NFL Says Refs Blew Unnecessary Roughness and Delay of Game Calls on Controversial MNF Play

Image via Getty

Image via Getty

Another great football game was ruined by terrible officiating. The referees somehow blew two calls on the same play during Monday night’s showdown between the Seahawks and Bills in Seattle, significantly altering the trajectory of the game. And the NFL knows it.

It all started with three seconds left in the first half. With the score 28-17 for the Seahawks, Buffalo attempted a 53-yard field goal. If good, the kick would have made it a much closer game to start the second half. However, Seattle’s Richard Sherman jumped across the line of scrimmage way before the ball was snapped and took out Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter at the knees. The referees flagged the Seahawks for offside. However, they did not flag Sherman for unnecessary roughness, which it clearly was.

Because Bills trainers had to come out onto the field to take a look at Carpenter, the Bills were charged a timeout and Carpenter had to come out of the game for at least one play. That wouldn’t have been the case if the refs had called unnecessary roughness, but whatever. The Bills had an extra down, so they spiked the ball on the next play, leaving one second on the clock for Carpenter to come back out and attempt a 48-yard field goal. There was still a chance to salvage this thing.

Then the referees screwed up a second time. The Bills snapped the ball and Carpenter kicked a beauty right down the middle, but the refs flagged them for delay of game.

The problem with that delay of game penalty? It was the referee’s fault! He was still standing over the ball with five seconds left on the play clock. When the referee does that, he’s supposed to add time to the clock. But for some reason he didn’t. So the Bills, through no fault of their own, ran out of time and were penalized five yards. Carpenter then lined up again to attempt a 53-yard field goal, only this time he missed. First half over, Bills trail by 11 instead of eight.

Needless to say, Bills coach Rex Ryan and his assistant brother Rob Ryan were livid.

Take a look at the insanity:

After the game, Dean Blandino, the NFL’s senior VP of officiating, did not mince words.

“It should have been unnecessary roughness,” he said of the Sherman hit. “The referee didn’t think that the contact was severe enough, he felt that players were coming together and he just didn’t think it was a foul. We looked at it, it is a foul.”

Blandino also said that if the referee is handling the ball with less than 20 seconds on the play clock then they need to reset the play clock—which they clearly did not do.

The NFL will address “the breakdown” with the officiating crew to figure out why things went wrong. But of course, that’s little consolation to the Bills, who wound up losing the game 31-25.

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Tags: blown call, Buffalo Bills, Monday Night football, NFL, Referees, Seattle Seahawks,