Mike Pereira: Don't blame refs, 'Marvin Lewis lost control of his team'

BY James Parziale • January 10, 2016

The fiasco of an ending between the Steelers and Bengals on Saturday night included many guilty parties, but FOX Sports NFL rules expert Mike Pereira made one thing clear: Don't blame the refs.

"Although I respect him greatly, Marvin Lewis lost control of his team," Pereira said.

The game was chippy all night, but it really unraveled with under under 30 seconds left and the Steelers driving for the game-winning field goal. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict laid out Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, making contact with Browns helmet with his shoulder. It drew a 15-yard flag.

In the kerfuffle that ensued afterward, Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter got pushed by Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, drawing another 15-yard penalty. It helped set up the Bengals total implosion that culminated in a Chris Boswell 35-yard field goal and a Steelers 18-16 win. 

The teams combined for 18 penalties, none more controversial than the final two.

"The game got out of control," Pereira explained in the video above. But was it the fault of the officials? "It was not. They did everything they could. They threw a lot of flags. They could have thrown more."

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