Don’t You Have To Break The Plane?
Perception is a funny thing. Just ask the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. One side sees fourth and short while the other sees game-winning touchdown. Who’s right? Naturally, the Pittsburgh media sees touchdown:
Few regular-season games will rank above the one they played yesterday at M&T Bank Stadium, when the Steelers’ No. 26-ranked offense scored the only touchdown of the game with 43 seconds left to end a 92-yard drive against the league’s No. 2 defense to pull out a 13-9 victory and win the AFC North Division title and a first-round playoff bye.
That it came against their heated rivals on their field in a rough-and-tumble game and ended on a disputed 4-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes only enhanced the flavor of it.
But [referee Walt] Coleman looked at the goal-line view and reversed the ruling. He announced to the 71,502 fans at M&T Bank Stadium (the largest announced crowd in Ravens history) that Holmes had two feet down in the end zone and had possession of the ball, neglecting to say whether the ball had broken the plane.
I doubt that’s the best way you’d like to lose a game, provided you had to choose. In the NFL’s replay rule, there’s something about indisputable evidence, and I’m not sure you, I or anyone but Coleman saw the ball officially break the goal line plane. Nevertheless, the play was overturned and a touchdown was awarded. And that, folks, is how the Pittsburgh Steelers became your AFC North regular season champion. The question is, are they the favorite AFC team to reach the Super Bowl?
We’ll find out a lot more about that answer after they play the Tennessee Titans in Nashville next Sunday.