Former Wisconsin great T.J. Watt was a force in college, as his presence on the defensive side of the ball often played a huge role in any Badgers’ victory. That hasn’t changed for Watt at the next level, as the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker is still terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.
The Steelers defeated the Green Bay Packers, 31-28, on Sunday night at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, and it was Watt’s first-down sack of Packers quarterback Brett Hundley with under 2 minutes remaining in the game that helped set up the game-winning field goal for the Steelers.
However, according to an All22 article, the Packers claimed after the game that Watt’s late sack was an illegal, helmet-to-helmet hit.
Watch the sack below:
Terrific play late in the game by T.J. Watt to sack Brett Hundley after starting out in coverage, but we'll have to wait and see what the NFL says about the helmet-to-helmet contact. #Packers #Steelers pic.twitter.com/asX8BKoIMJ
— Mike Cianciolo (@MikeCianciolo) November 27, 2017
“There was a hit on the first play,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “We all recognized it. The quarterback wasn’t checked.”
McCarthy said that the sack cost the Packers the game, as McCarthy took the time to talk with Hundley via helmet radio to make sure that he was all right. McCarthy said that this affected the team’s play calling on the rest of the drive, as rookie running back Jamaal Williams ran out of bounds on the next play.
“The play entry from the boundary went in late because I thought there was a helmet-to-helmet hit on Brett Hundley,” McCarthy said in the article. “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 two-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.”
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell hit a 53-yard field goal as time expired to give Pittsburgh the win.
The hit was sack No. 5 in Watt’s NFL career, and the rookie pass rusher also has 37 tackles (28 solo) and 1 interception this season.
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