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 5-40 (leading to one Jets first down)
Jets 2-10 (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

  • Laken Tomlinson false start.
  • Jeremy Ruckert offensive pass interference and Connor McGovern illegal man downfield on a play where Zach Wilson was chased from the pocket at threw the ball away so both were declined anyway. Ruckert - who lined up outside - was off-screen when he was flagged. McGovern leaked out to get in front of a screen pass that was never thrown because Wilson hesitated and then had to run away from pressure.
  • Greg Zuerlein delay of game before the game-tying extra point.

Bills Penalties

  • Terrel Bernard defensive holding. This happened off-screen.
  • Dawson Knox false start.
  • Spencer Brown false start.
  • Matt Milano taunting. Yelled in Wilson's face after Wilson threw an interception to him and ended up making the tackle.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

Jets Penalties

  • Mekhi Becton illegal man downfield. It's difficult to know how to avoid this penalty in practice because Becton fired out to the second level anticipating a run but Wilson pulled the ball out and threw it instead on the RPO. Unless you throw that so quickly that the lineman isn't downfield yet, or the lineman hesitates before going too far past the line of scrimmage this is going to be called every time.
  • Becton holding. This was declined anyway but it was one of Becton's worst reps of the day and basically the only clean outside pressure he gave up. He reached out and grabbed Gregory Rousseau as he came around the corner.

Bills Penalties

  • Offensive pass interference by Stefon Diggs on Sauce Gardner. While this didn't prevent the Bills from getting in range to send the game to overtime, it likely meant they didn't have time for a shot at the end zone and a winning touchdown so it was a key play. It was subtle, but Diggs did push off with extension at the catch-point.

Notable no-calls etc

Here were some of the other notable missed calls, replay situations and controversial moments:

  • It was fair that the forward progress for Josh Allen was stopped and the play whistled dead before the ball came loose for what could have been a Jets touchdown. (DJ Reed picked it up and ran with it before fumbling it himself at which point Will McDonald ran it in). There was no realistic chance of Allen spinning free and he had effectively given up battling for yardage.
  • Wilson was hit in the head on one pass attempt. Although the contact was more incidental than forcible, we've seen these called against the Jets many times.
  • Allen's touchdown pass to Diggs was ruled as allowable because his back foot was on the five yard line, which was the line of scrimmage. This appears to be correct, although if you do a frame-by-frame breakdown it's possible Allen's foot is off the ground and potentially past that line at the exact moment the ball leaves his hand. This is definitely too tight to call though, especially when the call on the field is a legal pass and they probably reverse it to a touchdown even if it had been initially called illegal. (Note: The lines on the TV broadcast were misleading here).
  • A flag was thrown for a hold when Dion Dawkins peeled to the second level and reached across Quincy Williams to prevent him from making a stop off the edge and spring a long run. Replays showed Dawkins let go almost immediately and probably did enough to justify this flag being picked up, which it was.
  • James Cook wanted an interference penalty on Williams when he broke up the pass on a wheel route near the goal line. Any contact before the ball arrived was minimal and this seemed okay even though Williams didn't fully turn his head and ultimately broke it up with his face mask.
  • Milano's hit on Wilson as he was being hauled down in the pocket was forcible and to the head/neck area so that was a personal foul and he could be fined for it. No call was made.
  • The so-called "expert" on the TV broadcast said the Jets' win should come with an asterisk because they got away with Chazz Surratt tripping an opposing player with a leg whip on the winning return. This was bad analysis. Surratt made a legal attempt to block his man, who tripped over him as he tried to avoid it. Had this been called it would have knocked the Jets out of (or to the very boundary of) Zuerlein's field goal range.

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