GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Steelers cornerback Joe Haden was called for a critical offsides penalty on the Steelers’ field goal block late in the first half of what became a 27-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
But Haden says he wasn’t offsides.
Haden was not made available to the media after the game, but made a post on Twitter that can’t possibly be taken out of context.
“I wasn’t offsides,” Haden wrote.
I wasn’t offsides.
— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) October 4, 2021
Haden and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick crashed the right side of the Green Bay field goal block unit, with both players coming in on Packers kicker Mason Crosby unblocked.
Both players appeared to get a hand on the ball, and Fitzpatrick scooped it up and returned it for a Steelers touchdown. The score would have given the Steelers a 17-14 halftime lead. Instead, Crosby got to re-kick and the Packers led 17-10 at the break.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was less demonstrative than Haden in his criticism of the officials.
“You hear things about what was said on television and all of that,” Tomlin said. “I didn’t have the line of scrimmage, so I’d just be speculating and giving you some hearsay.”
Tomlin was referring to the comments of FOX officiating and rules analyst Gene Sterratore, who said that Haden appeared to be onside.
Certain infractions are easier to see from the field-level, but from the angles that I've seen of the field goal in #PITvsGB:
— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) October 3, 2021
The 10-point swing provided the Packers the entire margin of victory in the game.
“It definitely would have helped us going into the second half,” linebacker Alex Highsmith said. “It definitely would have been a swing if it would have been a touchdown. Either touchdown or no touchdown, we’ve got to respond to that and play better.”