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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Did Pittsburgh Steelers Benefit from Call on Ike Taylor Strip Sack of Mark Sanchez?

I’ve often complained that the Pittsburgh Steelers get every call, and it frequently feels like that is the case. I couldn’t help but feel like the same thing was happening Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. Pittsburgh hung on for a 24-19 win over the Jets, shutting things down after going up 24-0 in the first half. They were already dominating early going up 17-0, but the touchdown to make it 24-0 made the lead nearly insurmountable. And much like the tuck rule call between the Patriots and Raiders, this play seemed sketchy.

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was already in a bad situation facing a 3rd and 17 at his 26 with his team down 17-0. As he dropped back to pass, he wound up to make a throw. Steelers CB Ike Taylor hit Sanchez as the quarterback was moving his arm to attempt a pass, and the ball was knocked loose. William Gay recovered the fumble and returned it for a touchdown, making it a 24-0 first-half butt-whooping. I thought for sure the play would be overturned, but I was wrong. Here are some pictures of Sanchez’s arm when he was hit:

NFL.com has the video for you to decide your thoughts on the call. I maintain Sanchez’s arm was moving forward and making a throw when he was hit. Seeing it in real-time and in slow motion only confirms what I felt. What do you think? Because for me, it was pretty clear the Jets got screwed on the call.

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