Gene Steratore and his officiating crew had a rough night at the office on Monday when the Buffalo Bills met the New England Patriots.
One of the most notable calls occurred in the second half when officials blew dead a Tom Brady completion to Danny Amendola that would have resulted in a Patriots first down and possibly, a touchdown.
The on-the-field explanation blamed an inadvertent whistle well before Brady headed out of bounds on a passing attempt.
While Bill Belichick stated his acceptance over how the officials handled the situation, that type of gaffe is unacceptable.
Then, with Buffalo trailing 20-13 with just seconds to go, officials called a completed pass to Sammy Watkins on 4th and 6 incomplete. For the moment, it appeared the game was over. However, the replay center in New York intervened to overturn the call.
Buffalo wasn’t as lucky moments later. Tyrod Taylor completed a pass to Watkins with two seconds left. Officials ruled that Watkins stayed in bounds and was touched by Malcolm Butler, the closest Patriots defender.
Instead of allowing replay to fix the error, time expired without anything happening.
Obviously Taylor struggled to throw the ball past 20 yards on the last drive but they still should have received one more play.
Overall, it was not a good night to be a zebra.
ESPN’s Mike Tirico summed it up best.
“What a screwed up night this was for plays and officiating.”
Yes and yes.