The Pittsburgh Steelers incurred three defensive pass interference penalties in their Sunday loss to the New Orleans Saints and that tied their single-game high for the season. Not only that, all three of those defensive pass interference penalties against them ultimately resulted in Saints touchdowns, the last of which was the game-winning score with 1:28 left in the fourth quarter.
If you’re scoring at home, the Steelers have now been called for defensive pass interference 12 times in total on the season with one of those being declined as it happened during a touchdown reception. Additionally, only three other teams have incurred more defensive pass interference penalties than the Steelers have entering the final week of the 2018 regular season (New Orleans Saints 18, Kansas City Chiefs 16, San Francisco 49ers 13).
Those 11 accepted defensive pass interference penalties called against the Steelers so far this season also resulted in 209 yards being assessed and that’s the third-most in the NFL entering Week 17. And of those 11 drives in which the Steelers incurred the accepted defensive pass interference penalties, 10 of them culminated in scores with 7 ending in touchdowns and three others ending in field goals.
While costly in yardage and ultimate scores, the Steelers wound up going 5-1-1 in the seven games that they incurred defensive pass interference penalties in. That lone loss as you’ve already probably figured out by now was against the Saints. That game in New Orleans, in case you need reminding, was officiated by the Craig Wrolstad crew, who also officiated the Steelers Week 9 road game against the Baltimore Ravens that also included three defensive pass interference penalties being called on the Steelers.
Perhaps the Steelers should have seen those defensive pass interference calls coming on Sunday as not only had the Wrolstad crew already called three against their defense earlier in the season, but a total of 19 entering Week 16. That crew had already officiated 13 games entering Week 16 for an average of 1.1875 DPI penalties a game. Strangely enough, 8 of the 24 total defensive pass interference penalties called now by that crew came during two games that involved the Steelers.
In case you’re curious, Steelers cornerbacks Joe Haden and Artie Burns are now tied for the team lead in defensive pass interference penalties with three each. Safeties Terrell Edmunds and Morgan Burnett each have two DPIs against them as does cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, who had one of his declined.