Uncalled hit on Josh Allen could have set up a game-winning field goal for Bills

Getty Images

Although it hasn’t generated a lot of discussion over wild card weekend, a big hit that Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham put on Bills quarterback Josh Allen on Saturday could have put the Bills in range for a game-winning field goal in overtime.

The hit took place on the Bills’ first possession in overtime. The Texans had already had a possession and punted, which means the Bills just needed a field goal to win. Allen ran the ball and was drilled by Cunningham at the Texans’ 42-yard line. Cunningham went helmet first, with the crown of his helmet hitting the side of Allen’s helmet and knocking Allen to the ground. No flag was thrown.

Allen was a runner, which means he isn’t entitled to any special protection the way he would be if he were passing. But even runners are supposed to be protected from opponents lowering their helmets to initiate contact. That’s been a major emphasis of the NFL’s in recent years, and what Cunningham did was a clear example of what is supposed to be penalized.

If it had been penalized, it would have given the Bills first-and-10 at the 27-yard line. They would have been in range for a game-winning field goal.

Instead, it was the Bills who picked up a personal foul for a blindside block two plays later, and they ended up punting. The Texans drove down the field for the game-winning field goal after that. The missed call was costly for the Bills.

34 responses to “Uncalled hit on Josh Allen could have set up a game-winning field goal for Bills

  1. That stuff happens to the small market teams all the time. If that was Lamar or Wilson or another of the top echelon QBs it would have been a flag. I wouldn’t say the officials are out to ignore those hits on the other QBs but the big name guys certainly draw more attention and the protection flags.

  2. The bigger problem on that play was that three Bills blockers ran right past Cunningham without touching him. The play was very well set up, and if any of those three guys had done their job and blocked Cunningham it was an easy 10+ yard gain that would have put the Bills in FG position without having to rely on the officials.

  3. The game officials get a pass on this as they were in a hurry to work their “magic” at the Saints-Vikes game.

  4. In OT the Bill’s really got screwed over; Texans got a very favorable spot for a 1st down that wasn’t reviewed, this helmet hit, the blind side call where the ‘blind’ defender had his hands up to fend off the ‘blind’ block and didn’t even hit the ground, texans 3rd and 18 where the clock had already gone to 0 before the hiked it….

  5. The lateral could have ended the game for the Bills. Throwing a jump ball to a fullback in doubled coverage could have ended the game for the Bills. The countless dropped ints could have ended the game for the Bills. It’s a game of what ifs. Josh Allen must have 9 lives because this game shouldnt have been this close.

  6. Go back to the third and eighteen play, the time clock went to zero long before the snap. The play should have been blown dead, five yard penalty and now third and twenty three. This happens all the time with no penalty called. Is the official in charge of the clock not doing his job? This mistake could have costs the Bills a win. Please note, I am not a Bills fans, however all rules should be enforced.

  7. All fanbases complain about officiating, but it’s weird w/ the Bills. I guess it is a small market thing.

    In the 1st quarter, I felt like a few calls went the Bills way, and it was a shocking sort of thing. You’d have to be a Bills fan to understand how consistently that team ends up on the wrong side of officiating. To see us actually have an advantage there was almost unprecedented.

    But the refs made up for it later on. The missed call on Allen, the phantom call on Ford, and really, the TD to start the 2nd half (by the rules, that was a TD – I understand why they overturned it, but it is what it is). The refs took the game out of the players hands, which is not unusual in a Bills game.

    I feel like the Bills will always have to beat the other team and the refs. I don’t care how whiny that sounds. Like I said, you’d have to be a Bills fan to understand how consistently games end up like this.

  8. I noticed a few hits on QB that would have been easy flags in the regular season. Same with pass interference. It is like there are two different rule books once playoffs start.

  9. Oddly Bills fans are mature and respect the game. They are whining. Contrast that with the perpetual victims of the New Orleans Cupcakes who now have an official holiday for the Great Ball Out after their last game.

  10. Stop crying bills fans. The hit was clean. Your quarterback got lit up because he was running the ball and TWO of your guys whiffed on the block that would have stopped it from happening. You LOST because TWO of your guys failed to get Watson to the ground for a big loss, and instead, he completed a pass that essentially won the game.

  11. When the referee explained the rules of overtime to the captains, he asked if there were any questions. The Bills captains should have asked: “Sir, if we receive a kickoff in the end zone, are we required to take a knee, or can we just flip the ball to the nearest official?”

    How would the referee answer that? “Well technically the rule says take a knee, but we are applying a ‘common sense approach’ to some of the rules today.”

  12. The ugliest thing on the field yesterday was Josh Allen, his play was downright fugly.

    What a mess.

  13. joetoronto says:
    January 6, 2020 at 1:35 pm
    The ugliest thing on the field yesterday was Josh Allen, his play was downright fugly.

    What a mess.
    —————————
    Go back to sleep!….The game was 2 days ago…

  14. joetoronto says:

    January 6, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    The ugliest thing on the field yesterday was Josh Allen, his play was downright fugly.

    What a mess.
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    Coming from a guy that doesn’t even know what day it is, it was two days ago genius. Carr will be in the CFL next year, you should go watch him.

  15. Oliver was tackled rushing Watson on the 3rd and 18. The ref was 5 yds away, hands on knee watching it. No flag. Why watch? The Texans did not get even one live action foul. All were dead ball. They aren’t that disciplined.

  16. Revamp the officiating already, Plain and simple. The way the league is officiated is VERY antiquated. Get ALL of the calls right, or get rid of review entirely. It won’t delay the game if you have the proper amount of resources dedicated to each game, I’m pretty sure they have the money to pay for it. If you have 10 officials in training, who are watching the game in a centralized location, where each individual is in charge of looking for certain things, they can confirm/deny calls on the fly. Not rocket science here, but we make it seem like it is.

  17. Bills had plenty of opportunities to win this game but they choked! Please stop blaming the officiating and take the L.

  18. Allen was a runner, which means he isn’t entitled to any special protection the way he would be if he were passing. But even runners are supposed to be protected from opponents lowering their helmets to initiate contact.
    ______________________________

    More often than not there isn’t a flag thrown because both players usually lower their heads, Josh should have learned from that big hit last season that knocked him out 4 weeks, but apparently he didn’t learn a thing!

  19. The Bills had 20 plays that cost them the game on their own. However, the Bills can never count on the refs to help them keep a fair playing field. The refs usually seem to hurt them more than not- no call on Allen hit, taking back the touchdown, bogus call on Ford, and no calls on the Texans clock delay. The right calls would have changed the game for Buffalo.

  20. And NOBODY is talking about the WAY late hit on Allen well after the whistle and after he threw the ball away on a play called dead for false start while standing right next to the ref. That one really confused me.

  21. Cecil McCatherntc says:
    January 6, 2020 at 11:04 am
    No need to talk about it because it didn’t cost them the game
    ___________________________________________________

    That is literally the reason for this article… It did cost them the game!

  22. screwstontexans0499 says:
    January 6, 2020 at 6:31 pm
    Bills had plenty of opportunities to win this game but they choked! Please stop blaming the officiating and take the L.
    _________________________________________________
    If this penalty and several others were called like they should have been, It would be the Texans labeled as choke artists! The Bills are the better team and would have at least gave KC a hard time… The Texans will be steamrolled… They need penalties and missed calls to beat teams.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.