PITTSBURGH (AP) – Coach Mike Tomlin concedes the Steelers were mistakenly awarded a first down on a 9-yard run by Rashard Mendenhall during their 22-17 loss to the Jets on Sunday.
On first-and-10 from the Jets 35 early in the second quarter, Mendenhall gained nine yards to the 26 yard line. After momentary confusion as the chain crew began moving the sticks, referee Peter Morelli’s crew put the ball down at the 25 and signaled a first down.
The statistics crew hastily awarded Mendenhall a 10-yard carry – an extra yard that wound up giving him a 100-yard game. The Steelers went on to score a touchdown on Ben Roethlisberger’s nine-yard pass to Matt Spaeth.
Tomlin said the Steelers benefited in that situation, but added that the spotting of the ball is always tricky.