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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Strange Goal Line Ruling Costs Dolphins Against Steelers

A back-and-forth game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins resulted in Ben Roethlisberger improving his record to 2-0 on the year as a starter.  There was no shortage of drama in the game, with a very strange ruling costing the Dolphins in the end.

The Steelers found themselves facing a 3rd and goal situation trailing 22-20 with about 3:00 left.  Roethlisberger took the snap from the shotgun and ran a QB draw, but he coughed the ball up after being hit just as he was crossing the goal line.  The ball squirted out and rolled around in the end zone where it appeared Miami had fallen on it.  The ruling on the field was that Roethlisberger had broken the plane before fumbling, therefore it was a touchdown.

Upoon further review, the officials determined it was indeed a fumble and that the ball had popped out before Roethlisberger broke the plane.  However, after a long explanation, the official explained that in order to overturn a play like that, there needed to be conclusive evidence that the ball was fumbled and that the Dolphins recovered the fumble.  Since the officials could not be certain which team had fallen on the ball, the Steelers retained possession at the spot of the fumble.

Pittsburgh then elected to kick a field goal on fourth down and take a 23-22 lead, which they would not concede.  Had the right call been made on the field, the Dolphins more than likely would have had the ball at their own 20 with a 22-20 lead and just over 2:00 remaining.  It turned out to be a very unusual series of events that may have cost Miami a win.

Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images



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