Officials Got Illegal Touching Call On Antwon Blake Correct

The illegal touching called on Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Antwon Blake following the second quarter punt by Zoltan Mesko against the Oakland Raiders was certainly a big play in the game and a few people have asked me if I could make an animated gif of it.

I have done just that and have watched it for on loop for nearly five minutes. I think it is clear that the ball changes direction after Blake takes a swipe at it and I feel the officials got this one right when the reviewed it.

The Steelers were down 14-3 at the time and needless to say, getting possession of the football at the Raiders 28 yard-line could have easily put them right back in the game.

Plays like this seem to be a common occurrence this season for the Steelers as every bouncing ball seems to go against them. Regardless, major kudos to safety Shamarko Thomas, who alertly pounced on the loose football.


  • treeher

    I was watching without sound and so I don’t know what the call on the field was. If it was that he touched it, there is not enough evidence to reverse – I don’t think the .gif is clear either way.

  • r4kolb

    Actually when I watched it on the TV replay if you look closely you can see his middle finger flick backward because it touched the ball. Watch the gif you can see it.

  • mexicomagico

    If you’d said you have Superman’s vision I’d agree with you, however I can not possible see how Blake touched the ball.

  • Matthew Marczi

    The top of the ball does clearly change direction, and Blake’s middle finger also clearly bends backward as though he’d touched it. I agree, the officials, sadly, made the right call.

  • chris ward

    Looking at it again it did look like the ball changed direction. Refs did a solid job in the game and got most of the calls right.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    look at his middle finger and watch it bend backwards…its fairly easy to see.


    Two “tells” here. First, the change in the rotation of the ball. The rotation is nearer a horizontal plane before Blake swipes at it before changing to a more vertical plane afterwards. Second, watching Blake’s fingers, the middle finger’s motion is delayed relative to the others upon contact with the football.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    My question would be, why is he swiping at the ball?

  • SteveM2

    Mine, too.

  • Dr. Doom

    I was really irritated watching it on tv, thank you for slowing it down. He definitely touched it

  • SG

    I’m still trying to figure out who Antwon Blake is.

  • Bob Graff

    Did Blake go out of bounds and was the first to touch it . Or did he just touch the ball down before it hit the Raider??? Either way he should have waited the play was right in front of him. Another sign of a poorly coached team no focus.