NEW ORLEANS — Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden spoke out on the issue of taking part in protection in the NFL after two questionable move interference calls towards him negated fourth-down stops in the New Orleans Saints’ 31-28 win.
New Orleans completed every of these drives with touchdowns.
“It’s what it’s, man. It is an offensive game. You’ll be able to’t contact these guys,” Haden mentioned. “On the identical time, with the push-off, they did not say something about Michael pushing me off in the top zone for the final play. It is simply powerful being a defensive again, however we gotta [play] — that is what we do.
“It simply sucks typically when these video games, these performs are simply so large they usually’re weighed in another way. And it will probably simply make or break momentum and every thing. So it’s extremely, very unlucky and it sucks. I am pissed. However subsequent time I will strive to make sure that I could make these performs with out getting the decision.”
With three:10 left in the primary quarter, Haden was referred to as for pushing working again Alvin Kamara in the top zone on a excessive throw that neither participant had an opportunity to catch. Replays confirmed Haden gently grazed Kamara’s again as he tried to attain the ball, thus warranting a no-call. As an alternative of a lack of downs after a fourth-and-2 cease, the Saints bought the ball on the 1-yard line and scored on a Mark Ingram landing run.
On the two-minute warning, officers flagged Haden for allegedly grabbing receiver Michael Thomas over the center. As an alternative of a lack of downs on one other fourth-and-2 cease, the Saints bought the ball on the 22-yard line and scored on a 2-yard Thomas catch with 1:28 left.
Security Sean Davis mentioned the calls have been “loopy” and altered momentum, although most Steelers clarified that officiating would not win or lose video games.
Haden mentioned he’ll discuss with coach Mike Tomlin about what he can do higher subsequent time however cannot conceal disappointment.
“I am very frustrated, very pissed,” Haden mentioned. “This implies quite a bit to me. I come out right here, bust my tail, strive to play good protection. It is simply powerful, the best way the game’s altering.”
The Steelers additionally had a controversial second with Four:11 left as Tomlin referred to as a pretend punt that the Saints stopped simply in need of the first-down mark. On fourth-and-6 from Pittsburgh’s 42-yard line, fullback Roosevelt Nix took the snap and ran by way of the center of the Saints’ protection for a Four-yard acquire. New Orleans appeared to sniff out the play rapidly.
However the Steelers bought the ball again with 1:25 left, which Tomlin mentioned was a part of his plan. They drove downfield earlier than JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fumble with 41 seconds left.
“I simply needed to be aggressive,” Tomlin mentioned. “I needed to be certain that we had the chance to win the game. To begin with, I preferred the play … I believed the place the game was and the time of which was left in the game, I believed that if we didn’t cease them, that we’d have the chance you might have the ball again. We did. Clearly, unsuccessful.”