After Further Review: Jets-Steelers Officiating

By popular demand, we're again going to have a post after each game that breaks down some of the controversial decisions from the officiating crew in the game.

Penalty Count

Steelers 8-55 (leading to two Jets first downs)
Jets 7-64 (leading to two Steelers first downs)

Note: This does not include penalties that are declined or off-set.

Plays where the call was obvious, uncontroversial or not visible on broadcast footage

Jets Penalties

  • Micheal Clemons holding penalty on a punt return. After rushing the punt, he dragged down the blocker to prevent him from running downfield to cover the punt.
  • Offensive pass interference on Garrett Wilson. Ran right into Minkah Fitzpatrick to impede his ability to go after the ball. As it turned out, the ball was tipped into the air and Fitzpatrick picked it off anyway.
  • Conor McDermott false start on 3rd-and-5. Came out of his stance early, before the snap.
  • Ace Carter false start to negate his own short touchdown run. Flinched prior to the snap and was unable to disguise this as he raised up onto his toes.
  • Corey Davis illegal block in the back to push the Jets out of field goal range late. This was an obvious call on a screen pass to Wilson.

Steelers Penalties

  • Demarvin Leal personal foul for leverage on a successful extra point. This was an obvious call as Leal clambered over the long snapper to try and block the kick, which is completely illegal, perhaps suggesting he didn't know the rules. The Jets could have taken a half-the-distance penalty and tried to punch in a two-pointer from the one, but opted instead to take the point and pooch the kickoff from midfield.
  • Kevin Dotson offensive holding on Quinnen Williams. It was hard to see anything here from the broadcast footage.
  • Illegal hands to the face on Chukwuma Okorafor, clearly had his hand up, pushing Bryce Huff's head back around the chin-strap area. This was declined because Williams picked up a sack anyway.
  • Chris Boswell kick off out of bounds, gave the Jets the ball at the 40.
  • Illegal shift on Diontae Johnson. Wasn't set for a second before the snap. Difficult to know whether to blame this on laziness from Johnson taking his time getting over there or awareness from Mitchell Trubisky as the ball was snapped too early.
  • Dan Moore false start. Flinched before the snap.
  • Defensive holding on Art Maulet. This happened off-screen but Maulet was covering Wilson, who ran a slant route from the slot.
  • Ineligible receiver downfield on Dotson. This was difficult to see from the broadcast footage because they missed the snap.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • CJ Mosley late hit on Johnson's reverse. This one looked like a weak call. Mosley fell on him at the end of the run and any head/neck contact was more incidental than forcible.
  • McDermott ineligible receiver downfield. This call seems to be happening a lot more this season and it's one issue with a run-pass option. If the quarterback doesn't make an immediate throw, one of the linemen is almost certain to leak a few yards downfield as they sell the usual run blocking action. On this play, Wilson had a chance to extend the play and perhaps dump it to a teammate, but this is not an option if any linemen will be a few yards downfield.

Steelers Penalties

  • James Daniels ineligible receiver downfield. Exactly the same as for McDermott.
  • Defensive holding on Tyson Alualu. This was an important penalty on the final drive in the red zone. Carter was stopped on 2nd down and the Jets would have faced a 3rd-and-4 but were instead gifted a fresh set of downs. Alualu did drag Nate Herbig laterally by the jersey but it's difficult to see what he gained from doing so and quite remarkable that the official saw and flagged this.

Notable no-calls etc

Here were some of the notable missed calls, controversial moments or review situations:

  • Lamarcus Joyner had his hand on George Pickens' shoulder as he jumped to break up a downfield pass. It's difficult to say whether he actually pulled Pickens down by the shoulder pad or just rested his hand there as he contested the catch, but this could have gone the other way.
  • Johnson's toe was just about on the white at the back of the end zone as he almost had a touchdown catch. The replay booth upheld this. If the Tyler Conklin catch a few weeks ago was incomplete on the basis that "a few blades of white grass might potentially have been in contact with his foot" then this one definitely was.
  • Fitzpatrick almost had an interception as he made a diving catch of a Wilson throwaway at the sideline. He didn't quite get his toes down but it was a lot closer than it looked in real time. This was a similar play to one made by Pierre Desir for the Jets against the Broncos two years ago - one that was overturned to an interception.
  • There were two plays where Ahmad Gardner was physical at the catch-point and the Steelers wanted a pass interference call. He was also leaning all over his man on the final Hail Mary pass. Although it's an unwritten rule that this is never called, it could have cost the Jets the game if it was.
  • Zach Wilson got away with a potential intentional grounding call on the botched gadget play, but since he was out of the pocket and got the ball past the line of scrimmage, they were correct not to flag him for it.
  • Davis' leaping sideline catch was clearly incomplete as his second foot landed out of bounds and this was correctly called on the field. Pickens would later have a similar catch called complete where both feet were inbounds but one of his feet was off the ground as he caught the ball and then landed out of bounds. That one might have been overturned, but they snapped the ball quickly on the next play to prevent a review.
  • Both Fitzpatrick and Breece Hall were correctly ruled out of bounds a few yards short as they dived for the pylon.
  • Williams could have been risking a late hit as he hustled across the field to shove Kenny Pickett out of bounds, although it was a bit of a flop and contact was made while still just about on the field of play.
  • Finally, the Hall touchdown was correctly called on review as the ball clearly broke the plane before he lost it. Tyler Conklin recovered the ball anyway but is not allowed to advance the ball in the last two minutes of the half so it would have been 3rd-and-goal at the six-inch line with time with nine seconds left had the ball not broken the plane.

Let us know what we missed - or misinterpreted - in the comments...