Zac Taylor: Hard with all the craziness to challenge Ja’Marr Chase being ruled short of TD
The Bengals were able to tie the Steelers on a Ja’Marr Chase touchdown catch at the end of regulation on Sunday, but they may not have needed those last second heroics to draw even if they had thrown a challenge flag after another Chase catch in the fourth quarter.
Chase was ruled out of bounds on the 1-yard-line after a catch with just under three minutes left to play, but it looked on replays like Chase got the ball over the goal line before hitting the sideline. Multiple sources told PFT on Sunday that the call would have been changed to a touchdown if the Bengals had challenged.
The Bengals did not challenge the ruling and rushed to the line for a Joe Mixon run that wound up losing a couple of yards. They would not score on the next three plays either.
The handling of the play led to questions for Bengals head coach Zac Taylor after the game. In addition to not challenging, the rush to run the next play also eliminated the possibility of replay officials stepping in. Under the replay assistant rule adopted in 2021, replay officials can assist on-field officials in a variety of circumstances including “location of the football or a player in relation to a boundary line, line of scrimmage, line to gain, or goal line.”
“Part of it was that that’s the hardest place for us to see in the entire field is that spot,” Taylor said in his postgame press conference. “I didn’t think there was a chance there was a touchdown there initially. So, we got on the ball to run it in quickly. It’s hard with all the craziness in that moment, all the communication to get that ‘Stop, stop. Let’s evaluate this.’ We just couldn’t get it done fast enough by the time we’d seen a replay and realized ‘Oh shoot, he might have gotten in there.’ We’ve just got to learn from those. It’s a fine line — when you get the ball on the inch, you just want to punch it in real quick. In hindsight, maybe he was in and we could have given ourselves a chance.”
Taylor was also questioned about his clock management after the overtime loss and those issues joined five Joe Burrow turnovers and a messy kicking operation as reasons why the team is 0-1 on Monday morning.