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 ESPN.com.
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.