‘They cost us the game’

The Pittsburgh Steelers misplaced 20-10 to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and vast receiver Diontae Johnson is aware of precisely who in charge: the referees.

“Refs had been simply killing us the entire sport,” Johnson mentioned through ESPN. “The identical refs we had at coaching camp. I did not just like the refs at present. On the finish of the day, we won’t preserve complaining in regards to the refs. Like Coach [Mike Tomlin] say, we won’t fear in regards to the refs, no matter. However everyone’s totally different.”

There have been a number of questionable roughing the passer calls (which has been a difficulty throughout the NFL this season), however Johnson’s fundamental difficulty was with an offside name proper earlier than halftime. Isaac Semaulo lined up within the impartial zone simply as kicker Chris Boswell’s foot despatched a ball 55-yards via the uprights. In order that discipline objective, which might have introduced the Steelers inside three factors of the Jags, was negated. Boswell could not get the ball via on his second strive.

“I did not just like the refs at present,” Johnson mentioned. “They have to’ve bought paid good at present or one thing, however they blew — that discipline objective, that harm us coming into the half. We wanted that.”

Pittsburgh Steelers vast receiver Diontae Johnson (18) reacts after being tackled throughout an NFL soccer sport, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photograph/Matt Durisko)

Tomlin made it clear after the sport that he additionally wasn’t a fan of that decision, although he did not use these precise phrases.

“I hadn’t seen that referred to as in 17 years of standing on sidelines,” Tomlin mentioned. “Offsides, lined up offsides on a guard, on a discipline objective safety. It did not matter what they mentioned. I’ve by no means seen that.”

Referee Alan Eck later defended the offsides name, however Johnson was fairly disgusted by the officiating all through the sport.

“They was calling some silly stuff,” Johnson mentioned. “They need to get fined for calling unhealthy, making worse, horrible calls and stuff like that. That is how pissed I’m. They price us the sport. I do not care what no person say. They price us the sport.”

Johnson continued: “[The officials] needed [the Jaguars] to win, bro. They was calling, all the things was of their favor. They was getting each little name, however it’s what it’s. However we won’t, like I mentioned, I am shifting on from it. I am prepared for Thursday.”

Johnson’s declare that the refs needed the Jaguars to win does not precisely stand as much as additional scrutiny. Each groups had been penalized six instances every, however the Steelers had been solely dinged for 52 yards whereas the Jags had been dinged for 72.

Regardless of this loss, the Steelers are nonetheless above .500 with a 4-3 report. They face rookie quarterback Will Levis and the Tennessee Titans on Thursday to kick off Week 9.

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