Steelers 23 Dolphins 22
The blowout loss the Dolphins suffered against the Patriots three weeks ago was tough, but these type of loses are by far the hardest. Lets get the complaining over with, "the call" was beyond frustrating. Everyone knows who recovered that ball, even the refs, but because it wasn't completely obvious on the replay (even though CBS showed a snapshot of Alama-Francis with the ball out of the pile, and several players mentioned that the refs were calling "white ball, white ball, white ball" on the field) Pittsburgh retained possession.
First off, if the line judge does the right thing and lets that play continue it would have been Dolphins ball, no need for controversy. In that situation, once you recognize that there is a fumble on the field, you let it play out because if Big Ben had indeed scored, replay would have easily overturned the call on the field. Of course, though, were talking a decision that needs to happen in a split second, which is way easier said than done.
Secondly, even if the refs did stick to the rule book and "technically" get the call right, it's something that defies common sense and needs to be changed immediately. The final rule was that Roethlisberger fumbled the ball before crossing the plane. However, the ref said there was no clear cut proof that the Dolphins recovered, but that doesn't negate the fact that there was indeed a fumble. There was no proof that the Steelers had recovered either. That's why the league needs to allow the refs to go back to the officials who called Dolphins ball on the field once they have established that a fumble did take place under the hood.
Either that or allow the reviewing ref to make a judgment call when viewing the play over and over again from all sorts of different angles. We trust them to make judgement calls all game long with only a split second to decide, so why can't the refs give the ball to the team that appeared to recover the fumble when they have more than adequate amount of time to decipher who that team is. And in yesterday's case, it was clearly, decisively, conclusively the Dolphins.
Enough is enough with all of that talk, though, the Dolphins beat themselves yesterday. They did enough to win the game, but anytime you leave the door open for one horrible call to decide the outcome you have nobody to blame but yourself. And when looking at where the Dolphins went wrong yesterday, the redzone is where most of the blame should lie.
Five field goals. Five! That's completely unacceptable. I was happy to see Chad Henne pick apart one of the best defenses in football on one side of the field, but I think Dan Henning needs to trust him a little more on the opponents side of the fifty. Maybe not against teams that the Dolphins should beat, but against teams like the Steelers where you need to put up as many points as possible, let Henne air it out a little more in the redzone when it's obvious that you won't be able to run it in.
Anyway, I'm going to keep things short as usual after a loss. Just a dark day to be a Miami Dolphin fan. Take solace in the fact that we saw a lot of potential out of our quarterback and front seven defensively, but patience may become the key word around here. Yes, it's still too early to give up on this season, but sitting at 3-3 in this division and conference is just a tough spot to be in. I guess we will just have to wait and see how this team responds. This could be a back-breaking loss, or one that motivates an outstanding playoff run.