The New England Patriots stormed to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Foxboro last night, with the 28-21 scoreline not being close to resembling the Super Bowl Champions dominance.
The game wasn't without drama and controversy, however, as the Steelers were angered that their headset communications were playing the Patriots radio broadcast for some reason, making it impossible for them to communicate play calls.
That wasn't the only thing that riled up the Steelers however, with Ben Roethlisberger taking issue with the Patriots’ defense’s tactics on a crucial third-and-goal.
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Goal Line Hijinks
The Patriots pulled out a shift designed to draw the Steelers into a false start. It worked to perfection, and Roethlisberger was angry that the Patriots got away with it.
After two failed attempts to punch the ball in, New England’s defensive front shifted in concert, causing two of the Steelers’ linemen to jump. LT Kelvin Beachum was flagged for the false start and Roethlisberger screamed at the officials, begging for a flag on the Patriots.
Big Angry Ben
After the game, Big Ben was still annoyed about the play.
“I thought that there was a rule against that,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “Maybe it’s just an unwritten rule. … We saw it on film, that the Patriots do that. They shift and slide and do stuff on the goal line..."
“In my years of playing, a defensive guy can’t bark stuff or move in the middle of a cadence. I agree that the ref said, ‘Well, he didn’t go in the neutral zone.’ … I was arguing the fact that he shifted in the middle of a cadence," Roethlisberger went on to add.
The ruling states that "“Using acts or words by the defensive team that are designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap," is an unsportsmanlike penalty. So is Ben right? But what does an "act" entail? NFL rules are confusing...