The NFL replacement referees have not been around for over a month, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that watching Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-New York Giants game.
The Steelers overcame at least two bad calls from the officials to beat the Giants 24-20.
In the second quarter, the Giants were down 7-0 and had a third-and-goal from the two. Eli Manning scrambled after not being able to find anything in the end zone, and then he fired for Victor Cruz. The ball was nearly intercepted by Steelers CB Ike Taylor, who stepped in front of Cruz. Safety Ryan Clark came across and crushed Cruz, laying him out with a shoulder-first hit. Clark was penalized for a personal foul after the officials say he hit Cruz in the head. Replays showed that he led with his shoulder.
FOX NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira disagreed with the call. “That is not a blow to the head and not a foul. Pass had not even hit the ground yet,” he wrote on Twitter.
Instead of having a fourth-and-goal from the two, the Giants were first-and-goal from the one and scored on the next play. That was a four-point difference.
The Giants benefited from another questionable call a few plays later.