George Pickens expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of Monday’s playoff loss and the officiating as his Pittsburgh Steelers were eliminated by the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round. Following the 31-17 defeat, he remarked to reporters, “You can’t play the Bills and the refs at the same time.”

Despite Pickens’ discontent with the officials, a controversial call during the game favored Pittsburgh. In the first half, amid struggles for the visiting team, it seemed that Pat Freiermuth had fumbled, potentially returning possession to Buffalo. However, officials determined that the Steelers would retain the ball because it had touched Freiermuth’s helmet. Former official Gene Steratore clarified the situation.

There was a moment involving Pickens that didn’t go in Pittsburgh’s favor. In the final minutes, while trailing by 14, the Steelers attempted a fourth-down play directed towards him. Although the pass fell incomplete, there was a suggestion that the defender had wrapped his arm around Pickens’ waist, possibly warranting a pass interference call.

Pickens likely carried his frustration from that play into his post-game comments. Nevertheless, the Bills demonstrated their superiority throughout the match, securing a commanding 21-0 lead that they never surrendered. Even when the Steelers closed the gap to within one score in the fourth quarter, Josh Allen responded with a touchdown pass to Khalil Shakir.

Allen’s outstanding performance, throwing for 203 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions while rushing for 74 yards and another score, played a more significant role in the game’s outcome than officiating. Regardless of Pickens’ sentiments, the Bills proved to be the better team in challenging weather conditions.

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