Officials played it safe by ruling fumble

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

TAMPA, Fla. -- Referee Terry McAulay and crew played it safe when they initially ruled the Cardinals had suffered a sack and lost fumble, not an incomplete pass, on that play with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The ruling made the play subject for review, giving officials a chance to correct their mistake, if one had been made. Had the officials called the play incomplete initially, they could not have awarded possession to the Steelers.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the play and won his second reversal of the game. His challenge record was 2-5 during the regular season. McAulay suffered five coach-initiated reversals during the regular season.