The Pittsburgh Steelers came down with the last-second victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 15, but it came down to a critical ball placement by the referee that could have changed the course of the final 30-seconds in the game.
On the Titans’ final possession of the game, Tannehill hit WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for a five-yard pass. The refs quickly spotted the ball beyond the 10th-yard line, which very nearly gave them a first down with 34 seconds to go. As you can see here, a stop by Joe Haden keeps Westbrook-Ikhine behind the 10th-yard line — well short of the first down.
The refs didn’t adjust the placement of the ball and kept it inside the 10, but rather still came out with the sticks to take a measurement that very nearly gave the Titans a fourth-down conversion and chance to win or tie the game with just 30-seconds to go. The measurement came up just short of the first down, despite the very, very poor ball placement, however, allowing the Steelers to kneel it out and enjoy a 19-13 home victory.