Steelers WR Brown says 'I thought I had it clean' after wild, near-miss finish
Antonio Brown thought he stayed inbounds.
Mike Tomlin thought Brown was in, too.
Same goes for Ben Roethlisberger and mostly all of those 52,489 fans who stuck out the cold, snow and another late-game Steelers collapse, as well.
However, Scott Edwards' opinion was the only one that mattered.
In a 34-28 game with no time on the clock, the field judge ruled Brown's left foot stepped out of bounds just yards away from the end zone after an unusual series of five laterals involving six players.
It ended the game and severely damaged the Steelers' playoff hopes.
Instead of the Miracle Near the Mon, it was another disappointing chapter in a season of failures.
“That's kind of how it has been, you know?” receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “(We keep) coming up short.”
Or in this case, they came up a sliver short … again.
“I thought I had it clean,” Brown said. “I thought I separated really well getting to the sidelines, but it didn't seem quite enough.”
It has been happening to the Steelers a lot this year.
“It was just like my return against the Ravens,” receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. “You hear the crowd, and you think you won it.
“It was just end-of-the-game football right there, but we came up a half-inch short.”
The Steelers were facing a fourth-and-4 at their 21 with 3 seconds left.
Roethlisberger completed a pass to Sanders to the Steelers' 46. Sanders picked up a couple of yards before tossing it back to Cotchery, who quickly moved it back to Le'Veon Bell. Bell pitched it to tackle Marcus Gilbert all the way back to the 28-yard line before getting it back into Roethlisberger's hands at the 27. Roethlisberger moved forward a couple of yards before tossing a lateral to his left to Brown near the far numbers with a lot of open space in front of him.
Brown made Reshad Jones miss, then got by Chris Clemons at the Miami 20. However, Brown's momentum carried him toward the sideline, where he was ruled out at the 12-yard line even though he continued into the end zone on what seemed like a game-winning score.
“Please step out of bounds,” Miami coach Joe Philbin said he was thinking.
The Steelers were having other thoughts.
“I thought he was in. I celebrated,” safety Ryan Clark said.
Tomlin said: “I thought he was in.”
Bell said: “I thought it was a touchdown.”
Roethlisberger said: “I thought we scored.”
Edwards correctly ruled Brown stepped out of bounds.
Still, some Steelers said they wish the officials would have let it play out so there could have been an official review because all scoring playing are reviewed.
“It was one of those plays that you would like to let go and let replay overturn it,” Roethlisberger said.
Even if there was an official review, it wouldn't have mattered much. Since the ruling on the field was out of bounds, an advance can't be given in replay. NFL rules state that the offensive team can take the ball at the spot Brown went out of bounds (with no time left on the clock to run a play) or replay the down — yet another reason the Steelers would have liked to see the play continue.
“If you are a Steeler or a Steelers fan, you would like for them to go through with the play and call it a touchdown, and it would've been reviewed anyway,” Clark said. “That's not what they did. When you put yourself in a position where you are banking on Marcus Gilbert handling the ball for you to win the game, that means you haven't done what you were supposed to do earlier.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Bell, Chiefs’ Charles elevating running back position in NFL
- Steelers notebook: Bell says he’s prepared to test Chiefs defense
- Chiefs game-plan play that suits speedy rookie Thomas’ talents
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Taylor unlikely to play, Harrison ‘ready’
- Undersized Beachum quietly excels at 1 of game’s pivotal positions
- Veteran tight end Miller’s blocking skill crucial to success to Steelers running game
- Penguins’ defensive depth proves valuable
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- Steelers must be creative in providing snaps for linebackers
- Steelers lookahead: Chiefs’ Charles injured but remains dangerous threat
- Steelers notebook: Brown leads WRs in Pro Bowl voting, Bell 2nd at RB