“You just assume the worst whenever it’s put up in some body in New York’s hands.” — Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James, a year afterwards


If James was expecting the worst nearly one year ago, on Dec. 17, 2017, afterward his fears were realized when officials at newyork overturned his apparent touchdown. They said he didn’t live the ground, meaning the ball moved when he fell in the end zone.

It was clearly one of many contentious rulings about which constituted an grab. In reality, it may have become the tipping pointthat the drama that cleared the NFL of this handful of”eye test” neglects which caused out sized controversy every year. Plays was a grab, but officials were left by the principle without a choice except to rule imperfect.

“It wasn’t no renowned drama,” Steelers centre Maurkice Pouncey told ESPN on Thursday. The drama that never happened. It was a clinic drama. That s– don’t matter. The rule changed. So we are able to ’t talk about this because that drama is really a no-catch by having an older rule. ”

It would have been a grab with the brand new rule.

As the Steelers prepare to sponsor the Patriots on Sunday at a match with major playoff implications, both sides recall a drama which will live in infamy at Pittsburgh and exist with less controversy in Foxborough.

James: “It wasn’t designed to emerge [this way]. We tried to run a horizontal out . They had it covered up. Ben’s eyes captured over to me. … Had just a tiny makeshift (drama ), such as (Roethlisberger) consistently does… Looking back, I wish I would have remained on my own feet. ”

Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva: “from the seeing Jesse grab the ball and also making an effort to conquer the goal line. I remember him extending, believing he was cognizant of where the goal line was and he reached outside to allow it to be. I remember watching the pass, but exactly what ’so crazy is I don&rsquo. I’ve seen it many times. I don’t s real understand very well what & rsquo and what & rsquo; s fiction. ”

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster after the match:“I feel like he’d ball controller, he was in. In a match such as that, you finish the game such as this, and then — boom — momentum, and the next thing and whenever you go you understand [the referee] said he didn’t have control of the ball.” Nobody touched him.”

Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett: “After I saw it first, of course we thought we lost. I instantly knew when they demonstrated it on the JumboTron, ‘This ’s not a grab! ’ First thing which went into my mind was Dez Bryant. If who wasn’t a grab, this wasn’t an grab. I was hoping it went our way, plus it did. ”

The Review

Villanueva:“from the saying, ‘Oh, Dave [DeCastro] we won the match. ’ Afterward I inquired Jesse, and he said, ‘s, they are going to review it.

James:“Whenever there’s a struggle, ” I never know just what ’s definitely going to take place. See one thing clear as day, and it eventually ultimately ends up getting called the other way. It’s hard to create those calls. ”

Pouncey: “” I presumed once the ball crossed the plane it was a touch down, but I suppose you had to control it at that point. The rules are rules. You have to follow them. Does it stay in our mind? Hell yeah. But by the day’s end it was a rule. It’s nothing like they cheated. This ’therefore the way I view it. It would have made this past year’s play offs a little bit easier, I&rsquo. ”

The Steelers ended the regular season as the No. two see behind the Patriots, and they eventually dropped to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the divisional round. The Patriots beat the Tennessee Titans at the divisional round and ultimately dropped to the Philadelphia Eagles at the Superbowl.

Referee Tony Corrente, following the match:“We’re inside two moments, and in order to really possess a completed pass, then a recipient has to survive visiting the bottom. In cases like this, he’d control of this football but he went into the bottom. Since he struck the bottom, the ball began to roll and rotate and the ball hit the bottom, which is the end of it at there .”

Steelers receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey: “It was clearly one of the ideas at which we’re waiting to see. In those moments, so much is kind of preparing for exactly what ’s next, that you simply don ’t really have the time to think about exactly what it’s going to become. You & rsquo; re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting, but as players rsquo; re attempting to discuss what will happen next — way the telephone goes Once you watch like a spectator. ”

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski: “” I was thinking exactly the very exact same thing as every one else: What’s going on? What happened? It ’S-like ‘Yeah! ’”

Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers: “Clearly I wasn’t feeling too good if they ruled it a touchdown and us potentially losing. It was clearly one of the deals where it looked like a rule was written — it wasn & rsquo; t an grab, once they started reviewing it. I was sort of convinced. It was going out there to play a few snaps. ”

Dorsett: “It was crazy. It was loudly. It was rsquo; ve experienced & among the games that we. ”

The Aftermath

Twentyeight seconds remained after the alteration, and the Steelers needed a second-and-goal at the Patriots’ 10. After a 3-yard pass to Heyward-Bey, Roethlisberger was selected off by Harmon. Roethlisberger hasn’t fared well against tombrady , that is 8-2 against the Steelers QB.

James: We still had a chance to secure the match and we didn’t doit. We lost the match, finished up moving into the play offs and didn&rsquo. It’s just the National Football League. ”

Heywardbey: “We still had the opportunity to get the match and we didn’t. The ball turned over. Since you can observe, that’s haunting us. You learn out of this, and we can learn from our mistakes this year therefore we can go into that game, maybe not make this happen. ”

Patriots defensive play-caller (linebackers coach at the time) Brian Flores:“One drama may change a match and one call could alter a match. But when two good teams play it comes right down to four or even five plays in total. Happily , we made the drama in that match, and we create them .”

Contributing: ESPN Steelers reporter Jeremy Fowler, ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss and ESPN National NFL writer Kevin Seifert

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