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 4-40 (leading to zero Jets first downs)
Jets 4-27 (leading to three Bills first downs)

Note: This does not include penalties that are declined or off-set.

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

Jets Penalties

  • Brandin Echols pass interference on Stefon Diggs. Had his hands all over him on a stop route.
  • Denzel Mims false start. Mims just shifted his balance and took a step as there was a man in motion so it could equally have been called as an illegal shift.
  • Bryce Hall pass interference on Diggs near the goal line right before halftime. Hall grabbed Diggs' arm and probably did this deliberately, knowing that the Bills would have to settle for a field goal.

Bills Penalties

  • Holding against Siran Neal on a Bills punt return. Neal was working against Rachad Wildgoose but the penalty itself took place off-screen.
  • Offensive holding on Tommy Doyle. Hugged Ronnie Blair on the edge with his arms clearly outside Blair's frame.
  • Illegal man downfield on the botched punt attempt against Tyler Dodson. This usually happens in a case where the snap is botched.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Nick Bawden offensive penalty for getting into it with Bills' long snapper Reid Ferguson. Bawden lit Ferguson up, then shoved him down before Ferguson reacted by tackling Bawden to the ground. Unless Bawden reacted to this off-screen, it seemed harsh to penalize him for his actions on this play. The only thing you can really make a case for is taunting based on what we saw, for bending over the stricken player and shoving him to the ground again. Robert Saleh felt that this should be a dead ball foul so the original kick (a shank) should stand rather than requiring a re-kick. The officials said no, suggesting they flagged both players during that in-play action, which seems wrong.
  • Hamsah Nasirildeen late hit out of bounds on Josh Allen near the pylon. This was a fair call. Nasirildeen was inbounds when he launched to make the hit, but Allen was clearly off the field when forcible contact was made. It's difficult for a player in Nasirildeen's situation to slow down when pursuing across the field at full speed like that.

Bills Penalties

  • The offsetting penalty after the Bawden fight was a weird one. The officials called it on #50 despite the fact that this is Gregory Rousseau's number and he wasn't on the field. The official gamebook charges it to Ferguson for obvious reasons, but one possible theory is that the official who announced the call actually heard "fifteen" not "fifty". #15 (Jake Kumerow) was on the field and got into it with Bawden after the play. Of course, if it was him, then this was definitely a dead ball foul and Saleh was correct. Then again, the punter shanked the re-kick too so it was a moot point.
  • Chop block against Ryan Bates on CJ Mosley at the second level. This is an extension of the rule for this season where you cannot block below the waist more than five yards downfield. The line of scrimmage was the 42 and Mosley was on the 36 when Bates went low and made contact. The officials, however, assessed this penalty from the 32 which made it 2nd-and-15 when it should have been 2nd-and-19.

Notable no-calls

Here were some of the notable missed calls, controversial moments or review situations.

  • The Jets were hard done by on the first Diggs touchdown. The original call on the field was incomplete and you need indisputable evidence to overturn this, but the officials decided to change the on-field call to complete without any evidence and then when the replay was inconclusive, the call on the field stands. It seemed like they only changed it because making it a touchdown meant the Bills didn't need to challenge the call. It simply wasn't clear that Diggs had control yet when his right foot lifted off the turf.
  • Dion Dawkins got away with an illegal hands to the face as he shoved Tim Ward back and took him down on a pass rush.
  • Hall had his hands all over Gabriel Davis on a fourth down incompletion. Diggs would definitely have got that call.
  • Josh Allen lost control of a throw that could easily have been a fumble but his arm was coming forward and he did still propel it forwards with impetus so incomplete was the correct call.
  • Davis clearly went out of bounds before he made a touchdown catch at the back of the end zone, but the pass was simply ruled incomplete. He was inbounds when he caught this so the correct procedure would have been to call it a touchdown but then penalize Davis for illegal touching. That's only a loss of down penalty so the end result is the same.
  • Diggs twice stiff-armed a Jets player with his hand up in their face mask. Whether this met the criteria for grasping and pushing the face mask that can give rise to a penalty is debatable, but a similar play was flagged earlier in the day in another game.
  • Tevin Coleman tripped over his own man but got back up and dived ahead for what should have been a gain of eight. The official marked him down where he originally hit the turf for a five yard gain (which was still the longest run by a Jets running back all day other than the second play of the game).
  • Davis blatantly pushed off against Hall on one play. As it turned out, he dropped the pass anyway.
  • The fans wanted a tripping penalty on Nathan Shepherd after he penetrated and the running back tripped over his foot. This didn't appear deliberate but could have been called.
  • The officials ignored the most blatant block in the back penalty you could ever expect to see by the Bills' vice against Justin Hardee.
  • Dawson Knox appeared to tackle Blair on the edge to set up Devin Singletary's touchdown run that made it 20-10. That also came after he had caught a shovel pass and his knee was clearly down with the ball at the two-yard line but they marked it at the one.

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