There is a reason why NFL officiating takes so much heat, and it was on full display in Pittsburgh.
NFL officials have been the victims of endless — sometimes unnecessary — scrutiny for years. However, during Sunday night’s showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers, the officials certainly didn’t help that problem.
With Pittsburgh leading 13-0 near the end of the first quarter, the Chargers caught one of the biggest breaks we’ve seen all year. Los Angeles offensive tackle Sam Tevi committed one of the most blatant false starts in NFL history, clear as day to the 70,000 fans at Heinz Field and to anybody watching at home.
But there was no flag thrown, and the result was a 46-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to Travis Benjamin.
As expected, the Steelers fans in attendance began showering the officials with boos, and Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin was visibly upset on the sidelines.
It becomes harder and harder to defend NFL officiating when they make blatant errors like this. Sometimes mistakes happen, but something like this is just inexcusable.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an obvious false start go by the proverbial boards on a false start. Jared Goff ran for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs a few weeks ago on Monday night despite movement off the right side.
Then there was an October game between the Cleveland Browns and Chargers, where Los Angeles once again scored on a deep touchdown pass instead of being flagged. Referee Hugo Cruz was fired for the error.
FanSided has reached out for comment on the trend of missed false starts, but no response has been given. We will update should that change.