PITTSBURGH -- Steelers safety Troy Polamalu's slapping of the ball into the end zone at the end of Sunday's 25-17 victory over the New England Patriots was against an NFL rule.
The rule states that a player may not bat or punch a loose ball in the field of play toward the opponent's goal line; a loose ball that has touched the ground in any direction, if it is in either end zone; or a backward pass in flight, which can't be batted forward by an offensive player.
Polamalu slid after Tom Brady's fumble in the final moments of the game and slapped it into the end zone. The ball slid through the end zone for a safety, making the final score 25-17 for the Steelers.
When asked about the play after the game, Polamalu said, "Whatever is going to get me in trouble, I'm saying the opposite."
The NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season, Polamalu made five tackles as Pittsburgh held New England to 213 yards, just 170 passing.
The call isn't reviewable by video replay.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press