Steratore says Watkins “gave himself up” on final play

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Thanks to last night’s inadvertent whistle at Gillette Stadium, another potentially significant officiating gaffe has received far less attention.

It came on what turned out to be the last play of regulation, with the Bills down by seven and trying to get in position for a last-ditch, Hail Mary heave to the end zone. It appeared they’d get it, with quarterback Tyrod Taylor completing a 16-yard pass to receiver Sammy Watkins, who hit the deck and rolled out of bounds at the Buffalo 48, apparently with two seconds on the clock.

But then an official did the arm-crank thing, keeping the clock running and ending the game.

It was, from ESPN’s perspective, another poorly-discussed, late-game snafu, with Mike Tirico pointing out the curiosity before the broadcast ended, but with no explanation from Gerry Austin or anyone else regarding why it was or wasn’t the appropriate decision to end the game.

Afterward, referee Gene Steratore addressed the decision to keep the clock running through the rarely-seen creature known as a “pool report.”

“What we had as far as the last play with Buffalo’s reception was that the receiver gave himself up voluntarily in the field of play,” Steratore said. “When that occurs and we deem that the runner, which he would have been after he maintained possession after his reception, he was now a runner, had given himself up in the field of play. Then fact that he scoots out of bounds is not as important. We wound the clock. It was a judgment call by that head linesman that he felt like he gave himself up in the field of play. It’s not a reviewable play. So winding the clock or stopping the clock is not something we review. So, in his judgment, he deemed that the runner gave himself up in the field of play voluntarily, which does put him down by contact in the field, so he wound [the clock].”

Steratore’s explanation makes sense, as long as the circumstances of the play are ignored. Watkins wasn’t “giving himself up”; he was trying to get out of bounds before being touched. Without the time to stand up and step over the white line, he did the best he could to get out of the field of play.

While it may have been a “judgment call” by the official, the end result reflected poorly-formulated judgment. Which means that this is the kind of call that should be reviewable for a clear error in the exercise of that judgment.

And not through a five-minute, product-placement, dog-and-pony show. This is precisely the kind of situation where an official calling the game in real time from a box above the field should have the power to buzz Steratore and say, “Your guy screwed up. Fix it. Now.”

Until the NFL embraces such fundamental changes to the way a game is officiated, the divide between the folks at home who know what happened and the people in black-and-white stripes who don’t will only get wider and wider.

194 responses to “Steratore says Watkins “gave himself up” on final play

  1. You’re falling behind. Pereira and Carey have already chimed in with rebuttals…get with it.

  2. If that was the line judges interpretation, and Steratore agrees with it– then they should both be fired today. Thats not just ineptness, thats freakin stupidity.

  3. Fans love when their team is given forward progress….but the trade off is the clock keeps running.
    Does the NFL now require refs to determine intent?
    Too much

  4. In what way was Watkins “giving himself up” on that play? He made an immediate effort to get out of bounds, and he was never touched by a defender.

  5. The integrity of the game seems to be a top priority with regards to all aspects of the NFL….

  6. Getting out of bounds to stop the clock is always “giving yourself up,” and the clock is always stopped, so the explanation makes little to no sense. Officials at both the college and pro level seem not to want to stop the clock much anymore; they often windmill their arms to keep the clock going when players clearly get out of bounds. More officiating weirdness.

  7. Who would give themselves up in that situation? I think the officials were just tired of the game and wanted to go home after screwing up for the thirty-seventh time.

  8. Something seriously needs to be done about the horrible officiating this year. The phantom holding call on the D last night after Brady was intercepted in the 1st quarter, this call, the whistle on the Patriots, and the numerous other horrible calls for other teams throughout the year. If I constantly screwed up in my job I’d be fired. It’s time we start holding officials accountable for horrible calls.

  9. I cringe everytime I see Steratore is the official. That crew loves facetime. Gotta be one of the worst crews out there this year.

  10. bostonstrippers says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:30 AM
    The NFL Network guys said, because he rolled out, backwards, the clock keeps running. They claimed you have to step out, moving “forward’.

    That is correct.

    If you are on the ground (like he was) or on your feet and you are moving parallel with the line or backwards your forward progress is stopped. So the clock keeps running.

  11. The million dollar bribe Kraft gave the NFL over deflategate was the best investment he could have made to ensure himself another SB win.

  12. Gronk makes that same catch and they’d put 8 seconds back on the gameclock..

    for reasons n’ stuff.

    Doesn’t matter. The record doesn’t matter nearly as much as the Pats looking like a .500 team.

    Brady has got to be scared going into a game with the best sacking unit in the NFL

  13. Make everything reviewable. Don’t increase number of challenges (so game won’t get longer). Late in game upstairs should be able to correct any error. Bottom line – get it right.

  14. Bills did not play well enough on offense to win , but but this was certainly a clinic in poor officiating .

  15. It drives me crazy the way officials act like saying something is a “judgement call” makes it OK.

    If it was the “judgement” of that line judge that a player desperately trying to stop the clock would “give themselves up on the field of play”, then I would say said official was displaying an appalling lack of understanding of how the game of football is played to the extent that he is certainly not qualified to work in the NFL.

  16. Until the NFL embraces professional officials they will have to deal with the “pickup” team results they get every week. Billions spent on this league and they still can’t get it right.

  17. Bengals/Cards game Fitz caught the ball and ran sideways and jumped out of bounds. So does that mean the clock should continue to role because he didnt move forward? Dumb refs making excuses.

  18. bostonstrippers says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:30 AM
    The NFL Network guys said, because he rolled out, backwards, the clock keeps running. They claimed you have to step out, moving “forward’.
    ======

    Utter, complete nonsense. He wasn’t moving backwards. If anything, he was moving sideways, perpendicular to the line. Players go out of bounds sideways all the time. The clock always stops.

    Don’t buy a stupid argument just because it benefits the team you root for.

  19. Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (d) (1):

    An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended when a runner declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and clearly making no effort to advance.

    Watching the replay, after Watkins caught the ball, he turned upfield by taking a couple of small steps, saw the defender approaching him and then fell backward in an attempt to get out of bounds; his butt hit the ground before he went out.

    Apparently the official judged that he gave up forward progress (in an attempt to get out of bounds), and therefore the moment his but touched the ground he was considered down.

    Looked weird, but it does make sense.

  20. The NFL needs full time professional Refs, period.

    Currently they are really bad. It seems like every game has at least one questionable to flat out bad call.

  21. So any player who purposely runs out of bounce is ‘giving himself up’ and the clock just keeps running? yea, that makes sense. Ofcourse he gave himself up, he wasnt trying to get yards, he was trying to get out of bounds!

  22. rjd23456 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:41 AM

    Until the NFL embraces professional officials they will have to deal with the “pickup” team results they get every week. Billions spent on this league and they still can’t get it right.

    ——————————————————-

    From the NFL’s perspective, they got it perfectly. The undefeated Pats are a goldmine for media dollars. Constant clicks don’t hurt either.

  23. It’s not what the refs are saying, but I thought this was a forward progress thing. I swear I’ve seen a few times where the player is going out of bounds backwards and the clock keeps moving.

  24. willycents says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:36 AM

    The million dollar bribe Kraft gave the NFL over deflategate was the best investment he could have made to ensure himself another SB win.

    Yeah, it really paid off on “the inadvertent whistle.”

  25. The default excuse for every gaffe: They’re all just judgment calls. These jokers will eventually give 9 points for a TD and we’ll learn that even that is a judgement call.

  26. sevenwords says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:34 AM

    Something seriously needs to be done about the horrible officiating this year. The phantom holding call on the D last night after Brady was intercepted in the 1st quarter
    ————————————————————
    Phantom? Rambo grabbed a big handful of jersey and yanked it, slowing up Gronkowski and causing the pick. Go back and look at the replay – it was an obvious play that draws a flag 100% of the time. Even the Buffalo newspaper recognized it as a good call.

  27. How many more mistakes need to occur before actual changes get made?..

    Seriously– The replacement officials were no worse than these guys– Yet, we were fed the Kool-Aid about how regular officials are so much better… They aren’t!

    It’s the same crews– week-in and week-out—- Year-in and year-out… Mistake after mistakes.

    Take the Vikings/Packers game this past weekend (Walt Coleman’s crew)… Multiple Holding calls on one team.. 100+ yards in penalties on them… and 19 yards in penalties on the other team?

    The NFL issued a memorandum in a previous season where Coleman’s crew was cited for multiple mistakes (Nine to be exact) in a previous Vikings/Packers game (2002 at Lambeau Field)… I challenge PFT to go back and view that game– compare it to this past week’s game and you WILL find similarities. — It was a complete one-sided delivery of the rule book.

    These crews need to be replaced more often when repetitive mistakes happen.

  28. If Rob Vernatchi (Side Judge) of the Chargers/Steelers game was suspended with pay for screwing up 18 seconds on the clock, whoever “mistakenly” blew that whistle should be suspended also…no question, cut and dry, simple as that.

  29. One wonders how the line judge has a job earlier he missed a spot by a full yard and a half on hogans reception and was giving poor spots the whole game . Just a poor referee from what I saw.

  30. izlez says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:49 AM

    It’s not what the refs are saying, but I thought this was a forward progress thing. I swear I’ve seen a few times where the player is going out of bounds backwards and the clock keeps moving

    —–

    you are correct about the lack of forward progress. the player is down once he falls to the ground without trying to advance the ball. so the second his butt hit the ground he was down.

    I think the ‘judgment’ part is that the official deemed Watkins

    see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (d) (1). It is on page 26 of the NFL 2015 Rules PDF file.

  31. They make this too difficult for no reason. Every year they get in a room and say what rules can we change even though there is no need for it. I guarantee players don’t know every rule and even some coaches.

  32. ^^^^^^
    I think the ‘judgment’ part is that the official deemed Watkins stopped advancing the ball, which was correct

  33. What an inane and implausible line of “reason.”

    Watkins was OBVIOUSLY hauling tail to get out of bounds, STOP the clock and thereby preserve Buffalo’s ONE shot at having a chance in the game.

    NO ONE would “give themself up” in that situation. NO ONE. That bumbling fool of an “official” should be canned (1) for his on play butcher job of the call and (2) for the patently absurd line of bullcrap excuse he made in defense of the butcher job on the call.

    It shows such a fundamental and glaring lack of judgment in a profession where judgment is absolutely essential.

  34. What about the refs stopping the clock at 1:22 to review the spot of the ball on what ended up being 2nd and 1

    That saved the Bills at least 10 seconds, maybe more.

  35. rollotomasi14 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:53 AM

    Can someone explain how after 10 games the Pats have given up 169 points yet ESPN has them listed as #4 in points per game at 18.8???
    ———

    they have given up 182, which equates to 18.2 per game

  36. I have never heard of any being called for going out of bounds backward. They go out backward sideways forward on every play. It’s another tuck rule.

  37. Full-time refs+less complicated rules=fairer games.

    I’m a Pats fan, and I’ll take the way the game turned out…but that game was badly officiated -toward both teams- for the entire game.

  38. This has the ref screwed up written all over it. Then they decided to scour the rule book to find any “plausible” explanation as to why such a bone-headed call was made. Officials should be made accountable by having to talk to the media. As it is the team that should have won did so this blatant officials mistake will go largely ignored!

  39. “The million dollar bribe Kraft gave the NFL over deflategate was the best investment he could have made to ensure himself another SB win.”

    Listen to yourself. First do you really think a measly million dollars means much to billionaires ?

    Secondly, if the league was bribed to make deflategate go away, why are they appealing it ?

    Is there some rules that Pats haters are utterly and totally incapable of logic, understanding science and basic rational thought ?

    SMH

  40. Pretty sure that the players forward progress stopped and he moved toward the Patriots side of the field. The play stops where the forward process does, you can’t back out of bounds.

  41. Patriots first 3 points there was a Brady under thrown ball on 3rd where PI is called to expend the play. Bills make the exact same throw in the inside the 1 and CB doesn’t turn his head around and makes contact with Bills WR and no call.

    Gruden says its a good penalty call on both plays. If I am a Bills fan I would be pissed. These refs favor certain teams and games are being determined by one sided officiating. It became far worse since reviews went to head office and that head clown Blandino has his say.

  42. “whoever “mistakenly” blew that whistle should be suspended also…”

    Disagree. The sideline official was being interfered with by Rex walking directly in front of him. If anything Rex should be fined.

  43. I’ve had the position that the regular refs are no better and are no worse than the replacement officials. Once that view is apparent to everyone else the NFL will be able to save significant amounts of money.

  44. willycents says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:36 AM
    The million dollar bribe Kraft gave the NFL over deflategate was the best investment he could have made to ensure himself another SB win.

    I just can not understand the thinking that goes into someone making a statement like this. You do realize that the league is the one who is keeping this in the courts, correct? That if as you state Kraft bribed the NFL that they would make the issue go away, not perpetuate it in court. Use your heads people. Jeez.

  45. Why should a business that does 7-8 Billion a year go out and hire “professional” refs to work games?

  46. “Defaltegate was a ruse. A sham. Goodell and Kraft are still buds, and Kraft still runs the league. WWE is more legit. The end.”

    There it is the most stupid thing I’ll read all day.

    A ruse ? Really ? Millions of dollars spent trying to frame and embarrass the Pats, stolen draft picks and Kraft is “running the league” ?

    What a fantasyland you live in.

  47. I can’t stand this officiating but I can’t get behind this idea of having what is essentially a guy who calls everything up in the box. If that happens, there is no point for the officials on the field to even be there. What we need is full time officials who are dedicated to their jobs and learning the rule book along with a greater accountability for errors.

  48. Can anyone remember the last time they watched a game where the officials did not make an erroneous call that affected the game in a significant way? I truly cannot. No exaggeration. You can troll, argue, say this team or that is whiny, but really. I cannot think of one game I watched this season where someone did not get hardcore screwed and next day the explanation is as screwy as the call. #thissucks

  49. That’s BS. Watkins caught the ball while squatting, not touched by anyone. Still untouched, he rolled backward crossing the sideline to stop the clock.

    He did all these to “give himself up”???

    And I am a Pats fan.

    Why can’t NFL admit making any mistake?

  50. massfootballfan says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:50 AM
    willycents says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:36 AM

    The million dollar bribe Kraft gave the NFL over deflategate was the best investment he could have made to ensure himself another SB win.
    _______________________________________

    Yeah, it really paid off on “the inadvertent whistle.”

    __________________________________

    The defender clearly gave up upon hearing the whistle. It was ruled wrong. At best it was a completion for a first down just like they ruled. But if they ruled it like it should in the rule book then it should of been an incomplete pass due to whistle being blown when ball was in the air.

  51. NFL COVER UP

    Rex Ryan can be seen on the side line telling the Ref to “Blow the F-N Whistle” as he deliberately walked in front of him. Rex saw that Brady was ready to pass down field and ordered the Ref to stop the play with the Whistle.

    Clearly can be seen on replay, which is why the NFL is not showing us that replay – up close.

    Thus the long discussion between the Refs to figure out the safest way to call it while protecting themselves and covering up what actually took place.

  52. Listen I hate the pats ad much as anyone but it’s surprising how many people don’t know the rule. If the runner is gaining negative progress while going out of bounds the clock does not stop. Watkins went a half yard backwards out of bounds therefore the clock does not stop.

  53. from the article:

    Steratore’s explanation makes sense, as long as the circumstances of the play are ignored. Watkins wasn’t “giving himself up”; he was trying to get out of bounds before being touched. Without the time to stand up and step over the white line, he did the best he could to get out of the field of play.

    ——-

    by rule, a player is deemed to “give himself up” when he goes to the ground while not attempting to advance the ball. That is exactly what Watkins did. Once his butt hit the ground, he was down. Doesn’t matter that he was trying to get out of bounds. If his butt had hit the ground out of bounds, it would have stopped the clock. but that didn’t happen

  54. How about the stoppage of play for the Bills because the refs couldn’t even place the ball correctly and had to review to see if it was a first down or not. Gave the Bills time to come up with a play instead of using a hurry offense.

  55. Every game there are bad calls in Foxboro or funny things happen. But as I stated the NFL is “entertainment” which means Goodell can have refs call the game anyway they want.

  56. dbfan4ever says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:04 AM

    This has the ref screwed up written all over it. Then they decided to scour the rule book to find any “plausible” explanation as to why such a bone-headed call was made. Officials should be made accountable by having to talk to the media. As it is the team that should have won did so this blatant officials mistake will go largely ignored!

    ——

    It’s really pretty simple.
    see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (d) (1). It is on page 26 of the NFL 2015 Rules PDF file.

  57. harrisonhits2 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:10 AM

    “whoever “mistakenly” blew that whistle should be suspended also…”

    Disagree. The sideline official was being interfered with by Rex walking directly in front of him. If anything Rex should be fined.
    ————————————————————–
    Exactly. This is called “pulling a Tomlin” where a coach interferes with the action on the field, and should be penalized by a fine and suspension.

  58. Except for kneeling in the end zone to create a touchback or a fair catch on a punt or kickoff, there should be no “giving himself up” rule in the NFL. The play should be live until the ball-carrier is touched by an opponent, making him truly “down by CONTACT.” The “giving himself up” rule is subject to the judgment and opinion of the game official who can obviously affect and influence the game by such a decision. Change this rule, NFL!

  59. That same ref who called Watkins giving himself up, also called a pass incomplete a few plays earlier when it clearly wasn’t. Fortunately, in that case, review overturned it. That ref had a terrible game. He wasn’t alone.

    Was also great to see the qb headset go out there at the crucial final drive. I think I’ve seen that somewhere before.

  60. letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:48 AM

    So any player who purposely runs out of bounce is ‘giving himself up’ and the clock just keeps running? yea, that makes sense. Ofcourse he gave himself up, he wasnt trying to get yards, he was trying to get out of bounds!
    ———

    spin spin spin, as usual.

    the fact that Watkins went to the ground, while not trying to advance the ball, deemed him to be “giving himself up” by rule. Doesn’t matter that he went out of bounds after his butt hit the ground. He was down the moment his butt touched the ground, because he stopped trying to advance the ball.

  61. I’m a Patriots fan, but that was terrible officiating. Not just the call, but the way it was handled. If you rule forward progress (which by definition it wasn’t) or a player giving himself up you have to communicate that to the teams and the fans. The commenter up top does make an interesting point though: why didn’t the Bills argue the call? And more to the point, is it reasonable to believe that if the Bills protested immediately there may have been a conference among the officials which may have potentially changed the call? Bad job by the refs (who had a tough game all around), but also a bad job by Rex.

  62. evereshorse1775 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:46 AM
    Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (d) (1):

    An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended when a runner declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and clearly making no effort to advance.

    Watching the replay, after Watkins caught the ball, he turned upfield by taking a couple of small steps, saw the defender approaching him and then fell (inbounds).
    ————

    Seems clear cut. Anybody want to argue the actual rule instead of making all the silly WWE comparisons?

  63. Coaches all across America are figuring out how they’ll stop the clock on future 2 minute drills this morning as obviously down and outs designed to run out of bounds and stop the clock will no longer be allowed.

  64. Wow they’re just making it up as they go. Yeah right, a guy’s going to just quit with 2 seconds left. It looked like he was trying to get out of bounds. They need to get gambling out of football.

  65. jchipwood says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:18 AM
    Every game there are bad calls in Foxboro or funny things happen. But as I stated the NFL is “entertainment” which means Goodell can have refs call the game anyway they want.
    ——————–
    Yes only in Foxboro there are bad calls, in no other stadium throughout the NFL, only in Foxboro. You nailed it.

  66. liquidchaoss says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:42 AM
    Bengals/Cards game Fitz caught the ball and ran sideways and jumped out of bounds. So does that mean the clock should continue to role because he didnt move forward? Dumb refs making excuses.

    ———-
    What? The refs seemed to have messed up on the last play last night but if Sammy had just ran out of bounds the clock most definitely would have stopped. But he fell down in bounds and rolled out,,,so you made pretty poor comparison.

  67. I use to look forward to watching NFL games. Over the past few years the product just isn’t the same. The league with their rule changes every single year. The game is taking away what made it so great and unique. My team sucks to began with but with seeing flags all game long and not “knowing” whats a catch etc.. Its just getting to be annoying and boring watching pro football. NFL is has become a huge commercial with penalties and side shows. Another few seasons of this and I will have to find another hobby.

  68. rollotomasi14 says:
    Can someone explain how after 10 games the Pats have given up 169 points yet ESPN has them listed as #4 in points per game at 18.8???
    _____________

    Might want to add in last night’s points allowed to your total.

    That was supposed to be the NFL’s best officiating crew. Beyond the two calls everyone is talking about what was with the need to huddle half the crew after almost every flag? Were they trying to get the game to last until dawn? Cripes what a mess

  69. theparadoxx82 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:49 AM

    From the NFL’s perspective, they got it perfectly. The undefeated Pats are a goldmine for media dollars. Constant clicks don’t hurt either.
    ======

    How does the fact that the officials took a TD away from the Pats earlier fit in with your tidy little conspiracy theory?

  70. Not defending the officiating last night (it was terrible). But I think they got this one right.

    Watching it live I said out loud: “well that was stupid… game over” before you could even see the ref winding the clock.

    He intentionally fell backwards IN THE FIELD OF PLAY and then rolled out of bounds. Therefore, his progress was stopped of his own volition in the field of play – wind the clock.

    It’s not surprising the receiver didn’t know the rules, neither did Rex as evidenced by his postgame press conference.

  71. What makes me really hate the Patriots is not the fact that they are a great team… It is the fact that even though they are a great team they still get some type of assistance in their wins… for example Patrick Chung pass break up, he never turned around and the receiver was coming back for the ball, no call for pass interference… same official calls pass interference on the Bills DB Gilmore who at least attempted to look back… another example Bills O-line had a holding call on him against a player who was turning to make the play, now Patriots O-line held ALL NIGHT LONG hardly any holding calls… they were basically hugging on every play… That just the way it is against the Patriots the older I’ve gotten the more obvious it has become… Indeed…

  72. When is Dean Blandino going to get some heat for the continued degradation of NFL officiating? Seriously. Officials are held accountable. Players are held accountable. Yet Blandino seems to never receive any criticism–even though it’s been under his watch that we’ve seen a marked increase in high profile gaffes. I don’t get it. Too many friends in the media? When teams struggle, coaches get fired. I think it’s fair to say the “team” of officials are struggling. I think it’s time that the head man, Dean Blandino, gets canned–or at least gets the heat turned up a bit by someone in the media willing to point out that it’s under HIS leadership that officiating has gone in the tank. Let’s go Florio! Light a fire under Blandino’s chair. Time for the head guy to start taking some heat.

  73. theparadoxx82 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:37 AM

    Gronk makes that same catch and they’d put 8 seconds back on the gameclock..

    for reasons n’ stuff.

    Doesn’t matter. The record doesn’t matter nearly as much as the Pats looking like a .500 team.

    Brady has got to be scared going into a game with the best sacking unit in the NFL

    ————–

    I would assume Brady is looking forward to it.

    Denver probably can’t dial up that Rex Ryan defense which he obviously has worked on for many weeks. The Patriots will block better against edge rushers most likely.

    Denver is always a tough place to play for Brady. I just want him to have a good game, but not so worried if it is tough and physical.

  74. rollotomasi14 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:31 AM

    jchipwood says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:18 AM
    Every game there are bad calls in Foxboro or funny things happen. But as I stated the NFL is “entertainment” which means Goodell can have refs call the game anyway they want.
    ——————–
    Yes only in Foxboro there are bad calls, in no other stadium throughout the NFL, only in Foxboro. You nailed it.

    ——————————

    Given Amendola was probably running for a TD if not for the inadvertent whistle I would say there were bad calls that affected both teams.

  75. I’d put it akin to the slide of a quarterback. As soon as the quarterback initiates the slide the ball is dead right at that spot.

    As the receiver deliberately falls backwards he gives himself up and the ball is dead at that spot.

    Agree totally with matt14gg – the refs needed to explain that call right after it happened instead of quickly exiting the field.

  76. sevenwords says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:34 AM

    Something seriously needs to be done about the horrible officiating this year. The phantom holding call on the D last night after Brady was intercepted in the 1st quarter
    ————————————————————
    Phantom? Rambo grabbed a big handful of jersey and yanked it, slowing up Gronkowski and causing the pick. Go back and look at the replay – it was an obvious play that draws a flag 100% of the time. Even the Buffalo newspaper recognized it as a good call.
    ———————————————–
    The officiating that entire game was horrid, between the errant whistle, the non-stoppage of clock when sammy went out of bounds. In my opinion not adding time to the game clock when they decided to review Robert Woods catch, on second and two on the same drive, was awfully, since they choose to review it shouldn’t time be rest to the end of the play. The non-call PI on Chung near the pylon, he never turned to play the ball and was just like Malcolm Butlers PI on Watkins later in the game. They need to stream-line the rule book and, in my opinion, call only the most blatantly obvious penalties and just let them play football

  77. Well hey look at it this way, if the referees didn’t “inadvertently” stop a Patriots scoring play right in the middle of it, the Bills getting robbed of a chance at a hail mary wouldn’t have made any difference anyway. Taylor probably doesn’t have the arm for that hail mary anyway.

  78. raideralex says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:28 AM

    Seems clear cut. Anybody want to argue the actual rule instead of making all the silly WWE comparisons?

    ———-

    seems people think that they can justify the end result if they blame the officials. It’s harder when the rule that was properly interpreted goes against them.

  79. “This is precisely the kind of situation where an official calling the game in real time from a box above the field should have the power to buzz Steratore and say, “Your guy screwed up. Fix it. Now.”

    I have never understood why every game doesn’t have this guy added to the crew. Have him do the replay reviews too, no more making a show of going under the hood, sometimes in awful weather, to try and figure it out while 80,000 people scream at you.

    It seems the only barrier is spending a little more money. Pretty sure it would cost less than $5,000,000 to improve the integrity of the game.

  80. I’ve seen players give themselves up before, and they just sit there. They don’t try to scoot out of bounds.

  81. SIMPLE just fire there a$$, if you go to your job and you are always screwing up no doubt your boss will fire you it’s only a matter of time,so why are these ref’s not being fined or even fired,there is no excuse for their bad calls,or not having bladino or some head of officating to step in and make the correct call,it’s unacceptable.

  82. charliecharger says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:30 AM

    Wow they’re just making it up as they go. Yeah right, a guy’s going to just quit with 2 seconds left. It looked like he was trying to get out of bounds. They need to get gambling out of football.

    —————

    I’m a Patriots fan, and I agree that was a terrible call. I guess if you go down on purpose and land in the field of play, then try to get out of bounds that’s the call? Watkins did sit down in the field of play, but it was all one move to try go out of bounds. Even if that’s the rule it was a bad call. I have no idea why is that even a rule. If the guy hasn’t been touched let him get up go OB and stop the clock. Unless someone takes a knee or is touched down then the play is still on.

  83. What makes me really hate the Patriots is not the fact that they are a great team… It is the fact that even though they are a great team they still get some type of assistance in their wins… for example Patrick Chung pass break up, he never turned around and the receiver was coming back for the ball, no call for pass interference… same official calls pass interference on the Bills DB Gilmore who at least attempted to look back… another example Bills O-line had a holding call on him against a player who was turning to make the play, now Patriots O-line held ALL NIGHT LONG hardly any holding calls… they were basically hugging on every play… That just the way it is against the Patriots the older I’ve gotten the more obvious it has become… Indeed…

    Uh, confirmation bias much? 538 has done studies on this and found no penalty bias for any team, except a slight tendency in favor of home teams. The refs had an abysmal night last night, but it went both ways. The clock winding was weird, but even more egregious was the inadvertent whistle. The former cost the Bills a chance at a 52 yard hail mary, the latter cost the Patriots a touchdown.

    There were phantom penalties for both sides, bizarre conferences after pretty straight forward plays (that 2nd and 1 booth review) – bad calls that were obviously wrong before they reviewed it. Plays were reviewed that were obviously called correctly. Just all around odd, and an unpleasant viewing experience.

  84. Neither his own momentum nor an immediate threat of getting pushed out removed him from the field of play. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude he gave himself up

  85. It’s funny how the officials seem totally lost on the rules during the game but the minute they’re interviewed afterwards they’ve obviously read a few sections to try and cover their behind. If only they brushed up on the rulebook before the game…

    Steratore’s definition on the out of bounds play would mean the clock never stopping during any 2-minute drill because guys are obviously “giving themselves up” to get out of bounds to stop the clock. If he honestly believes what he said they should fire him immediately.

  86. COLDWATER you are right i could not beileve there was no PI call there he never was looking back at the ball and just ran right into him,you are also right as good as the pats are they do not need help by the ref’s but still always seem to get it,disgusting!!!!!!!!

  87. The fundamental flaw of replay is that it requires a human being to raise his hand and admit he was wrong. Until they get a completely independent person to review and make the decision, nothing will change.

    In other words, it has to be a person that is not buddy buddy with any officials. Doesn’t even know the officials. This way he won’t feel “guilty” for overturning a buddy’s bad call.

    This is the reason we see so many announcers and “guest officials” on broadcasts declare the call will be turned over, and then it isn’t.

  88. dudeicle says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:59 AM
    Neither his own momentum nor an immediate threat of getting pushed out removed him from the field of play.
    ———–
    So how is it he ended up out of bounds without being touched???

  89. Let them play football. the game is being ruined and it’s officials now look like they are on the take like NBA refs. all the stupid rules and of course watkins was rolling out of bounds untouched by a defenser. The need to remove Pass interference call to a 15 yard penalty and it must be OBVIOUS err on the side that the defender is allowed to play DEFENSE..

  90. billsfan25 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:30 AM

    Coaches all across America are figuring out how they’ll stop the clock on future 2 minute drills this morning as obviously down and outs designed to run out of bounds and stop the clock will no longer be allowed.
    ___________________________________

    It’s not all that difficult. When you design a play that calls for the receiver to run out of bounds … make sure the receiver knows he’s supposed to run out of bonds (not drop to the ground and roll toward the sideline).

  91. Can’t believe all the Pats fan jokers on here arguing about “forward progress” being stopped. Do you have any concept of what that means?

    Forward progress cannot be “stopped” without contact from the defender. If the player runs, rolls, stumbles, backflips, or makes any other motion backwards on his own, not instigated by contact from a defender, forward progress is not awarded.

    Consider: A punt returner catches the ball and runs backwards 5 yards to get around the coverage team and his blocks. He is tackled 3 yards behind the spot where he caught the ball. He is not awarded “forward progress” at the point of the catch. He retreated on his own volition and thus, forward progress is irrelevant.

    So too here. Watkins’ forward progress was not “stopped.” Your argument is just stupid. At least the officials came up with an argument supporting the call within the rules. They’re pretty incompetent for interpreting the play that way, but still more plausible than you Pats fans.

  92. This is a rule they should simplify for everybody’s sake like they did the receiver coming down in bounds with a ball or being forced out a few years ago. Why not make every time you go out of bounds the clock stop in the last five minutes of each half regardless of it you fall, are pushed or willing run out. Take the refs out of it because they always seem to screw it up or rule it wrong. NFL needs less rules not more!

  93. There is only one thing i really enjoyed about last nights game win or lose, is that mary brady got put on hi a$$ most of the night and would get up and complain to the ref’s oh they are hitting me,what a wuss he is.

  94. They need to adopt Belichick’s suggestion that every play is reviewable and should be subject to review even in the last two minutes. Of course, Belichick is not on the Competition Committee and many on that committee probably don’t like him or respect him, so the idea will never see the light of day.

  95. pfatl says:
    Nov 24, 2015 11:04 AM

    Can’t believe all the Pats fan jokers on here arguing about “forward progress” being stopped. Do you have any concept of what that means?
    —–

    it’s not about forward progress being stopped. it’s about not attempting forward progress and going to the ground. when those two occur at the same time, the ball is dead and the down is complete. a defender does not have to touch the player with the ball in this circumstance. since Watkins fell backward to the ground BEFORE he got out of bounds, the ball was dead and the clock continued to run.

    if you want to see it for yourself, it is Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (d) (1). It is on page 26 of the NFL 2015 Rules PDF file.

  96. bullcharger says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:47 AM
    rollotomasi14 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:31 AM

    jchipwood says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:18 AM
    Every game there are bad calls in Foxboro or funny things happen. But as I stated the NFL is “entertainment” which means Goodell can have refs call the game anyway they want.
    ——————–
    Yes only in Foxboro there are bad calls, in no other stadium throughout the NFL, only in Foxboro. You nailed it.

    ——————————

    Given Amendola was probably running for a TD if not for the inadvertent whistle I would say there were bad calls that affected both teams.

    ________________________________________

    Watch the replay. Defender gave up after hearing the whistle when the pass was in the air. Who knows could of been a dropped pass, int, or pass deflection. But instead the refs awarded the Patriots a first down.

  97. It was a bad call.

    1) Going backwards of the receiver’s own decision does not constitute the stopping of forward progress. It’s very normal for a receiver or running back to move backwards. When they do, forward progress mark is changed to where they started to go forward, or are contacted and make no further progress, or go out of bounds.

    If this wasn’t the case, the only direction a player could move is forward, otherwise the play is dead.

    You can run backwards out of bounds to stop the clock as long as you aren’t touched to stop forward progress. A good example would be a curl route, where the receiver is facing the wrong direction. If he immediately takes the shortest angle to get out of bounds, it’s back towards the line of scrimmage.

    2) He didn’t give himself up as he was immediately moving towards the out of bounds line. Whether on the ground or not. Players regularly roll for yardage without making an attempt to get up. If they gain yardage from that, then this case shouldn’t be any different.

    I have no problem with the rule book and pointing to a rule as the reason for something. I have a problem with consistency. The refs simply need to be consistent, rather than pointing to the rule book to fit their call either way.

  98. Earlier in the drive, the line judge waved the chains forward when the receiver was CLEARLY a yard or more short of the marker. It wasn’t even close.

    They reviewed the play and got the spot right, but the same line judge cranked the clock and let time run out.

    I had no dogs in the fight last night (all the way over here on the West Coast), but my 40+ years of watching football says the clock should have stopped. And that kind of call should be reviewable (or nothing should be).

    Let’s stop conspiracy theories and hope someone figures out a way to get the calls consistently correct so we can focus on the players and the game.

  99. Just one of the many problems the NFL office doesn’t know how to fix. Many others issues are much more serious…like concussions…and they do nothing other than lie. Until serial liar Goodell leaves, nothing will get resolved and many issues will get worse.

  100. For those of you arguing that Chung never turned to play the ball… he doesn’t have to. There is no face guarding in the NFL. Looked like he arrived at the same time as the ball so no PI. Good no call.

  101. That just the way it is against the Patriots the older I’ve gotten the more obvious it has become

    Did you even watch the game or just look for things to justify the greatness the pats have achieved over the years. Pretty sad really.

    The refs were abhorrent last night but the pats got jobbed several times over the course of the game. Phantom PIs and holdings, fake whistles, allowing gronk to get trucked every time down the field, brady taking cheap shots, bills cb and ol holding constantly. We can all agree the refs are terrible but at least have some objectivity with your hate in the mornings

  102. OFFICIALS CONTROL THE OUTCOMES OF GAMES… A PENALTY COULD BE CALLED ON EVERY PLAY.. REMEMBER THAT!!!!!!
    JUST LIKE THE NBA

  103. The refs got it right, actually, in an incredible circumstance. he did give himself up while trying to get out of bounds.

    He stopped trying to advance and went for the sidelines but his butt hit the ground first and it was obvious he had no interest in advancing. If you give yourself up and you don’t get out of bounds before an elbow, knee or butt etc hits the ground, the play is over.

  104. rollotomasi14 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:18 AM

    How about the stoppage of play for the Bills because the refs couldn’t even place the ball correctly and had to review to see if it was a first down or not. Gave the Bills time to come up with a play instead of using a hurry offense.
    ———————————–

    Yeah, but they let 20+ seconds run off of the clock before they decided to review it.

  105. Who knows could of been a dropped pass, int, or pass deflection. But instead the refs awarded the Patriots a first down.

    You’re saying the defender who was completely turned around at the time was going to make a play on the ball? You could argue he MAY have made the tackle. To say he could have broken up that pass is a stretch even for you chippy

  106. At this point, the NFL referees are giving weathermen a challenge in the “Wrong But Still Keep Their Job” category.

    When you factor in that weathermen are trying to predict the future, NFL referees are the worst.

  107. Total joke, professional wrestling is more credible then this modern era NFL. Officiating needs to be overhauled completely, what a joke. The refs must have money on these games.

  108. Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (d) (1):

    An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended when a runner declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and clearly making no effort to advance.

    Now that I’ve read the rule for about the 10th time I see that its application in this instance is perfectly ambiguous. Does the rule require that a runner have the intent to declare himself down? If so, then the referee clearly erred since Watkins was obviously not trying to declare himself down in the field of play. It that’s the “judgment” that was made then it is clearly wrong.

    Alternatively, does the rule treat “falling to the ground . . . and clearly making no effort to advance” as synonymous with declaring oneself down regardless of intent? If so, then the call was clearly correct. The “judgment” that was made would presumably be that the runner was making no effort to advance.

    All the comments that the clock is stopped all the time after runners run sideways or backwards to get out of bounds are completely beside the point, as the rule doesn’t apply unless the player falls to the ground or kneels.

  109. how does this gang of rank amateurs end up on nationally televised games all the time? they suck outloud clearly yet the nfl deems it responsible for these A clowns to be doing the only game on tv at the time.
    its a damned disgrace. clearly the NFL wants this guy and his crew doing the important games on national tv.
    the question is
    WHY.
    Gene is back at his office reviewing emails from his day job that he missed in order to ‘miss’ another NFL game he was paid to officiate.

  110. If MLB and the NFL got together and had a kid it’d probably be a pretty decent replay system. Right now they’re both to the extreme. MLB they have no visibility or say in the call, it all comes from the NY office and the in game umps are the mouthpiece. Just the opposite in the NFL

  111. These officials “interpret” the field of play very differently from anyone watching the game.
    Its unbearable to watch 20 flags in a professional football game. Its unbearable to see some fouls of the same pedigree gets flag in response, and other fouls not get a flag.

  112. Judgement call….lmao.

    If I made “judgement” like that in life…I would either be out of a job or dead in the street somewhere.

    Seriously….the refs need help upstairs. Make everything reviewable.

  113. paulrevereshorse1775: You are correct as to the rule the officials cite. Good for you.

    It doesn’t make the call right. A stumble while trying to get out of bounds does not make it giving yourself up. It is a stunningly poor exercise of judgment on the official’s behalf. Your siding with the official only has to do with your loyalty. No objective viewer agrees with this call.

  114. For you people saying that Watkins gave himself up because he was on the ground, he fell to the ground after making the catch. He didn’t intentionally go to the ground, as you would if you’re giving yourself up. He could have gotten up and run. If he would have gotten up and run straight out of bounds, would you be saying that the clock should keep running?

  115. jchipwood says:
    Nov 24, 2015 11:16 AM

    Watch the replay. Defender gave up after hearing the whistle when the pass was in the air. Who knows could of been a dropped pass, int, or pass deflection. But instead the refs awarded the Patriots a first down.
    ————————————————————–
    So even when the Patriots get jobbed by a bad call the league is biased toward NE? Got it.

  116. The NFL is a league for gamblers and most of its popularity is a result for betting….bad officiating is bad for the product…that popularity is slipping as a result of referee incompetence

  117. vietnambob2473 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:16 AM
    Listen I hate the pats ad much as anyone but it’s surprising how many people don’t know the rule. If the runner is gaining negative progress while going out of bounds the clock does not stop. Watkins went a half yard backwards out of bounds therefore the clock does not stop.
    —————
    You are clearly one of them that doesn’t know the rules.

    Forward progress does not stop when the player isn’t tackled/touched down.

    The call was clearly blown to anybody that wasn’t a Patriots fan.

  118. jchipwood says:
    Nov 24, 2015 11:16 AM

    Watch the replay. Defender gave up after hearing the whistle when the pass was in the air. Who knows could of been a dropped pass, int, or pass deflection. But instead the refs awarded the Patriots a first down.

    ———————
    You watch the replay, the whistle came after the ball was over the DB’s head and Amedola was in stride.

  119. All the guys here spouting off about conspiracy theories, bribes, Patriots cheating, etc. are just a bunch of butthurt haters willing to sacrifice their integrity (which is cheating) to get an excuse off the ground.

    That said, the final call I did think was wrong, it was clear Watkins was getting out of bounds and the Bills should have gotten one last Hail Mary. I don’t think it changed the game, the Hail Mary had little to no chance especially with how Taylor’s arm was hurt. But they still should have got it.

    The inadvertent whistle play, despite wrong calls in both directions, probably did end up where it would have been had the whistle not blown. Brady did complete to Amendola so that likely would have happened, but also likely is that without the whistle Amedola gets tackled right away. We will never know for sure but I am only talking in terms of ‘likely’. Ryan’s actions were certainly bad (the only actual ‘cheating’ on the play, the rest was all ineptitude) so the 15 yarder was called for. As bad as it all was the final spot was not really a case of either team getting badly robbed.

    The rest of the game was awful. Bad calls and non calls both ways, the only good thing I can say is that both teams got screwed enough to cancel each other out.

    In the end, as bad as the officiating was, I don’t think it altered the outcome of the game. Anyone arguing with me is going to do so by citing individual bad calls instead of looking at the total body of them as a whole.

  120. Let’s be honest, if that same exact play happens on the Bills sideline or if it was Gronkowski going out of bounds on the Pats sideline, they stop the clock.

    The Linesman on the Pats sideline blew calls all night (marking McCoy out of bounds on the TD run, awful mark on the Woods catch, calling Watkins 4th down catch incomplete). Every time there was a close call, whatever the Pats sideline lobbied for he gave to them.

    Watched Bears/Broncos on Sunday and Chicago didn’t have one single flag thrown on them. Not one. While it’s technically possible, it’s actually ridiculous. In a game where you could probably throw a flag on every single play, to have zero penalties called on one team while the other team is over 100 yards in penalties can’t help but make you suspicious.

    The big problem with NFL refs is their age. Look at most of those guys. You’re telling me 55-65 year old men can keep up and see everything as it actually is? Too much at stake. The NFL needs to fix this.

  121. Bills fan here who knows the offense didn’t play well enough to beat the Pats despite better then expected play from our defense. The officiating didn’t cost us the game as it was equally bad on both sides.

    I think the replay system needs a total overhaul as too many of these “judgement” calls late in games are being botched by officials (ask Detroit). Also, it ticks me off that you lose a challenge because of a refs incompetence. Each coach should always get three challenges and only lose the 1st one until a play isn’t overturned. Same for the 2nd and 3rd challenges. Also, all “judgement” calls should be reviewable.

  122. mmack66 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 11:41 AM
    rollotomasi14 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:18 AM

    How about the stoppage of play for the Bills because the refs couldn’t even place the ball correctly and had to review to see if it was a first down or not. Gave the Bills time to come up with a play instead of using a hurry offense.
    ———————————–

    Yeah, but they let 20+ seconds run off of the clock before they decided to review it.

    =======================================

    Bills did not have any timeouts left.
    The refs are under no obligation to give the Bills time on the clock. Bills could have (should have) hurried to the line and run a play.

  123. Refs have their favorites, that’s for sure. Datone Jones should have been flagged for spiking the ball against the Vikings but was not. They called holding on Fusco to stop a Viking drive, such an awful call. Meanwhile, hardly any penalties were called on my Packers when it was clear holding was going on. I’m not complaining, but they have their favorites.

  124. Total BS CYA by Gene here. If that was a judgment call, that ref used bad judgment as he was obviously not giving himself up and trying to get out of bounds. At least they had a chance at a hail mary if they call that correctly.

  125. acebandito says:
    Nov 24, 2015 12:18 PM
    Let’s be honest, if that same exact play happens on the Bills sideline or if it was Gronkowski going out of bounds on the Pats sideline, they stop the clock.

    The Linesman on the Pats sideline blew calls all night (marking McCoy out of bounds on the TD run, awful mark on the Woods catch, calling Watkins 4th down catch incomplete). Every time there was a close call, whatever the Pats sideline lobbied for he gave to them.

    OK
    Let’s be honest, the Pats should have been awarded a TD for Rex interfering with the ref during a live play, since you’re all up in this “honesty” thing.
    Or perhaps you refer to the spot that gave Buffalo a 1st down when it was clear to every viewer in America that he was short by a yard. Nice, convenient clock stopper since they knew it would be reviewed, wouldn’t you say? Since we’re being all honest & stuff.

  126. acebandito says:
    Nov 24, 2015 12:18 PM
    Let’s be honest, if that same exact play happens on the Bills sideline or if it was Gronkowski going out of bounds on the Pats sideline, they stop the clock.

    The Linesman on the Pats sideline blew calls all night (marking McCoy out of bounds on the TD run, awful mark on the Woods catch, calling Watkins 4th down catch incomplete). Every time there was a close call, whatever the Pats sideline lobbied for he gave to them.

    Or perhaps you refer to the random face mask flag that was thrown from an official who was nowhere near the play? Even in real time anyone with vision could see it was a legit tackle. Couldn’t be that someone wanted things to go a certain way now could it?

  127. daysend564 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 12:07 PM

    vietnambob2473 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 10:16 AM
    Listen I hate the pats ad much as anyone but it’s surprising how many people don’t know the rule. If the runner is gaining negative progress while going out of bounds the clock does not stop. Watkins went a half yard backwards out of bounds therefore the clock does not stop.
    —————
    You are clearly one of them that doesn’t know the rules.

    Forward progress does not stop when the player isn’t tackled/touched down.

    The call was clearly blown to anybody that wasn’t a Patriots fan.

    ————–

    You are clearly one of them that doesn’t know the rules.

    Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 (d) (1):

    An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended when a runner declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and clearly making no effort to advance.

    Watkins did both, he fell to the ground going backwards. his butt hit the ground before he went out of bounds, and was not trying to advance the ball. didn’t need any contact by a defender. in fact there are several rules that constitute being ‘down’ without contact from a defender.

    read up…..you’ll learn something

  128. theparadoxx82 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:37 AM

    Gronk makes that same catch and they’d put 8 seconds back on the gameclock..

    for reasons n’ stuff.

    —-

    Yes, on the heels of a game where the officials blatantly stopped a potential TD pass by the Patriots with an “inadvertent whistle” we still have people convinced that the officials favor the Pats.

  129. Mike P says it all the time. Officially try to have their crews back, and vice a versa. It’s not ideal, but it’s reality.

    The Rex Ryan interference was a no-call that was tagged on to the Brady throw in attempts to “fix” the mistake by the official who blew the whistle.

    Last call was a judgement call, but players slide out of bounds all the time in making a catch and then go out and get the stoppage. This was a bad judgement call, but like all officials know, you try to back up your crew. Even if it results in the wrong call. It’s a shame.

  130. I have seen the clock wound on other plays where a receiver ran backwards after catching the pass, even while he was trying to go out of bounds. I cannot positively say, however, whether these situations always involved contact with a defender or not.

  131. Who cares? So they lost the chance at a hail mary that most likely would have resulted in an incompletion or interception. How about the 7 points they took away from the Patriots on that horrible whistle? Game should’ve been out of reach by the 4th quarter but instead it was close and even more injuries were risked.

  132. It’s sad when the men hired to officiate your sport don’t know all the rules. NFL needs to rewrite their rule ok so that fans can understand what simple things like a “catch” are.

  133. whispersd says:
    Nov 24, 2015 1:02 PM

    That was an accidental call, not purposely against the Pats. If the refs were ‘against’ the pats then they would have taken the catch back (by RULE) and the play would have been re-done, and no 15 yd BS penalty on Rex. But they didnt play it by rule, even tho the whistle blew while the ball was in the air (making any catch completely negated) they allowed the catch AND added a ridiculous 15 yds. Basically they used two wrongs to hopefully make a right. Id venture to say if this was any other team, they would have just said “we accidentally blew the whistle, we’ll re-play the down”, b/c that is the RULE in that instance.

  134. truetrue85 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 1:17 PM

    #1 for all we know that pats catch had just as much chance to be a TD as a hail mary from the bills. Our defender completely stopped even trying- yes he would have caught it- but no way on earth can u say it was a guarantee’d catch. #2 how about the BS flag on the first drive on the play brady threw a pick that we returned to the patriots 24 yd line. Take away ur 3 pt drive and give the bills 3, maybe 7 pts right there. Its funny how on the Pats play it was a ‘def TD’ but bills have no chance with their final play- ignorance at its finest. Thats what Boston is best at!

  135. gronkasaurus says:
    Nov 24, 2015 9:30 AM

    Something fishy going on at Gillette Stadium…weird

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ding Ding Ding Winner Winner Chicken Dinner….yep…the Patriots did it

  136. Not to mention the officials spent 20 seconds to spot the ball and waist valuable time to the Bills the final drive. Just more garbage from officials every week.

  137. The inadvertent whistle also stopped the Bills defender from playing. You could see it on the overhead review. The whistle blew and he gave up covering Amendola. Doubt he would’ve scored or even caught the ball.

  138. This Steratore ref is dirty, I cringe every time he officiates the Broncos games. I don’t think we have covered or won a game in the last five years he has officiated and he is usually on the games we are favored. The NFL is starting to feel like the WWE. These refs are controlling the outcomes of games.

  139. The refs are always out to screw the Patriots. All u Sullys out in boston agree with me, right? Oh, wait a second, that call went against Buffalo & IN FAVOR of the Pats??? No way!

  140. Watched it several times. The explanation is in official-speak but the fact is he falls backwards and then gets out of bounds. Forward progress in bounds seems to be the actual understandable reason he kept the clock running, but the fact he fell backwards and landed in bounds before rolling out – they use the official term “give himself up” meaning no attempt to advance.

    It also appears he chose to fall and roll because he knew the two defenders would likely hold him up and the clock would run out.

    Make no mistake – it was great awareness on the part of the receiver.

    However – it would seem by the rule that anytime a player runs parallel to the line going out of bounds the clock should still run.

    Another rule change is needed in my opinion. If a player goes out of bounds the clock stocks unless the defense stops forward progress.

    Of course there will be times when a team trying to keep the clock moving will end up inadvertently stopping it. But I think simpler is better all around.

    The NFL is the only sport where the networks feel the need to hire rules experts.

    Why is the NFL OK with that? “The NFL – so darn complicated you can’t just sit and watch – you need an expert to tell you what you just saw!”

  141. letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 1:23 PM
    truetrue85 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 1:17 PM

    #1 for all we know that pats catch had just as much chance to be a TD as a hail mary from the bills. Our defender completely stopped even trying- yes he would have caught it- but no way on earth can u say it was a guarantee’d catch. #2 how about the BS flag on the first drive on the play brady threw a pick that we returned to the patriots 24 yd line. Take away ur 3 pt drive and give the bills 3, maybe 7 pts right there. Its funny how on the Pats play it was a ‘def TD’ but bills have no chance with their final play- ignorance at its finest. Thats what Boston is best at!

    Or instead of making excuses you could also take responsibility.

    The bills missed a FG
    McCoy didn’t hold on to a TD
    LM fumbled a punt

    It’s funny how all you people want to blame the officials (it was horrible both ways) but can’t sack up and point out the mistakes the bills made.

    It’s always someone else’s fault.

    Lazy!!!!

  142. If the refs were ‘against’ the pats then they would have taken the catch back (by RULE) and the play would have been re-done, and no 15 yd BS penalty on Rex.

    ===
    By “RULE” (gotta remember to use all caps) the officials “determined” that the catch was made before the whistle blew. So the catch would have stood.

    If you don’t like it when the “determination” of officials conflicts with your view of how things transpired, welcome to the world Pats fans have been living in for the past 10 months.

    In this case, by “RULE” the officials have to make a judgment call about what happened before the whistle blew without making any usage of replay, AND it’s not a reviewable decision.

  143. Patriots fans naturally hung up on one call that they weren’t even totally robbed on, but want to ignore the half dozen blatantly bad calls that went in their favor, one completely made up out of thin air to negate a Brady interception. Unreal

  144. Correct me if I may be wrong, but I don’t recall ever seeing a defender who has intercepted a pass and fallen down (purposefully) ruled “given himself up” in the field of play unless touched down by a member of the opposing team…

  145. I thought if you slid feet first, you were giving yourself up. If you dove head first you were trying to get more yardage and were still a live player who had to be contacted to be considered down. Or is that ONLY for Qbs?

  146. Also, I forgot what game it was. But there was a player in the end zone with the ball who was waiting to be tackled for a safety. Didn’t he give himself up? Why wasn’t he declared down at that moment?

  147. Why is Gillette Stadium the only one to have headset issues for the opponents routinely? At least the 3rd time this season. Seems to happen during crucial parts of the game and always when the opponents are on offense. Quite curious.

  148. Since the WR Watkins was not touched, his forward progress is where he goes out of bounds! You only get the farthest point up field if you are contacted and driven backwards. If you willingly go back, where you go down or where you go out of bounds is your forward progress.

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