After Further Review: Jets-Bills 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 3-30 (leading to one Jets first down)
Jets 3-30 (leading to zero 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

  • Holding on Marcell Harris on a kickoff return. Lost leverage and grabbed his man from behind to spring Braxton Berrios.
  • Denzel Mims false start. Flinched as the man went in motion on the next play after the 12-minute SkyCam delay.

Bills Penalties

  • Jaquan Johnson face mask penalty. Pretty clear grab on James Robinson's face mask at the end of a run.
  • Tyler Bass kickoff landed out of bounds, automatically giving the Jets possession at the 40.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Justin Hardee unnecessary roughness. This easily could have been two off-setting penalties or a no-call. Hardee dragged his man to the ground at the end of the play as the pair jostled for position. That alone probably wasn't worthy of a penalty. He then pulled his man down again on the sideline, but only in response to being shoved. On balance, Hardee did perhaps do two bad things to his opposing number's one, so it was probably fair. While Hardee has a reputation for committing a lot of penalties, he actually had gone 12 games without one (and only had one in his last season before joining the Jets).

Bills Penalties

  • Tim Settle encroachment penalty. Settle jumped before the snap and the play was blown dead with Berrios catching a pass in the flat that looked like it had a chance to be a solid gain. The reason this wasn't allowed to run as a free play was because Duane Brown also jumped before the snap, probably because he saw Settle in the neutral zone and wanted to ensure the Jets got the penalty.
  • Dion Dawkins holding on Carl Lawson to open the last drive. This followed a pattern of what had happened for much of the game. Lawson would make a good initial move on the excellent Dawkins but he'd do his best to recover well enough to prevent clean pressure. On this play, though, Lawson got Dawkins moving back off his spot and had an inside leverage advantage as he was tackled to the ground.

Notable no-calls etc

Just six accepted penalties this week makes for a refreshingly shorter article than last week. However, there were still a few plays that warranted discussion.

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

  • Josh Allen's first touchdown was overturned because his elbow was down but he scored on the next snap anyway on a sneak. Honestly this looked too close to overturn unless the replay booth had a angle we didn't.
  • Zach Wilson's side-arm pass to Garrett Wilson in the flat saw him hit by Daquan Jones but no roughing the passer was called. He had time to make two steps after the ball was gone and hit him in the same manner as John Franklin-Myers hit Mac Jones on the negated pick-six last week and every bit as hard. Furthermore, you just know the Jets were actively trying not to hit Allen hard or late at all given what happened last week so this is a disadvantage for them. Franklin-Myers noticeably was very careful on at least two occasions.
  • Harris was almost offside on a 4th-and-10 punt but got back onside before the snap.
  • The re-spotting of the Ace Carter first down was bogus. It doesn't make sense that the booth can buzz down and change the call on the field without applying the "must be indisputable video evidence" rule and then won't overturn the call on replay because the evidence isn't clear enough. Revert back to the original call then! Any argument that he didn't break the plane of the 35-yard line here is unconvincing.
  • Having said that, Zach Wilson was probably short on his fourth down sneak on the next play. Maybe a make-up call? The Bills perhaps should have challenged this.
  • Cedric Ogbuehi got away with at least one false start as he got back into his stance too early.
  • The CJ Uzomah simultaneous possession call was correct. Uzomah caught the ball but then had it knocked out. This was before he made a football move so had the ball ultimately hit the turf, it's incomplete. At that point it's up for grabs. However, although Uzomah had definitely lost control, the defensive player definitely did not establish full control before the two started wrestling for ball and eventually went out of sight in the pile-up. If the defensive player had control and then Uzomah was seen to try and grab it from him as they go to the ground, that's an interception. However, if you never see him do that and the pair end up with the ball together, that's simulataneous possession which by rule is a catch. The Jets could easily have been screwed over here, though, as they were in the 2010 9-0 loss to the Packers on a similar play.
  • Two points on the Garrett Wilson fumble. First off, was his fumble actually an incomplete forward pass? Had it happened as he was throwing a pump fake, then it could have been. He wasn't...but, had it happened before the tuck rule was repealed in 2013, then it WOULD have been an incomplete pass. The other relevant issue is that he lost his helmet as he recovered the ball. Had he lost his helmet BEFORE recovering the ball, then the play could have been blown dead before either team made a clear recovery. That easily could have gone in the Jets' favor and saved them from a certain turnover.
  • On 3rd-and-6 the Jets were once again the victims of an offensive pass interference on a pick play. The defender made contact with Sauce Gardner just beyond a yard downfield and continued to push him a few yards further downfield before the pass was thrown. They arguably got away with another of these on a pass to the running back too.
  • The hit on Zach Wilson's run drew the ire of the crowd when it was replayed on the jumbotron but this was actually legal because he's outside the pocket and therefore considered a runner.
  • Mims had a bit of a grab at the top of his route on his clutch fourth quarter catch but probably not clear enough that it would constitute offensive pass interference.
  • Stefon Diggs' sideline catch was negated by the Dawkins/Lawson penalty but this was called a catch. Looking at this, it seemed like maybe his right foot wasn't down but on closer inspection his foot did seem to leave the ground after he caught the ball - or at least it was close enough not to overturn. Diggs landed on the ball out of bounds, which should really be considered incomplete, but is legal under the current rules if you don't lose control and don't use the ground to secure the catch. He kind of was using the ground to maintain control here, but you get away with that under the current rules. It's therefore lucky that the penalty made this moot.
  • Some fans felt that Gardner committed pass interference on Allen's fourth down bomb. The league office has confirmed that they feel no call is correct. There was contact but it went both ways and Gardner was right in position and didn't directly impede the receiver's ability to get in position or go after the ball.

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