The Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting at the second spot in the NFC North behind the Baltimore Ravens. With a 3-3 mark, they entered the week 8 campaign to increase the winning record. However, instead of stretching the winning streak, they went down to the AFC South’s top team Jacksonville Jaguars.
After embracing a 10-20 loss at Acrisure Stadium, the Steelers will have to fight hard in their upcoming match to ensure a playoff run. However, the team’s wide receiver Diontae Johnson is not ready to move on from the loss yet as he blamed the league officials for some debating calls that snatched the victory from their hand.
Diontae Johnson slams NFL officials
In the Week 8 match, the Jaguars defensive star Adam Gotsis slammed the Steelers signal-caller Kenny Pickett to the ground following the release of the ball. The quarterback injured his ribs and couldn’t resume the contest after that.
The Steelers expected a roughing the passer call following the hit, but no flag was thrown. Johnson voiced dissatisfaction on the missed call while talking with the reporters in the team’s locker room, and said the officials cost them the loss.
“They were calling some stupid stuff. They should get fined for making terrible calls. That’s how (mad) I am because they cost us the game. I don’t care what nobody says, they cost us the game,” he said via AP News.
Another controversial incident happened when the Steelers kicker Chris Boswell’s field goal was negated on guard Isaac Seumalo. Referee Alan Eck claimed Seumalo was lined up in the neutral zone, and hence, the call came, leading the kicker to miss an ensuing 61-yard try.
Following the match, the team’s head coach Mike Tomlin said he had not witnessed such a call in 17 years of standing on the sidelines. Johnson also didn’t shy away from bashing the officials for the call while saying they “got paid good” for those controversial decisions.
“The refs was killing us the whole game. Like Coach [Tomlin] said, we can’t worry about the refs or whatever, but everybody’s different. I don’t know. I ain’t like the refs today. They must have got paid good today or something. (The referees) wanted (Jacksonville) to win. Everything was in their favor. They were getting every little call. But it is what it is.”
Both teams were handed six penalties in the Week 8 match, and the Jaguars gave up 72 yards on penalties while the Steelers 56.
NFL community reacts to Diontae Johnson blasting officials
Following the Steelers’ 10-point loss to the Jaguars, the NFL community took to social media as well. Just like the team’s WR, they slammed the officials for getting bribed.
A person wrote, “Refs are awful can’t believe they get paid.”
The Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was slapped with $12,500 for his comments on the officiating during their wildcard game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. His fine was marked as a “verbal or other non-physical offense against an official”.
Some netizens said Johnson might also have to pay a big fine due to raising eyebrows about the official’s favoritism toward top-tier teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.
A person wrote,”Bro just imagine how every Eagles opponent feels. Refs are rigging the game and I’m glad he’s speaking about it, probably gonna get fined for telling the truth tho.”
However, many fans slammed the Steelers vet instead. They said the team itself showcased a bad performance in the match, especially on the offensive side, and claimed the outburst on referees was an aftermath of their frustration.
A netizen wrote,” When you don’t play a good game, you blame others for your loss.”
What’s your take on this? Do you also think that the officials were at fault in the Steelers vs Jaguars match? Tell us in the comments.