Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Titans’ Kevin Byard calls officiating ‘complete BS’ in Week 15 loss to the Steelers

PITTSBURGH — There were a number of reasons why the Titans failed to get their 10th win of the season Sunday at Heinz Field. The four turnovers committed by the Titans’ offense was the biggest, but penalties committed at critical moments also loomed large in Tennessee’s 19-13 loss to Pittsburgh. 

Titans safety Kevin Byard, who was part of a defense that held the Steelers to just 168 total yards, was critical of the officiating after the game. 

“I think the majority of the calls in this game was complete BS,” Byard said. “The one drive fueled by penalties, they got a touchdown, but the rest of the game, I really felt like the defense was flying around, playing with speed. I told all of the guys when the QB was kneeling, I’m really proud of the effort the defense played with today.”

Byard specifically mentioned several penalties that were called against his team. Among those was cornerback Kristian Fulton’s unnecessary roughness penalty on Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth with the Titans leading 13-3 with 6:06 left in the third quarter. He alluded to the pass interference call made against Fulton on Steelers receiver Chase Claypool later in the drive. The penalties set up Ben Roethlisberger’s one-yard touchdown run that seemed to change the momentum of the game. 

“I don’t think it was a dirty play,” Byard said of Futon’s hit of Freiermuth that knocked him out of the game. “I think he was trying to make a play on the ball. … Unfortunately, the guy got hurt.” 

Despite the penalties, Byard and his defensive teammates dominated a Steelers offense that was aided by the four turnovers that were committed by the Titans’ offense. The Titans held Ben Roethlisberger to just 148 yards passing. They suffocated the Steelers’ rushing attack, as Najee Harris finished the game with just 18 yards on 12 carries. The one turnover the Titans did force was wiped out due to a penalty. 

“Just keep playing,” Byard said when asked how to handle costly penalties in the moment. “Especially as a defensive back, even if you make a big play, you have to just forget it and play the next play. That’s just our mentality. During the game, you don’t have too time to complain to the refs because it doesn’t work; it’s not basketball. You just have to keep playing.” 

While the penalties on Pittsburgh’s only touchdown drive was significant, Tennessee’s turnover woes dominated the Titans’ postgame press conference. Over the past three games, the Titans have committed 13 penalties, the same amount of turnovers they gave up during the season’s first 10 games. The Titans took ownership of their mistakes while quickly turning the page to Thursday night’s home game against the 49ers

“It’s a sick feeling,” said Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. “It has to get cleaned up. You turn the ball over as many times as we did, you’re going to put yourself in a tough position. The defense kept us in the game by the way they played; had huge stops after those turnovers, holding them to field goals. But offensively, we have to play cleaner football.” 

Related articles

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.