At least it was downfield enough to still be a first down run. Whatever, Steelers punt.
Bryant McFadden sacks Gradkowski in there somewhere. He is clearly not adapting to the defense quite as well as he did last season. James Harrison doesn’t get up right away after a play. Corrente probably wants to flag him for something but his imagination for penalties is spent.
Grind, grind, grind. Mendenhall chips away with one run after another, and Ben hits Mike Wallace for a big gain. Mendenhall fumbles on the next play. It’s his first fumble of the season or something. He gets a pass on this one.
The Raiders herp and derp their way down the field only to eventually turn it over on downs.
Isaac Redman comes in to close out the game. He scores a touchdown. 35-3.
Corrente isn’t done though, so he calls some bullshit penalty on the Raiders during the extra point.
Corrente sucks. Game over.
- There’s nothing you can even say about the penalties in this game. Either I, the Steelers, and all their fans don’t understand the rules of football anymore, or Tony Corrente doesn’t understand the rules of football.
- There are no more offensive lineman in Pittsburgh. Wonder what Justin Hartwig is up to?
- Before the game, some talking head somewhere predicted that Darren McFadden would be the running back to break free against the Steelers. 10 carries: 14 yards. Don’t run on the Steelers.
- Buffalo had a huge comeback today for a convincing win. Not a team to overlook right now.