INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The Steelers won on a controversial call when Kenny Pickett took a quarterback sneak and tried to get the short yard they needed. However, he trips on left tackle Dan Moore Jr. and immediately hits the ground. It looks like on the initial replay that he does not get it. But the referees gave Pickett the first down, and the game was over.
Controversial finish to the Steelers-Rams game.
Pittsburgh goes for it on fourth-and-short. Kenny Pickett looks to be short on a QB sneak, but the officials give him the first down.
The Rams didn't have a time-out and could not challenge. So the spot stood, ending the game. pic.twitter.com/bkhKPjsIpe
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) October 22, 2023
Because the Rams did not have a timeout, there was no way the team could challenge the call. It never went to a booth review, so Pittsburgh let teh clock run out to pull the door shut for their 24-17 win. While those controversial calls got plenty of abuse on social media, they will not get any from Rams head coach Sean McVay, who brushed off the concerns about the refereeing.
“It doesn’t matter what I think. That was the spot they made,” McVay said. “It’s not a challengeable play but I’m not going to sit here and make any excuses about stuff that didn’t go down. Those plays shouldn’t have come down to that if we executed like we were capable of. You guys saw the same stuff that I did, but it doesn’t do any good. That was what was called and that’s what we have to be able to live with.”
Meanwhile, the Steelers will head back to Pittsburgh happy. There were plenty of calls that received scrutiny in this game. But none more than that critical fourth down play decided the game. Somehow, Pittsburgh keeps coming up in big spots and eking out wins. This one had more positives as the offense found some life with a running game and the passing game feeling it out for a rhythm. However, this group has plenty to learn from, especially when the referees are that close to deciding a call that could go either way.