Officials Were Right Not To Call Horse-Collar Penalty On Final Sack Of Ben Roethlisberger

Several people are upset that Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Everson Griffen wasn’t flagged for a horse-collar tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the end of the game Sunday, but it was indeed the right no-call.

Per NFL rules, it is still legal to horse-collar a quarterback while he is in the pocket.

In March of 2012, the Steelers unsuccessfully proposed a rule change at the owner’s meetings that would have made it illegal to take down a quarterback in the pocket by the back of his shoulder pads or inside collar of his jersey.

I still think there’s hope we’ll get it passed at some point,” Rooney said at the time. “I think this one kind of snuck up on them. If we can get the competition committee — at least some members of the competition committee — to take it seriously, then there’s a chance.”

Below is an animated gif of the play. As you can see, guard Kelvin Beachum and tackle Mike Adams were beat by a tackle/end stunt and that is the thing that should upset Steelers fans the most right now. The referees got this one right.

Steelers Vikings Sack Roethlisberger Horse-Collar

  • GunsDontKillWoodleyKills

    Ben should have been more aware of the piece of tissue paper guarding him on the left side and threw that ball away. With that being said, Ben chokes in situations like these. Throw the ball away, Ben.

  • Busforever

    We need to find a rule change that can makes us win a game 🙂

  • Curtis

    Was watching some of the titans game the commentator mentioned that the Titans haven’t committed a turnover all year. No reason their 2-1 and should of beat Texans to be 3-0. They are actually winning 31-6. And were 0-4 that’s the difference of our season.

  • chris ward

    Adams continues to get beat with the T-end stunt.

  • Aric Brown

    Ben is one of the most clutch players the organization has ever had

  • Aric Brown

    but were they right to not call the headshot?

  • Aric Brown

    Greenway i believe (#52) clearly wraps both arms around Bens head

  • Mkeller

    Was one of the most clutch players. He hasn’t Ben clutch for 2.5 seasons. Maybe a bit longer.

  • Mike Carroll

    Yes, clear forearm headshot to Ben’s head.

  • Mike Carroll

    How about the subsequent forearm headshot when Ben was already wrapped up? I saw some really questionable Unnecessary Roughness calls on non-QB hits in several games Sunday, which makes this really tough to stomach.

  • Mike Carroll

    By this logic Ben would need to throw the ball away once every three pass attempts with the way Adams is blocking. But hey, I’m sure Ben should know which one of the every three attempts is the one to thow it away on.

  • Mike Carroll

    Did you watch the Steelers defense today? They stunk.

  • Steeler50

    It was Beechum that let the guy through. He was already past Adams when Adam’s guy released to come around. Not that Adams could stop a 90 year old lady rushing Ben.

  • rizzo29

    When you have by far the worst O-line in football what the hell do you expect

  • philyphil

    Well if it wasnt a horse collar then….it was a blow to the head….so you should hv been a pentaly….thr second guy tackled the head.

  • T R

    if it was Tom Brady it would been called

  • T R


  • T R


  • T R

    super stunk..

  • Riverstko

    It was a horse collar and blow to the head. The refs,nfl, and the media hates Ben because of his controversy in the past. Its so obvious he never gets calls. Thats a Shame.

  • Mike.H

    I agree with Steeler50 comment below: it was Beachum that allowed the sack. His man got to Ben first — then the cave in followed.

  • cencalsteeler

    Could Ben have stepped up in the pocket and made a dash to the right corner of the end zone?
    Sometimes it’s easy to blame the line, but Ben needs to be accountable for making quicker decisions.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I’ll say it again, as a 2X winning SB QB you have got to understand your team. Clearly Ben and Haley must not understand that Adams can’t play. Its not about technique, its about talent and him and Gilbert have very little.

    If you understand this simple fact that is obvious to everyone, you should be expecting consistent pressure from Adams side every down. Roll away from his side, run to gain positive yards, call plays to give him help consistently and get rid of the ball once you feel the pressure coming from his side.

    To expect Adams to block Allen is plain stupid. To be a QB and not expect Allen or anyone for that matter to come by Adams side is stupid.

  • Richard Edlin

    3-13? More seriously, the O-Line was terrible at the start of last year when he was playing well.

    I suspect the injury last year really spooked him. He’s supposed to be healthy now but isn’t the same player … he still shows flashes of a top-quality QB but seems to have lost a mental step or two. (He wasn’t exactly tap dancing to begin with.)

  • WilliamSekinger

    He’s played a whole 4 games at LT…
    Give the dude some slack for not being able to block Jared Allen for Christ’s sake

  • WilliamSekinger

    To be honest most just need to calm down. The Steelers are in no worse of a position as they were last week, or the week before. Yes they are 0-4, but only 2 against the AFC and only 1 in division. The past 2 past meant almost nothing in the grand scheme of the entire season.

  • Chad H

    What? He hasn’t blocked anyone in four games. He can’t move, sorry dude how much more do you need to see this season to recognize he sucks.

  • Chad H

    Say what? Steelers are 0-4. You except that as a Steelers fan. To say it means nothing is like Tomlin saying the standard is the standard.
    We have skilled players (minus the o-line). They are not being coached. Oh by the way 0-4 means your season is over!

  • Douglas Andrews

    I agree with you but I wonder how much of what were are seeing with Adams is the new O Line coach. Just asking because last year he seemed like a pretty decent RT now he looks terrible.

  • Jeff

    2-14. Adams used & abused by Allen. If there were child abuse laws in the NFL, Allen would be sentenced to life for the abuse he doled out on Adams today. Hard to imagine having to invest draft pick in the OL again with so many other needs creeping up. Hey, Adams, go smoke some marijuana before the next game because it sure as hell can’t make you perform any worse.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Did you really expect technically a rookie in Adams to block Jared Allen or Peppers in the last 2 games? Also please name me a rookie LT that can block those guys…

  • Pete

    Adams is starting at LT for the 1st time this season. He’s a rook. You think he should be a pro bowler right now? It was Adams why the Steelers lost? How about…the embarrassing 60 yd Peterson run through the Steelers D like a hot knife through butter? How about the D giving up 145 yds on the ground? How about the secondary giving up a 70 yd TD play? How about a backup QB dropping 34 points on the Steelers and never getting touched?

  • Curtis

    Pick turn into 7 we lose by 7. Fumble on the 6 yard line in field goal range. There is your game even giving up the 2 BIG PLAYS. The defense wasn’t the best I get that but when your on the field more than 60% of the time because your QB keeps turning over the ball its a lingering effect.

  • Mike Carroll

    Offense held the ball for over 36 minutes today. That means the defense had to play for a whopping 23 minutes.

  • Mike Carroll

    Don’t forget turning Jerome Simpson into a pro bowler.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Yeah, it is okay to horse collar the Steelers quarterback while a second defender takes a blindside shot to the head no penalty, no fine – but if a Steelers running back lowers his pads and puts his shoulder in a defensive position but brushes a defender with his helmet ii is a $21k fine that should have been a penalty. The NFL is a bunch of BS.

  • Fire.Mike.Tomlin

    As several other commenters have pointed out, so what? The forearm shiver by 52 afterwards was far more egregious. Yet no media experts, talking heads, etc point out the no call, the lack of consistency, and the general failure of Darth Goodell’s league of BS officials. Player safety my arse.
    With that said, good teams (unlike Tomlin’s) don’t live or die by one blown call in a game.

  • Rod Hedrick

    I am not saying Ben is Manning or Brady, but those guys couldn’t play with the line Ben’s had in the last few years. I am not sure who is scouting or judging talent, but that was a Steeler Strength. Now look at all the picks we that seem to be busts. Start with Colbert and clean house.

  • JB

    looks like Beachum was the one who really got beat on that play. Certainly not saying that Adams has played well. Looks like most of our line is not good (ill be kind). I think Ben is a great QB, but he needs to protect the ball – way too many turnovers.

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  • treeher

    As bad as Adams played, you have to realize he was up against the leading sack monster in the league. Why didn’t the coaches recognize he was over-matched and provide help on the left side? I saw Bell run over a couple times. He needs to take blocking lessons from Dwyer.

  • Tom Savastano

    They are only 2 games out of first..plenty of time to turn it around..Im still watching every game!

  • Madi

    What about the blow to the head on the same play?

  • Virdin Barzey

    First off Adams is not a rook. This is his 2nd year on the team. 2nd it is his first year at LT but that’s what he played in college and apparently he wanted to play on this team. Did I say Adams is the reason we lost? Make no mistake, his play is one of the many reason along with the awful defense that can’t tackle.

  • Chad Ammidown

    It was neither.

  • Chad Ammidown


  • Chad Ammidown

    You want a ref to see that live? It was a jail break around him.

  • lone pistol

    you guys speak of ben like he is a machine not human. he keep us in that game the pick wasnt his fault sanders is not a great receiver, and neither was that fumble when the whole game (season) your line plays like dookie, heck id fake a season long injury if i was him, he is defently alittle scared back there anymore and i dont blame him, plus he is what 31 now and he has a new born im sure thats on his mind right now, there gona get him killed, if you gave him an AVERAGE line i bet everone hating will go back to saying hes one of the best QBs when they see what he can do again

  • overscored

    Maybe this awful start will convince the Steelers to go after a true LT in the draft or *gasp* free agency.

    Really, the failures since being in the Super Bowl have almost been entirely coaching/front office caused. Part of it is the Steelers refusal to go after decent free agents, instead electing to “build through the draft,” which doesn’t work when you miss on so many picks.

  • Richard Edlin

    Ben had a little room to step up into that pocket – I’m more worried by Bell’s blocking on that than Adams. Where he was, three of his receivers are blocked by the linemen and only one is free. One to two steps forward and the field opens up and he’s got enough time to make the touchdown throw on the right hand side as the receive finds lot of space. #52 would still get the hit post-throw.