Kirkpatrick: Refs let Steelers have their way

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Bengals frustrated with officials

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said officiating played a role in his team’s 24-20 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Penalties did have an impact, whether they were inconsistently called, as Kirkpatrick said, or not.

A string of four consecutive penalties – two holds on Kirkpatrick, an offsides call and an unnecessary roughness flag on Pat Sims – helped the Steelers move into the red zone for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh had been held to field goals on six scoring drives before that.

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“They let them do whatever they wanted to do and we couldn’t defend ourselves,” Kirkpatrick said about the officiating. “They let them tug and they let them pull through the routes and wouldn’t let us handcheck back, so at the end of the day, that’s where my frustration comes from.”

“They should have called (stuff) on them too,” Kirkpatrick added. “They were picking and choosing when they want to do something, so I don’t see nothing wrong with what we did.”

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Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) slams his mouthpiece after a slew of second half penalties during their game against the Steelers, at Paul Brown Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) slams his mouthpiece after a slew of second half penalties during their game against the Steelers, at Paul Brown Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
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Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) slams his mouthpiece after a slew of second half penalties during their game against the Steelers, at Paul Brown Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

The Bengals had just one penalty for 15 yards – a taunting call on Adam Jones — as they took a 20-9 lead into halftime, but they were flagged seven times for 71 yards in the second half, including Vontaze Burfict’s first personal foul call of the season in the third quarter.

The Steelers had three penalties for 30 yards in the second half after racking up 74 yards on seven penalties in the first half.

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On Pittsburgh’s final scoring drive, Kirkpatrick broke up a deep pass on third-and-one from the Cincinnati 48-yard line, but the play was negated by an offsides call on Sims. Kirkpatrick then was flagged for a hold on Antonio Brown and again the next play for holding Cobi Hamilton. Then he and Sims brought Le’Veon Bell down on a tackle before Sims was called for unnecessary roughness for slamming Bell to the ground after the whistle.

That moved the Steelers to the 18-yard line, and they ended up scoring two plays later.

“Refs want to call stuff when they want to,” Sims said. “All you can do is agree with them. It’s not like they’re going to go back and change it.”

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Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to complete a pass during their game against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to complete a pass during their game against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
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Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to complete a pass during their game against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

When asked if he heard the whistle at the end of the Bell tackle play, Sims said, “I heard the whistle while I was falling down. But at the same time you can’t stop your momentum while you’re falling in the middle of a play. It don’t matter. They called it.”

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Bengals coach Marvin Lewis disagreed with the personal foul call on Sims, saying head linesman Phil McKinnely let his emotions get to him. However, he said the string of four penalties wasn’t a case of emotions getting to his players.

Kirkpatrick felt like he controlled his emotions during the game but afterward it got the best of him.

“I’m (upset),” Kirkpatrick said. “I hate losing. I hate going out like this. I feel like we’re better than that team. I just hate when the refs play a big part of the game and the outcome.”

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