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Miami Dolphins Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Officials Steal Miami's Victory

MIAMI - OCTOBER 24:  Receiver Brandon Marshall #19 is brought down by the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sun Life Stadium on October 24, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
T.J. MorrillCorrespondent IOctober 24, 2010

The score is 22-20 in favor of the Dolphins. The Steelers have a 3rd-and-goal coming up. Ben Roethlisberger takes off on a quarterback draw, Chris Clemons of the Dolphins knocks the ball loose! Touch..........down?

Miami head coach Tony Sparano throws the red flag and the referee goes under the hood to take a look at the play. It's obvious the ball is loose on the replay. So why is it taking so long?

The moment of truth comes, the referee gets his microphone ready. This has got to be the Dolphins' football, the game is in hand, the Dolphins have defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But the official says, "Clear video evidence of who recovered the fumble is not present. Pittsburgh keeps the ball at the one-half-yard line."  WHAT!?

Looking at the replay, it's obvious the Dolphins have the ball. Ikaika Alma-Francis fell right on top of the ball and came out of the pile with the ball.

It's all on the video, too. Would somebody like to explain to me how anybody else could have come up with the loose ball?

The Dolphins played arguably the toughest team in the NFL down to the wire and, actually, in a sense won this game. Unfortunately, one Jim Joyce-esque call stole a victory from the Dolphins. This call could ultimately impact the playoffs.

Records of 4-2 and 3-3 are extremely different, especially in the AFC. Not only that, it's the AFC East. With the Patriots and Jets also in this division, and teams like the Texans and Ravens in the wild-card picture this season, the Dolphins would be right in that pack of teams if not for this one blatantly obvious missed call by the men in stripes.

In the extremely competitive AFC, one loss can be all the difference, especially within the conference. These Dolphins are on the brink of being a great football team, and in fact would be among the top teams in the league at 4-2 if not for this game.

After the bad call, however, the Dolphins did still have a chance.

With plenty of time to get into field-goal range, the Dolphins rushed to get a play off before the two-minute warning instead of letting the clock run down a few seconds to make sure they got the right play call in on second down. The Dolphins still had a chance and blew it with a 4-and-out/interception.

This is a sad week for Dolfans as fellow playoff contender Baltimore was handed an overtime game over Buffalo. A big winning streak is needed for the Dolphins to make the playoffs.

Let's hope for the best, fellow Dolfans.

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