Officials botch a game-changing call in Steelers vs. 49ers game

What just happened? Steelers were robbed with a horrible call.
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

If we didn't think things were bad enough in the first half of Week 1, Pittsburgh Steelers fans had to deal with a clinically insane ruling on a challenge call by Mike Tomlin. This might have been the nail in the coffin.

After a dismal start to the contest that got the Steelers in a 17-0 hole very early in the game, Mike Tomlin's team was looking for a spark. T.J. Watt provided that in a way that only he can... or so we thought.

As the 49ers were marching down the field once again -- looking to put the Steelers out of their misery, Watt made an absolutely clutch forced fumble on a sack on Brock Purdy. Watt clearly punched the ball out as he was taking Purdy to the ground. Then a scuffle for the football ensued, and it certainly looked like Watt came up with it.

To the astonishment of fans, the ruling on the field was that Purdy had recovered his own fumble. This was bizarre, as the ball was behind Purdy's back. Tomlin challenged the call on the field. Somehow, it wasn't overturned.

Horrible call had game-changing implications for Steelers

This infuriated fans. As the ball was punched out, Purdy made an effort to secure it behind his back, and the refs determined that he had the ball long enough to retain possession. In real-time, this didn't seem to be the case at all.

Watt's sack did help force the 49ers to kick a field goal -- going up to a 20-0 lead in the first half. However, San Francisco should have never even been given the opportunity to score here. This was a total miss-call on the part of the officiating crew and a game-changing one at that.

This was not the start to the season that the Pittsburgh Steelers envisioned for themselves. Let's hope they can get some momentum going soon.