Steelers News

Mike Pereira Addresses Tom Brady’s Controversial 3rd Quarter Fumble

In the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots it looked as though the visiting team got robbed of a much-needed turnover in the third quarter.

On a 3rd and 1 play from the Patriots 45-yard-line with 11:43 left in the third quarter, New England quarterback Tom Brady unsurprisingly attempted a sneak right of his center. Brady was hit by Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons and the football came out as the quarterback was going to the ground. Steelers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave eventually emerged from the scrum with the football but the officials on the field ruled that it was still the Patriots football.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin then proceeded to throw his red challenge flag before the Patriots could snap the football again.

“Pittsburgh has challenged that the runner fumbled and they clearly recovered the football, timeout,” referee Terry McAulay announced to the crowd.

The replay shows that Brady did indeed fumble the football and Hargrave was shown emerging from the pile with it in his right hand. The officials, however, reviewed the play and ruled that the call on the field stood.

Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former Vice President of Officiating and current rules analyst at FOX Sports, posted on Twitter that he thought that Brady clearly fumbled. He did add, however, that in order to reverse the call on the field, that you have to see a clear recovery before the ball enters the scrum and that Hargrave emerging with it is not a clear recovery and that’s the reason the call on the field stood as Brady being down.

At the time of the play the Patriots were leading the Steelers 17-9. After the call on the field was upheld, the Patriots offense ran three more plays before their drive stalled and they kicked a field goal.

It was a big play in the game and while trailing at the time, the Steelers offense surely could have used a turnover there that would have given them the football on the Patriots side of the 50-yard-line. Sure, the Patriots probably would have still went on to win the game based on the way Brady was carving up the Steelers defense, but that’s beside the point. It sure looks like the Steelers got the shaft on this particular play and we’ll leave it at that.

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