Making sense of refereeing nonsense at the end of the Titans-Steelers match

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How many bad calls was it going to take for the Tennessee Titans to win such an important first down in the last minute of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers?

More than two, apparently.

Titans wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was clearly behind the winning line (the Steelers’ 9½-yard line) on a fourth catch with 46 seconds left and the Steelers led 19-13. Still, the team of officials, led by Brad Rogers, spotted the ball just inside the Steelers’ 10.

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And even then the first bar from the bottom was near. It looked like the spot would have given the Titans an initial lead by a hair’s breadth, but Rogers judged the measure to be short of the winning line.

Wait what?

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The play was reviewed and the ball was marked clearly (and correctly) short. Pittsburgh dropped to one knee to win the game, 19-13.

Bottom line: The Titans were given a more than favorable spot and were deemed marginally short when measuring for fourth. Rogers and his team ended up with the right call, which is all they should care about, but uncertain measurement and a horrible location added too much intrigue to a play that should have simply been called short.


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