How many NFL referees does it take to get a call right? More than the crew that was present for Monday Night Football.
The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots Monday Night Football game was overshadowed by the poor performance of the NFL referees calling the game. There were clear catches that needed to be challenged, a incorrect ruling that said Sammy Watkins gave himself up as a receiver that ended the game, and a James White touchdown that shouldn't have been allowed due to the Patriots simulated substitution. That said, all of this pales in comparison to the inadvertent whistle that was blown during the game.
A whistle was blown as Tom Brady had a ball in the air to receiver Danny Amendola. Many Patriots fans cried foul over the play as they believed that Amendola would have scored a touchdown on the play. Replays showed that Ronald Darby slowed up after he heard the whistle. A Sports Science piece was even completed to show that Darby would have caught up to Amendola. That said, none of it should have mattered. Since the ball was in the air, and not yet completed to Amendola, the whistle should have led to a "do over." Instead, after a painfully long huddle, the referees made the wrong call. They ruled that Amendola had the ball as the whistle blew and even added a penalty against Rex Ryan. It led Mike Tirico of ESPN to say, "What a screwed up night of plays and officiating this was." It certainly wasn't a shining moment for the NFL on Monday Night Football.
Two days later, a Bills practice referee made light of the inadvertant whistle incident.
Buscaglia of WKBW-TV didn't add how the players reacted to the 'joke' but the referee should have gone all-in and called a penalty on Ryan as well.