While the Seattle Seahawks trudged their way through a typically tedious win over the Arizona Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams were suffocating in a sea of waving terrible towels at SoFi Stadium. If it felt like a Steelers home game in their own building, then it must have felt like the Steelers got some home cooking officiating.
With the Steelers leading 24-17 late in the 4th quarter, Pittsburgh opted to sneak quarterback Kenny Pickett on 4th and 1 inside the Rams’ 40-yard line. A conversion would win the game since the Rams had no timeouts, whereas a stop would’ve given Matthew Stafford a short-ish field and plenty of time to engineer a potential game-tying, if not game-winning touchdown drive.
There is absolutely no way that Pickett got this sneak, but the officials gave him the most generous spot imaginable. A first down was awarded, Sean McVay couldn’t challenge since he was out of timeouts, and no booth review could be initiated upstairs because it was outside the two-minute warning. Three kneels later, the Steelers got out of town with a W.
Controversial finish to the Steelers-Rams game.— The Comeback (@thecomeback) October 22, 2023
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
If anything, this is a strong argument in favor of making all potential change of possession plays (including 4th down stops) automatically reviewable. All turnovers are automatically reviewed, so why shouldn’t turnovers on downs meet the same criteria?
But hey, this is good news for the Seahawks, who are 4-2 to the Rams’ 3-4, and Los Angeles will be at the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday. There’s a real opportunity for the Seahawks to gain a little bit of separation from LA before their rematch on Nov. 19. Matthew Stafford has quietly thrown 7 touchdowns to 6 interceptions while holding a sub-60% completion rate. Calls for Brett Rypien to replace him, shockingly, are nowhere to be found.
And besides, it’s about time a Steelers quarterback getting a favorable spot actually benefited the Seahawks...