Controversial ending in Miami

Tyler Higbee, Staff Writer

           This past Sunday the Miami Dolphins hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in a tough AFC match. Pittsburgh, holding a record of 4-1, was ready to get their fifth win and stay atop the AFC, while Miami at 3-2 did not want to fall farther behind the New York Jets (5-1) and the New England Patriots (5-1) in their division.  The Dolphins were looking to beat the Steelers, who were undefeated on the road, and they came up short.

                Miami jumped out early and took advantage of the good field position they received due to two ill-advised passes by Ben Roethlisberger that ended up in the hands of two Miami defenders on Pittsburgh’s first two possessions. Each time Miami was stopped in their tracks and had to settle for field goals. In the second quarter the Steelers battled back, scoring 10 unanswered points coming by a Jeff Reed field goal of 22 yards and a touchdown pass to Hines Ward of 21 yards. The Steelers added another touchdown of 53 yards when Ben Roethlisberger threw deep to Mike Wallace, who caught it and ran it in for the score. Pittsburgh led 17-16 at half time but the wild ending was soon to come.

                Miami was not going down easy when they scored their only touchdown of the game when Chad Henne dumped off a short pass to Davone Bess, who then made a couple nifty moves and dove into the end zone. This was not a day for the Miami offense but for their kicker Dan Carpenter, who kicked a career high five field goals but fell one short of the Dolphins’ record set by Olindo Mare, who kicked six in a game against the New England Patriots in 1999. With roughly five minutes remaining in the 4th quarter and the Dolphins leading 22-20, the Steelers were ready to mount a comeback. They pulled out all the options they had and drove down the field and was facing a 3rd and Goal on Miami’s 2 yard line. Pittsburgh decided to run a quarterback draw with Ben Roethlisberger who made a cut and dove for the end zone and…

                He fumbled! This resulted in a big pile up in the end zone for the ball and before they determined a victor of the loose ball, the ref threw his arms up the in shape of a “U” for a touchdown almost as if he was confused to what just happened. The Steelers had taken the lead with 2:36 left on the clock, or did they? The Dolphins then challenged the play and the Booth Review clearly showed that Ben Roethlisberger fumbled before he broke the plane of the end zone. Therefore it was no touchdown and a fumble on the play. This is where things got bizarre. Although it was a fumble on the play, the Booth Review was not able to see clear evidence of who came up with the loose ball under the pile. In this case they awarded the Steelers the ball at the 1 yard line because they were the last team in possession of the ball. On 4th and Goal the Steelers kicked a field goal with Jeff Reed, giving them a 23-22 lead with 2:30 seconds left in the game. After receiving the ball the Miami offense was stopped on four downs and had to turn the ball over and take another loss, dropping to 3-3 while the triumphant Steelers advance to 5-1.