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Minkah Fitzpatrick Unhappy With Two ‘Terrible’ Calls Against Him, Gave Ref Sarcastic Comment Afterwards

Minkah Fitzpatrick played an incredible game Sunday, helping to propel the Pittsburgh Steelers to victory. 14 tackles, a pick-six, a QB rating of just 10.0 when targeted, the game-saving blocked extra-point, and so much more that doesn’t directly appear on the stat sheet.

If there was a blemish to yesterday’s great performance, it was the two unnecessary roughness penalties he was called for. The first on Cam Sutton’s interception, the second late in the game that helped lead to the Bengals’ game-tying score. Speaking about those moments in an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show Monday, Fitzpatrick said he didn’t agree with either of those calls. 

“They gave me two terrible calls,” Fitzpatrick told the show. “It is what it is.”

Fitzpatrick was flagged for blows to the head on both plays on wide receivers. Sutton’s interception wasn’t negated, but the ensuing penalty pushed the Steelers’ offense back while the second play kept the Bengals’ hopes alive, eventually leading to Ja’Marr Chase’s touchdown with two seconds left.

There was no replay for the latter hit. While both are bang-bang plays and it’s hard to fault Fitzpatrick much here, to the letter of the law, these are probably the right calls by the officials. Still, the good of Fitzpatrick far outweighed the bad and without him, Pittsburgh doesn’t win that game yesterday.

He followed up his second penalty with a then-game saving breakup, WR Mike Thomas hearing some footsteps and dropping this pass as Fitzpatrick came and lowered the shoulder.

In the clip, you can see Fitzpatrick talk with the ref. On the show, he explained what he said.

“I asked him, I said, ‘was that clean?’ Maybe I shouldn’t have said it but that’s what I said…it was a very sarcastic remark. I was full of emotion and energy.”

Pittsburgh rode Fitzpatrick’s energy to victory, feeding off those plays he made and the game-saving blocked extra point, the typically reserved Fitzpatrick showing as much passion as you’ll ever see from him after blocking Evan McPherson’s kick. He’s the best example of a “light-switch” player. Listen to him off the field, go check out that McAfee interview, and Fitzpatrick is one of the quietest guys you’ll hear. Sometimes he’s speaking so softly you can’t quite understand what he’s saying. But his actions ring the loudest on the field, and he reminded the NFL why he became the league’s highest-paid safety in the league. Until Derwin James surpassed him, anyway.

Check out the full interview in the livestream of McAfee’s Monday show by clicking the link here.

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