The New England Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills 20-13 in the Monday Night Football game, but a blown call by the officials cost the Bills a chance to tie the game on the final play.
With the Bills trying to get within range for a last-second Hail Mary attempt into the end zone, Tyrod Taylor hit wide receiver Sammy Watkins near midfield. Watkins scrambled to get out of bounds and appeared to succeed which should have left two seconds on the clock for one final play.
However, the official on the sideline said Watkins was down in bounds, kept the clock rolling, and the game was over.
Typically what happens in a situation like this, a player is pushed backwards and out of bounds by a defender. In that case, the official keeps the clock running because they rule the player’s forward progress had been stopped in bounds.
But that didn’t happen here.
It appears that the official ruled that Watkins “gave himself up,” by intentionally going to the ground. This would be considered the equivalent of taking a knee to stop a play. But that clearly is not what is going on here.
Of course, none of this might have mattered if the officials didn’t blow an earlier call against the Patriots.
Early in the third quarter, Tom Brady scrambled towards the Bills sideline and hit Danny Amendola on a long pass. It looked like it was going to be a touchdown. However, an official blew an inadvertent whistle just as Brady was throwing the ball, killing the play.
Since the whistle came before the catch, it should have been a do-over.
However, the refs allowed the catch. The officials then tacked on 15 more yards, penalising Bills coach Rex Ryan for unsportsmanlike conduct as he interfered with the official during the play and may have actually contributed to the whistle being accidentally blown.
In the end, the Patriots were the better team and deserved the win. Unfortunately for everybody involved, the officials turned out to be more of a story than the teams involved.