A few days ago, I commented on the NFL's instant replay system saying:
My case was very clear during Thursday's night game when Heath Miller was clearly out of bounds well before the end-zone.
I don't fault the refs because they are chugging along with super-fast guys and can't always get optimal position to make the call -- although, I'd think if he's running along the out of bounds, he'd notice half of Miller's leg touch the white line.
I half-heartedly blame Nick Saban for throwing a girlie pass to challenge the play. But it's not his fault the NFL still uses a system that requires teams to "challenge" a blown call by the referees. What's more amazing is the NFL will punish you for challenging a call by taking away a valuable timeout.
Again, I blame the NFL's ridiculous replay rules. If there were a replay official in the booth that had the power to stop the play, he could have watched ONE replay and determine he was out of bounds; where the ball should be spotted, the time remaining on the game clock, etc. This situation would have been quickly resolved and settled in the time it took to set up the special teams' formations.
I also don't want to take anything away from Pittsburgh -- ouch, that hurt. It was a great play and, selfishly, Heath Miller is on my fantasy team. So I made out well in that respect. All the replay would have done would put Pittsburgh around the five-yard line. Would they have scored? Perhaps. But I'm reminded by the Charlie Batch fumble inside the three-yard line; nothing is certain.
The NFL, for all the glitz and glory of sportsmanship, does a pathetic job doing what's right; getting the correct call and enabling players to determine the game. It's amazing to me the NFL is a bit behind the times in comparison to the college version.