Special-teams infractions big part of penalty-filled performance for Steelers
They didn’t cost them the game, but the five penalties on special teams didn’t things any easier on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Five penalties costing 45 yards were called on the special-teams units during a 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The gaffes were called on four different players, and they ran the gamut in regards to situations: a Jordan Dangerfield illegal block on a kick return, a Tyler Matakevich blindside block on a punt return, a Matthew Thomas illegal formation on a kickoff, a Steven Ridley formation flag on a free kick and a Matakevich roughing the punter call on a punt block.
“Penalties kill you; you can’t have all those penalties,” Matakevich said. “They can change the whole aspect of the game. We’ve got to clean it up. That’s the only thing you can do.”
The final infraction was the least egregious because it was out of desperation in the final seconds when the Steelers went all-out for a punt block and Matakevich came barreling up the middle.
“We felt we had to go get it,” Matakevich said. “So we went for it. We took our shot, and unfortunately came up short.”
Special teams made up the greatest share of the Steelers’ 12 accepted penalties Sunday (four defense, three offense), the second consecutive game in which the team committed that many infractions.
“We got behind the chains (offensively) because of penalties,” coach Mike Tomlin said, “and I thought penalties were a factor in us defensively in the second half in terms of minimizing our opportunity on possession downs and even losing some of those possessions downs because of penalties.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.