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Ex-NFL Ref Says Officials Botched Steelers Offsides Penalty



Steelers HC Mike Tomlin
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin speaks with the referees against the Jaguars, Oct. 29, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Former vice president of officiating of the NFL and current rules analyst at FOX Sports, Mike Pereira, clarified that the officials botched the offsides penalty on Pittsburgh Steelers guard Isaac Seumalo on the field goal at the end of the first half.

“In Pittsburgh, offside on the offensive guard? Officials are told to call that if a lineman has his head in the neutral zone on the short yardage push plays, not on field goal attempts,” Pereira wrote on X.

The penalty on Seumalo nullified a 56-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, which would have cut the Jaguars’ lead to 9-6 at halftime. Instead, Boswell’s kick from 61 yards out went wide right and the Steelers went into the half down 9-3.

It was an embarrassing end of the first half for the officials, as they incorrectly ruled a 10-second runoff because Pickett fumbled out of bounds, which was bad spot regardless, a no call on Adam Gotsis for driving Pickett into the Acrisure Stadium turf, and a phantom offsides penalty on Seumalo. Pickett suffered a rib injury on the hit and did not return. In contrast, Trevor Lawrence got a roughing the passer penalty on strong safety Keanu Neal for a hit that was far less vicious. That has raised alarm bells among the Steelers, including their head coach on the field.

Rightfully so, Tomlin let the officials hear about it. The CBS broadcast caught Tomlin ripping an official, stating via lip ridding, “What the f*** is wrong with y’all today.”

The misinterpretation of the offsides rule is inexcusable. As Pereira stated, officials are told to call offsides on a guard if his head in the neutral zone on the short yardage push plays, not on field goal attempts. That’s obviously a drastic difference. It will be interesting to see if Alan Eck gets disciplined internally by the NFL for the mishap.