After Further Review: Bills-Jets Officiating

By popular demand, we're again going to have a post after each game that breaks down some of the controversial decisions from the officiating crew in the game.

Penalty Count

Bills 7-80 (leading to three Jets first downs)
Jets 9-95 (leading to six Bills first downs)

Plays where the call was obvious, uncontroversial or not visible on broadcast footage

Jets Penalties

  • Daniel Brown block in the back on the opening kickoff. This was right at the point where Malone eluded the first tackler, who had beaten Brown and would have blown it up at about the 15. This was frustrating because starting inside their 10 may have meant the Jets went away from the script to be more conservative on that first series, throwing their whole gameplan out of the window.
  • Tarell Basham neutral zone infraction. No doubt here. In fact, Basham even pointed at himself to say "my bad".
  • Delay of game coming off a kickoff. Inexcusable and presumably a communication breakdown.
  • Becton holding penalty. We broke this down in detail in our Becton Deep Dive. Interestingly it was the only offensive penalty other than the delay of game.
  • Tarell Basham roughing the passer. No doubt, as he made contact high, possibly to Josh Allen's helmet.

Bills Penalties

  • Gabriel Davis facemask penalty on a punt return. This happened upfield as Arthur Maulet ran past a double team from the gunner position.
  • Mitch Morse and Quinton Spain holding penalties. Grouping these two together to give Nathan Shepherd credit for drawing both penalties on clear calls as they tried to prevent penetration.
  • Mario Addison face mask penalty. Clear grab of Frank Gore's facemask as he tried to reach for him in the backfield.
  • Cody Ford false start.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Pierre Desir defensive holding at the back of the end zone. A clear grab here with the only question being whether the hold was after the pass was thrown. If it was, it might have been pass interference and therefore could have been a no-call because the pass was uncatchable, but it looked to be just before. Interference is not reviewable this year either.
  • That was relevant a few minutes later when Desir was called for pass interference downfield, although it's doubtful this would have been overturned. It looked like the sort of coverage that would be praised as excellent physical coverage if no flag was thrown because Desir stayed on his man and positioned his body between the receiver and the ball, so the receiver seemed to initiate most of the contact. Desir had turned his head to locate the ball and several people on the Jets' sideline protested the call.
  • Quinnen Williams offside on 3rd-and-5. This call was correct and a terrible play but Williams was unduly credited with the penalty. He flinched but didn't go into the neutral zone and it was actually Harvey Langi who did that, actually making contact with the center.
  • Nate Hairston pass interference. This was broken down by James Lofton on the broadcast. Again, it was physical coverage but the receiver seemed to slip rather than being pulled or dragged to the ground.
  • Quinnen Williams roughing the passer. This call was made because he went low on Allen, but he was falling to the ground rather than diving in to make a low hit. Guess you have to roll away and not try to tackle the player in such a situation?

Bills Penalties

  • AJ Klein pass interference on Le'Veon Bell. A smart veteran play by Klein who knew he was beaten for a certain touchdown so cut his losses and took a holding penalty instead. Bell got hurt on the play so it took the Jets' best offensive threat out of the game too. The hold did occur before Sam Darnold released the pass, otherwise it would have been pass interference, but the foul occurred near the line of scrimmage anyway.
  • Levi Wallace pass interference near the goal line at the end of the game. Nice route by Breshad Perriman and a pretty good throw by Darnold. Perriman was shoved to the ground as the ball was arriving and the Bills players did not argue the call.

Notable no-calls

The announcers were obsessed with a missed Tyler Bass field goal which they repeatedly said seemed to have been good.

Okay, but (a) no it didn't and (b) who the hell cares anyway?

A much more significant call was the Chris Herndon fumble. The announcers and so-called "expert" on the broadcast agreed that this should have been ruled a fumble but in real time and slow motion it looks like he didn't have control of the ball long enough to make a football move. Unfortunately every angle provided didn't quite show this conclusively so they had to stick with the call on the field.

Had he been in the end zone there is no way in a million years that would have been a touchdown, so - on that basis - it's not a fumble. The Jets were driving at the time, near midfield, and it would have been a one possession game early in the fourth quarter if they had scored.

Other missed calls were mostly minor including an obvious hold on Henry Anderson and a play where Dion Dawkins tackled Jordan Willis on a pass rush.

To their credit, the officials didn't call a facemask penalty on Basham, who made a tackle in the backfield that looked like a possible facemask penalty in real time, but was clearly not based on the replay.

Let us know what we missed - or misinterpreted - in the comments...