Buffalo angry at mishandled call by officials in 31-25 loss
SEATTLE (AP) Rex Ryan and the rest of the Buffalo Bills were furious at how Walt Anderson and his officiating crew handled the final moments of the first half that had a bigger impact in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
The Bills ended up losing 31-25 to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, the third straight loss for Buffalo. The Bills had a chance at the victory but Tyrod Taylor's fourth-down pass into the end zone in the closing seconds fell incomplete.
Buffalo potentially would have only needed a field goal to tie the game at that point if the end of the first half had been handled differently by Anderson's crew.
Mistakes were made and Ryan was angry.
''Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous,'' Ryan said.
What set off Ryan's anger was Anderson not calling Seattle's Richard Sherman for unnecessary roughness when he crashed into Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter as he attempted at 53-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in the half. Sherman was instead called for offside and after some confusion and a Buffalo penalty Carpenter missed a 54-yard attempt on the final play of the half.
The end of the first half was confusing for everyone involved. From trainers running on the field to players running for the locker room, there was enough confusion to leave everyone scratching their heads.
And the final result of the chaos left Buffalo completely unsatisfied.
''It was wrong,'' Ryan said. ''It's clear what happened, the guy roughed our kicker. Jumps offside, roughs our kicker and then because we had to go out and attend to him, and it wasn't called `roughing the kicker', then we had to spike the ball so that we could come back in and kick. We needed a little time there but, we saw him go down and our trainers ran out. ... From an officiating standpoint, I think you can do a little bit better than that.''
Anderson's explanation was Sherman was called for being unabated to the kicker and that his actions crashing into Carpenter did not rise to the level of unnecessary roughness.
''I didn't feel like the actions and the contact, because we were shutting the play down, warranted a foul,'' Anderson said.
NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino disagreed and tweeted during the game that Sherman should have been penalized for unnecessary roughness and expanded his view of the play in comments to NFL Network.
''The referee in looking at it was coming in to kill the play and didn't think the contact was enough for unnecessary roughness. Obviously when you look at the tape that is not the case,'' Blandino told NFL Network.
Sherman said he did not hear a whistle and was just trying to block the kick.
''I went for the ball. The holder still had it so I didn't hear (any) whistle,'' Sherman said. ''They say play to blow of the whistle so I went and tried to block the kick and I got it. I think I got it and the kicker somehow kept going. I assumed he was going to stop when he saw me going for the ball but he didn't.''
By not calling a personal foul against Sherman, what played out in the ensuing moments also put Buffalo at a disadvantage. Carpenter appeared to be hurt bringing trainers on the field.
Because the trainers took the field and Buffalo was out of timeouts, Carpenter had to leave for one play. Buffalo spiked the ball with 1 second left to set up a 48-yard attempt, but the Bills were penalized for delay of game with the umpire standing over the ball. That backed up the Bills five yards and Carpenter's 54-yard attempt on the final play was wide right.
Blandino said the play clock should have been reset.
''It looked like the play clock had run down probably to five or six seconds so we want to reset the play clock there when the officials are actually conversing and delaying the snap,'' Blandino said.
It's not the first time officiating has become the focus of a Monday night game in Seattle. In 2012, the ''Fail Mary'' game between Green Bay and Seattle finished with Golden Tate catching a disputed touchdown on the final play of the game. Last year, Seattle pulled out a win over Detroit when the Lions were about to score and officials missed Seattle's K.J. Wright hitting a fumble out of the end zone for a touchback in the closing seconds. The ball should have gone back to Detroit.
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