Kelvin Benjamin's touchdown catch was controversially overturned.
Stop me if you've heard this before: Vague NFL rules created a controversy on Sunday.
Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin appeared to score a touchdown at the end of the first half against the Patriots. But after officials at NFL headquarters reviewed the play, they overturned it—despite the fact there was no clear evidence that the play was not a touchdown, as is the standard for reversing a call.
Someone get Dean Blandino on the phone, because Twitter is demanding answers. Here's the NFL's official line, as of now.
Needless to say, not everyone agreed with that assessment.
Ridiculous micromanaging overturn in New England. Replay is out of control.— Peter King (@peter_king) December 24, 2017
The standard has changed. There is no way the NFL can say that replay reversals are based on “clear and obvious” after that Bills TD overturned.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) December 24, 2017
Wow. Amazed that Benjamin TD was overturned. Didn't not appear to be "clear and obvious" enough to overturn. They've turned TD's into 3 act plays. It's unbelievable.— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) December 24, 2017
um, that's garbage.— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) December 24, 2017
one thing that's become increasingly clear this season: the refs no longer need "conclusive" evidence to overturn a call. everything's fair game.— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) December 24, 2017
Yep. This was not a catch rule discussion. This was an absolute botching of the application of instant replay. If you don’t have incontrovertible video evidence, you’re not supposed to overturn the call on the field. That was absolutely terrible. https://t.co/n4lLTYgy1y— Adam Amin (@adamamin) December 24, 2017
Just give Kelvin Benjamin the touchdown. It's Christmas Eve, for goodness sakes!— Bette Marston (@bettemarston) December 24, 2017
I like that NFL headquarters is making the calls. But the league needs to look long and hard at Al Riveron this offseason. Not sure he's up to the task— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) December 24, 2017
Apparently, the end zone catch by Kelvin Benjamin was secured after the toe dragged in the end zone. That is the only explanation I can offer. I really question how centralized replay can possibly reverse the TD without at least going with "stands" at worst. Terrible. #BUFvsNE— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) December 24, 2017
Here's Blandino's take, for what it's worth.
In New England, the issue is whether Benjamin had control with left foot down. Did not see anything clear & obvious to the contrary.— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) December 24, 2017
Video coming soon...
The Bills ended up kicking a field goal to tie the score at 13 points apiece entering halftime.