The Minnesota Vikings beat the Pittsbrugh Steelers, 36-28, on Thursday night. The Steelers had a furious second-half comeback after trailing by 29 midway through the third quarter, but they ran out of time. They might have had time for one more play if not for this first down celebration from Chase Claypool with 40 seconds remaining.
Instead of immediately trying to get the ball to a referee to spot the ball, Claypool went to one knee and did his first down celebration. By the time he turned around, multiple people had their hands on the ball and it got kicked away so that the referee had to run and get it. The Steelers lost a few seconds that might have been enough for another down.
After the game Claypool tried to explain it away, saying he was already on a hashmark and the referee wasn't around, but none of that matters because he lost the ball by the time he got there anyway.
Look, given just one more play, maybe the Steelers would have scored a touchdown, but they still would have needed a two-point conversion to tie the game. And then they would have needed to actually win the game in overtime. It's stupid to blame Claypool for wasting a few seconds in a 60-minute game. However...
What an incredibly stereotypical thing for a wide receiver to do. If the Steelers were to go on and lose five plays later like they did, then what the hell are you celebrating? I know it's not just wide receivers, but it just seems like such a wide receiver thing to do. Is it better or worse than a defense doing this? Hard to say!
Most first down celebrations are lame and/or pointless. Claypool's was also poorly timed.