Steelers Had One More Play If Harrison Had Been Ruled Down

Lost in the excitement of the interception by linebacker James Harrison for a touchdown as the first half expired in Super Bowl 43 is the fact that the Steelers would have had one more play. If Harrison would have been ruled down at the half foot line, the Steelers would of been allowed one more play because of the personal foul facemask penalty on Cardinals tackle Elton Brown, before the turnover occurred. The Steelers would have been given the ball half the distance from the spot of the tackle and given one more play even with the clock being expired in the half. VP of Officiating, Mike Pereira, explained this on Tuesday on the NFL Network. The play was properly ruled by instant replay review as Harrison was never down after falling on the Cardinal player going into the endone.

  • Disgruntled

    That is true, however, that ignores the horrible non-call during that runback. One of the Cardinals was clearly clipped on the run down the field. It was after the interception, but I don’t know how that would have played out with penalties on both sides. I seriously doubt that the Steelers would have had the ball in scoring position – unless it was a very long field goal attempt.

  • Raoul Duke

    Cardinal fans also miss the fact that Fitz ran the entire length of the field to catch Harrison out of bounds. If memory serves, a player pushed out of bounds has to return to the field as soon as possible. He can’t run out of bounds in an attempt to avoid being blocked to make a tackle. Anyone?

  • elated13

    I watched the Harrison play at least 10 times and slowed it down. The block everyone is questioning was Woodley’s block. A block in the back is exactly thatl, a block in the back from behind. Woodley’s head and most of his body were even if not in front of the Cardinal player. If the Cardinal fans watched football more than just when the playoffs begin, maybe they would understand the rules better.

  • Same here elated13. I watched the questioned block on Hightower by Woodley, and it wasnt even a question to me. Woodley pushed Hightower back a few seconds earlier, Hightower came back in and wasnt watching for a fast Woodley to block him. Woodley put two hands on his shoulder and pushed him down. At no time did Woodley have hands on Hightower’s back. The rule is in place to protect defenders from being shoved from behind, not knowing where the block was coming from. Hightower knew Woodley was their. He just tried to cut downfield further for a tackle. Fail.

  • DocMurdock

    I don’t know how you clip someone when you are between them and the ball carrier. The only way you can block someone in the back in that scenario is if the other player turns his back to you and that is exactly what Hightower did.

    If you look at nearly every Clipping Penalty in the NFL, the player getting clipped in usually between the ball carrier and the player attempting to make a block. That is why this was not ruled a penalty. Woodley was lead blocking and Hightower simply didn’t want to face him head on, so he took a dive! Plain and Simple!

    First it was Dallas Fans always complaining about the calls, then it was Seattle and now it’s Cardinal fans. Atleast I don’t remember the Vikings and Rams fans being such whiners!!


  • Tom Schoeneweis

    I’ve been wondering about the same thing that Raoul mentioned. Fitz was running down the white sideline stripe the entire time. I know that a receiver cannot come back in bounds and make a catch. I would assume that the same applies for anyone who goes out of bounds; They essentially take themselves out of the play, but I don’t know for sure.

  • Tom Schoeneweis

    I think I found the answer here, assuming it is correct.

    In the bottom section Expert Insight – here is the text

    Expert Insight
    Step 1:
    A receiver cannot go out of bounds and then return to the field of play to make a catch. Players can, however, go out of bounds and return to the field of play to make a legal tackle on a ball carrier. A little known out of bounds rule states that if a player on the receiving team can field a kickoff with even one foot out of bounds then the ball belongs to the receiving team 30 yards from where the ball was kicked.

    So apparently he was able to do it, though I personally have a problem with the fact that he ran nearly the entire length of the field out of bounds, able to circumvent much of the action and get to the play