Former NFL VPs Of Officiating: Refs Wrong To Overturn Bills Touchdown Against Patriots

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Another week, another “what is a catch in the NFL?” controversy.

Except this overturned Buffalo Bills touchdown against the New England Patriots shouldn’t have been controversial at all.

When officials determined that Kelvin Benjamin had caught a touchdown that would have given his Bills a lead just before halftime of the Week 16 tilt, their replay could have gone one of three ways: it’d confirm the call on the field, the call would stand because of inconclusive evidence, or it’d determine Benjamin had not in fact caught Tyrod Taylor’s pass in bounds.

Benjamin clearly got both feet down, but whether or not he secured the ball before that moment is debatable—as in, there’s not enough evidence to conclude anything. If the original call had been “no catch,” then it should have stayed that way. But because the call on the field was a touchdown, a touchdown it should have remained.

Guess how the guys in the booth ruled it instead.

Not only did everyone not donning a Pats logo lose their mind at the inanity of overturning an inconclusive call on the field, former vice president of NFL officiating Mike Pereira got in on the action.

Dean Blandino, who succeeded Pereira before giving way to Al Riveron, agreed with Pereira.

The NFL’s football operations department tried to act like the league is the only group with access to the replay.

Though the extra point would have given Buffalo a four-point lead heading into the half, the score likely wouldn’t have affected the result, as the Pats stomped the Bills in the second half to win 37-16.

I know PittsburghSteelers fans don’t want to hear it, but last week’s reversal of Jesse James’ touchdown was the right call.

This one, not so much.


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