Under the direction of head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane, the Buffalo Bills and playoff football has become a bit of a tradition. In the last two years another tradition has emerged. A horrifically bad call that went the way of the Bills’ opponent.
On the kickoff to open the second half versus the Houston Texans last year, returner DeAndre Carter tossed the ball to the ground. After deliberation the officials declared that thanks to “common sense” Carter had given himself up and it was a touchback. As some very smart and probably handsome author pointed out last year, this should have been called an illegal forward pass in the end zone. Safety. Two points Buffalo and Bills get the ball.
This year, with the Colts down by three and driving, Jordan Poyer knocked the ball out of the hands of Zach Pascal. Tre’Davious White fell on it. With only 50 seconds left and the Colts without any timeouts the Bills had willed their way to a victory.
[sound of record scratching]
Admittedly, it’s 100 percent understandable to see why this was called as down by contact live. The contact and that knee coming up occurred in a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment. It was close enough though that THE PLAY WAS UNDER REVIEW!
I’ll be honest—I didn’t bother getting the “best” angle for my GIF because we all saw it clear as day. Knee lifts off the ground. Then contact. Then the ball came loose. Clear recovery by Buffalo. Sticking with the call on the field was preposterous.
Even Gene Steratore thought so.
IMO, this should've been overturned to a fumble. The visual evidence appears conclusive that the first contact from the Buffalo defender occurs after Zach Pascal's knee is lifted from the ground. Since there's also a clear, immediate recovery, Buffalo would have got the ball. pic.twitter.com/bQ5tkAc1a2— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) January 9, 2021
I’m not the only person to express this and I’m sure I won’t be the last. Why bother reviewing a play if you don’t have the guts to make the right call? It didn’t cost Buffalo the game, but it could have. Hopefully this is one tradition that we’ve seen the last of.