Mike Tomlin did not hide his displeasure with how the final couple plays of regulation unfolded in Sunday night’s Steelers vs. Seahawks game. Pittsburgh’s coach laid into the referees for a critical call they made that he believes enabled Seattle to push the game to overtime.
“I just hated it,” Tomlin said of the officials’ decision to review a DK Metcalf catch with seconds left on the clock. “I cannot believe that the game was stopped to confirm ‘catch-no catch’ in that moment. That’s all I’m going to say.”
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Seattle was approaching field goal range with 18 seconds left on the clock and no timeouts when Geno Smith completed a pass on the sideline to Metcalf. For whatever reason, Metcalf didn’t step out of bounds and ended up fumbling the ball.
The Seahawks recovered it, but they had just 11 seconds on the clock to get the ball spotted and perform a spike to set themselves up for a game-tying field goal.
As the clock wound, the Seahawks got in position to spike the ball and appeared to clock it with one second left in the game. However, the officials had blown the play dead with three seconds left to review whether Metcalf had made the catch.
That ensured that, following the review, the Seahawks would easily be able to spike the ball and set up a 43-yard field goal attempt for Jason Myers.
Tomlin was visibly upset after the play and got into a shouting match with the referees.
It’s easy to understand why Tomlin was miffed, as there didn’t seem to be any doubt that Metcalf had made the catch in bounds. Was the Steelers’ coach given any explanation for the referees’ decision to stop the game?
“That’s all I’m going to say,” Tomlin said. “It was an embarrassment.”
In the end, the play didn’t end up mattering. The Seahawks appeared to have spiked the ball with one second left before the play was blown dead anyway, and the Steelers emerged with a 23-20 victory in overtime.
Nonetheless, Tomlin’s rage will draw attention from the NFL, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tomlin end up a bit lighter in the wallet in wake of his comments.