A huge penalty decision created a 10-point swing at the end of the first half of Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Officials at Lambeau Field ruled Steelers cornerback Joe Haden offsides on a blocked field goal by Minkah Fitzpatrick that was scooped up and returned 75 yards for a touchdown.
The touchdown return would have given the Steelers a 17-14 lead at the halftime. Instead, Mason Crosby got a second shot, and he hit the 26-yard field goal to give the Packers a 17-10 lead.
Replays did not show an obvious offside penalty, but the CBS broadcast was unable to show a down-the-line replay. The end zone view did show Haden and Fitzpatrick timing up their starts almost perfectly with long snapper Hunter Bradley moving the ball on the snap, which probably means no penalty should have been called. But again, it’s unclear if they were lined up offsides.
CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore said he did not see a clear offside penalty on the play but declined to criticize the call because he did not get a chance to see the replay angle down the line.
More from Steratore:
Certain infractions are easier to see from the field-level, but from the angles that I’ve seen of the field goal in #PITvsGB:
— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) October 3, 2021
Fitzpatrick and Haden both beat tight end Robert Tonyan to get into position for the block.
Remember, the Packers nearly had a blocked field goal from the same side on the game-winning field against the 49ers last Sunday night.
The Packers get the ball after the half and will have a chance to go up two scores over the Steelers.