Bills defense had 12 men on the field for OT stop on Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings v Buffalo Bills
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The Bills defense came up with a big stop of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook on a first-and-goal from the 2-yard-line in overtime of Sunday’s game and they did it with a little extra assistance.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said on Sunday that he thought Buffalo’s defense had 12 men on the field when they dumped Cook for a three-yard loss, but wanted to confirm it on tape. The tape showed that O’Connell was correct.

“I know it’s moving pretty fast out there sometimes,” O’Connell said, via Kevin Seifert of

Instead of having first-and-goal on the 1-yard-line, the Vikings played on from the 5-yard-line. Kirk Cousins was sacked and threw an incompletion before the Vikings kicked a go-ahead field goal. The Bills drove into scoring position, but cornerback Patrick Peterson sealed the win with an interception in the end zone.

Sunday’s officiating crew had two big mistakes late in the game. In addition to missing the 12 men, they called a pass to Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis in the final minute of regulation a completion when he did not control the ball through contact with the ground. The replay assistant did not stop the game to review the play, which NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson said they should have done.

Coaches can challenge missed 12 men on the field calls outside of the final two minutes of games or in overtime. All replays are initiated from the booth in those instances. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Monday that he thinks coaches should always be able to challenge calls and situations like the ones in Buffalo on Sunday will likely draw others to that view.

57 responses to “Bills defense had 12 men on the field for OT stop on Dalvin Cook

  1. I am still not convinced Cousins didn’t get the ball over the goal line with his second effort on fourth down.

  2. How is it that everyone watching the broadcast knows the rules but the refs and commentators don’t? I’m thinking more Jeff Saturday’s might put some sense into the league.

  3. Enough mistakes are being made across the NFL, and the fans suffer, period. Time to allow coaches to challenge everything, including penalties or non-calls on penalties.

    Fans deserve better.

  4. Just one of SEVERAL very very bad calls or non-calls by the Buffalo Refs all day. They let the Bills getaway with SOOOO many pass interferences and called multiple pass interferences on the Vikings that didnt happen. Several replays you could clearly see bills defenders constantly and blatantly pulling on receivers jerseys and they got away with all of them until the very end of the game when it was clear the refs just couldn’t bail the bills out any longer. Besides all the clear holds and personal fouls they also let go. Worst-reffed game I’ve seen in years. Couldn’t cheat enough to win.

  5. Officiating was piss poor overall and very biased towards the end; the Davis “catch” not being reviewed was a travesty, and now this. But this is par for the course for this league, so nothing will change.

  6. So Buffalo had 12 men in uniform in the field plus a couple more in stripes yet still couldn’t pull it off. Maybe this isn’t the signature win we thought it was and Buffalo just sucks.

  7. Goodell not only struck once, but more than once! My goodness. I am sorry, but his has nothing to do with accidents. This is intentional to help Buffal get into a title game and into a SB after a horrible loss to the lowly Jets.

  8. The officiating is a joke. And I know my team will be playing NE AND the refs this coming Sunday. They did 2 weeks ago in our place

  9. Give it two more years then everything will be challengeable. Same number of challenges, same risk of timeouts. Bill Belichick will once again be vindicated.

  10. League really went above and beyond to get their chosen one over the finish line for this year, but even that wasn’t enough.

  11. Big miss, as was the Davis non-catch.

    But please – to suggest that Buffalo was the beneficiary of every bad call in that game is just homerism. There were bad calls on both sides, as there are pretty much every game.

  12. The ref’s were CLEARLY wanting the Bills to win. They are the new darlings of the league we cant have the Vikes be 9-1 it would ruin the narrative plus legal gambling. The fix is in the video proves it the Vikings WON the game in spite of the refs.

  13. How the heck can a ref not count 12 defenders in a game — its not like the Vikings were in hurry-up mode. That and the improper catch call are quite a few major screw-ups in 20 minutes.

  14. This referee crew better not be in involved in any playoff games. Something was up with this game being called by this crew.

  15. When you’re playing the Bills these days, you know you’re going to be playing them and the officials. It’s par for the course at this point.

    Vikings never flinched and beat them anyway.

  16. I still don’t understand how officials on the field and booth can possibly miss this? If we’re trusting the booth review process in the final 2 minutes, they have no margin for error on obvious penalties like this.

  17. I have a hunch that the “horrible loss to the lowly Jets” thing that keeps getting repeated will age like milk this coming Sunday.

  18. Regarding the 12-men call, is the back judge not responsible anymore for a pre-snap personnel count on every single play?

  19. It’s happening all across the football landscape. NCAA is having a terrible time with the official game calling. Numerous coaches have been outspoken to the degree of fines because of it. The game calling from officials has been horrific this season.

  20. I hear that there is this thing called ‘betting,’ and lots of people/companies make tons of money from this activity. I’m sure it’s not correlated, but it sure seems to benefit those same people/companies when this sort of thing happens.

    Always follow the money.

  21. Hock got held down too for a jump ball, and Darrisaw got called for the worst holding penalty you will ever see, Darrisaw pancaked the dude and got flagged. It was outrageous.

  22. I don’t buy into the cheating narrative, or that the refs/league wanted the Bills to win, but it does say a lot about the state of the team when they get so many favourable calls go their way and still found a way to lose that game.
    For all of the hype surrounding Buffalo, that’s the one thing I can’t ignore, the ability to lose winnable games.

  23. That’s a bad miss by the officials. Maybe they still stop Cook anyway, but that could have been the game-winning play. Not to mention not reviewing Davis’ catch with 18 seconds left in the 4th. That’s terrible.

    If not for the absolutely brutal decision by Allen on his final pass the game was probably going the Bills way.

    That’s the kind of officiating that all the sports books that parter with the NFL should be weary of. Who wants to bet on games where officials miss obvious game changing calls.

  24. It took a combo of a few miracles and a lot of bills mistakes to beat the Bills. Buffalo is still the best team in the league.

  25. 2 completely inexplicable blunders in the most crucial moments of a huge game. Thank goodness the right team won that game.

  26. It was a horribly officiated game but to say it favored buffalo is ridiculous. I guess that blatant PI no call on Knox in the end zone that would’ve won the game was in the Bills favor, right?

  27. That Kirk Cousins 4th Down play was 100% a TD in my opinion but I understand that call, not enough evidence to overturn and whatever with it being a mosh pit of bodies

  28. The betting line moved so much during the week with Allen’s bogus elbow. The fix was def in

  29. Attention haters, doubters, skeptics. Not only did Minnesota win, they won despite the refs helping the bills.

  30. Is the new “conspiracy narrative” now that:”Refs are helping the Bills cheat & win”?
    No one except gamblers and Bills fans care about the Bills.
    No one is trying to rig games because they like Josh Allen.

  31. The one that really bothered me was the direct hit to Hokenson’s head, with no call. Then before the next play, New Yourk called down to take Hock in for concussion protocol check. No one has even brought that one up yet.

  32. There were many horrible non-calls.

    Buffalon DBs often had handfuls of Viking receiver’s jerseys.

    An isolated Wonnum was clearly held to prevent sack on one late Allen scramble.

    Watch the tape.

  33. How bout that horse call on Kendricks. Replay showed he grabbed the jersey lower down the back and not the collar or shoulder pads. Another funky call and the numbskulls in the booth made no comment to explain why it was in fact a penalty or why it was not. Bush league…

  34. The refs made up for the missed bobble by then not calling PI on the Vikings in twhe endzone a couple of plays later. They called PI on twhe Bills earlier for the identical defensive play.

  35. The back judge has one job before the start of a play, to count the defensive players. It is automotic for every play. That it didn’t happen in this case is right there with the no review on the non-catch for in-excusable officiating. The officiating was pathetic over-all. That crew should be fined and barred from post-season games.

  36. It’s so weird how hated the Bills are now.

    Better than being irrelevant, I guess! We used to get like 3 or 4 comments on these articles.

  37. It was a horribly officiated game but to say it favored buffalo is ridiculous. I guess that blatant PI no call on Knox in the end zone that would’ve won the game was in the Bills favor, right?


    If the game had been officiated correctly this play would have never happened. The Vikings would have won in regulation or on their overtime drive.

  38. I like how the insecure Viking fans can’t admit the game was a coin flip and concoct all kinds reasons to claim this was a clear and convincing victory.

  39. It’s the gambling aspect that’s scary to me. If this intentional ineptitude continues with his refs, I would hope Congress would pull in Old Roger to address this issue.

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