Hey Buffalo Bills fans! Did you hear about the offensive offside penalty on Kadarius Toney? I know it seems weird to hear about it, but it was actually in the game we were watching this past weekend. Crazy, right? No one’s talking about how an offensive offside penalty erased a possible game-winning touchdown. Honestly I’m shocked that you can’t find discussion on it anywhere, so I’m here to fill the void.
Kidding aside, I’m only briefly discussing the rule and diving into a thought experiment on how bizarre it is that there was ever a discussion on the “fairness” of calling a rule. If you’ve ever wanted to hear an analyst chuckle while describing something, this is your week to watch the video.
For those of you who don’t like to watch the video (what’s wrong with you), it’s about five minutes and covers the penalty from what I hope is a different angle than the rest of the NFL world. I don’t dissect the flag itself all that much, but I do point out that the most widely available screen grab of the Toney offside comes from the NFL’s sideline angle, aka the “all-22.”
That camera is usually situated around the 50-yard line, which is right around where the penalty happened. As a result, you just can’t get a much clearer view of an offside flag. In other words, if for some reason you had any doubt whether Toney was offside... quit it. It’ll never be any more clear.
From there, the video takes a look at a play that Kansas City benefited from the week before they lost to Buffalo. The Green Bay Packers had all sorts of trouble setting up on defense with linebacker Lukas Van Ness’ offside so preposterous it makes Toney’s look downright legal (though it still wasn’t).
Wait? You haven’t heard about Lukas Van Ness’ offside flag? Well that’s because no one bats an eyelash when the defense is called for offside. Both variants of the flag result in a five-yard flag and a free play for the opponent. So why did Van Ness’ ludicrously offside flag not cause a ripple but Toney’s is the talk of the town? We’re just not used to seeing it on offense is all. Fair is fair, though, and while I seek to gain coveted clicks of my own on the topic, the reality is that no one should have so much as blinked at such an obvious call being made.