The Green Bay Packers believe that Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher T.J. Watt’s final sack on quarterback Brett Hundley was an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit. There were no flags and Hundley stayed in the game. However, they still think that cost them the contest.
The Packers had the ball with 1:20 remaining and the game tied 28-28. Hundley was sacked on first down, and the Packers should have stopped running the 2-minute offense and played for overtime. Instead, rookie running back Jamaal Williams ran out of bounds on the next play. That meant the Steelers eventually got the ball back with just enough time to go down and kick a game-winning field goal.
“There was a hit on the first play,” coach Mike McCarthy said, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “We all recognized it. The quarterback wasn’t checked.”
As a result, McCarthy himself talked to Hundley on the helmet radio to make sure he was all right. That’s why the play call didn’t get in quickly and why no one bothered to tell Williams to stay in bounds.
“The play entry from the boundary went in late because I thought there was a helmet-to-helmet hit on Brett Hundley,” McCarthy said. “You obviously check to see if your quarterback’s OK. That’s a natural reaction in the flow of the game. It might affect how you’re going to call the second play, too. That’s what happened as far as Jamaal.
“I don’t fault Jamaal for going out of bounds on the second down. Jamaal didn’t know we were out of the 2-minute mode. It’s football. It happens. Hey, I don’t want to see officials make calls in the fourth quarter of a game. It happens sometimes. It happened tonight. That’s the reality of what happened. No excuses. That’s where we were.”