by Ryan Wilson
Salon's King Kaufman makes a solid point: while it's easy (and fun!) to blame the officials for bungling another end-of-game call that affected the final score, it didn't have to come to that in Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon.
Referee Scott Green has been exposed as a fraud, but if Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin wasn't such an awful clock manager, we'd be none the wiser. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way, which must've made it a joy for Mike Pereira, NFL head of officiating, to come into work today.
Anyway, Kaufman writes that instead of kicking on third down with 15 seconds left in the game, Tomlin should've instructed Ben Roethlisberger to take a knee and then call a timeout with one second left. Skippy Reed would've had to convert a 34-yarder instead of a 32-yarder, but given how it turned out, he still would've easily converted.
Armchair strategists would point out that Tomlin did the right thing by kicking on third down because there's always the possibility of a bad snap or muffed hold. After all, the Steelers long snapper has been on the job three weeks and almost put a ball over punter Paul Ernster's head earlier in the game. That's a legit point, right? Uh, not quite. Kaufman explains:
Mike Tomlin Could've Saved Official Embarrassment of Not Knowing Rules originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Mon, 17 Nov 2008 15:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.