(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
On Wednesday night, it was revealed by Pro Football Talk that the Elias Sports Bureau didn't credit T.J. Watt with a sack on Tyler Huntley in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Ravens. With the Steelers' appeal being denied, Watt finished the season tied with Michael Strahan for the single-season NFL sack record with 22.5 sacks.
The Elias Sports Bureau ruled the play aborted due to a bad snap and credited Watt with a tackle for loss and forced fumble. The Elias Sports Bureau believed that Huntley never had the intent to throw the ball after recovering the loose ball.
Bob Labriola of Steelers.com asked Tomlin about the Elias Sports Bureau's ruling, and he didn't agree with it.
"Based on my understanding of the rule, I thought it was a sack," Tomlin said. "But I coach football and Elias (Sports Bureau) and those statistician folks, they make determinations such as that. I'm still not certain why it wasn't a sack. It was empty formation. There was no running back in the backfield. People who run routes, offensive linemen were in protection mode. And so, I still struggle with that, but I accept their judgment."
With the Steelers playing the Chiefs in the wild-card round on Sunday night, Watt not being credited with the sack is pretty much water under the bridge now.
"I think we all simply moved on," Tomlin said. "We appealed it just as a point of procedure, in an effort to support him in his efforts, and highlight the extraordinary accomplishments that he had this year. But I don't think any of us was surprised by the final verdict, and I don't know that it was discussed other than the acknowledgement of it."
Watt echoed what his head coach said on Friday when he was asked about not being credited with another sack. It's onto Kansas City.
"All of that stuff is out of my control,” Watt said. “It is what it is. At this point, the regular season is closed and I’m on to the postseason.”