That's small consolation to the Dolphins, who believe they were robbed of a win, which instead turned into a 23-22 loss.
"For the game to end like that and us to get the raw end of a deal, it hurts," Miami safety Yeremiah Bell said.
A replay review determined that Roethlisberger's touchdown was instead a fumble at the half-yard line, but because the video didn't provide clear evidence as to which team recovered the ball, the Steelers kept it and kicked the winning field goal on the next play.
Because the touchdown was overturned, only the video review could determine which team recovered the fumble. Any ruling on the field as to which team recovered was irrelevant, because the play is considered over when a touchdown signal is given, and the officials don't continue to officiate.
Regarding the fumble recovery, conclusive video evidence is required.
"There must be a clear recovery by the defense in order to reverse to a touchback," the league's Instant Replay Manual says. "If there is a pileup and you can't see who recovered the ball, or a long delay with players stopping before the ball is recovered, the offense retains possession."
If the linesman hadn't signaled a touchdown, the scrum would have determined possession.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington argued that the linesman shouldn't have been so quick to signal a touchdown. That way, the officials on the field would have determined who recovered the ball.
"If it looked like the ball was loose, play it out," Pennington said. "Don't throw your hands up in the air, especially in the last two stinking minutes of the game."
"The thing I'm most frustrated about is just that we got close against a good football team in that situation and didn't finish," he said.
The Dolphins repeatedly squandered chances to score touchdowns, instead settling five times for field goals. They again were plagued by mistakes in kick coverage and pass coverage. Even after the disputed call, they had a chance to come back but gained just 4 yards in an ugly four-play sequence, losing the ball on downs.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press