The NFL’s catch rules have come under a whole lot of fire over the years, and the latest flare-up comes from Sunday’s Buffalo Bills-New England Patriots game. With seconds left in the first half, Bills’ receiver Kelvin Benjamin looked to make a great catch in the end zone. It was ruled a touchdown on the field, but then overturned on replay. Here’s the play:
— Arthur Arkush (@ArthurArkush) December 24, 2017
Here’s another look:
Kelvin Benjamin doesn't get credit for the TD catch. Had his foot and toe scrape but not given possession during that brief time. pic.twitter.com/7QyCvPOE1a
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) December 24, 2017
And this led to a whole lot of outrage:
regarding the Buffalo no touchdown, nothing more irritating to an official than to make a great call and then someone in a suit in an office in New York incorrectly reverses it. It is more and more obvious that there isn't a standard for staying with the call on the field.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) December 24, 2017
no way they overturn that Benjamin TD…right? RIGHT?
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) December 24, 2017
This is pointless and ignores the advance of technology, but I’m frustrated that 100s of TD passes have been caught in NFL history that were less legal than Benjamin’s.
— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) December 24, 2017
Wow. Amazed that Benjamin TD was overturned. Didn't not appear to be "clear and obvious" enough to overturn. They've turned TD's into 3 act plays. It's unbelievable.
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) December 24, 2017
Al Riveron, Patriots MVP. This is unbelievable!!!! Or very believable!! How can anyone prove that Benjamin's back foot wasn't grazing a blade of grass?
— Joe Starkey (@JoeStarkey1) December 24, 2017
How did they have enough evidence to overturn that TD catch by Benjamin?
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) December 24, 2017
You have to be kidding me with the Patriots and these replays. Complete joke. Nothing conclusive clearly on Benjamin. I mean NOTHING.
— Michael Salfino (@MichaelSalfino) December 24, 2017
The NFL is lost. That Kelvin Benjamin touchdown bring overturned is absolutely ludicrous. Bills mafia needs to burn that stadium to the ground.
— Ross Bolen (@WRBolen) December 24, 2017
It also led to many people wondering if the Patriots get special treatment:
Of COURSE that Kelvin Benjamin TD was going to be overturned. ITS THE PATRIOTS.
— Jason Smith (@howaboutafresca) December 24, 2017
Benjamin TD stands against any team other than the Pats.
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) December 24, 2017
#Patriots have now had 3 plays ruled a TD on the field and overturned after review:
– Austin Seferian Jenkins
– Jesse James
– Kelvin Benjamin pic.twitter.com/7HtDkFwfTb
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 24, 2017
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Jesse James, Kelvin Benjamin…. The NFL is cheating for the Patriots and doesn't care who knows pic.twitter.com/b2eRli4ewd
— Matt O'Brien (@MattOBr1en) December 24, 2017
Thanks to this ruling, the Bills had to settle for a 23-yard Steven Hauschka field goal instead of the touchdown, and went into the half tied at 13. If they go on to lose, this one’s going to get a lot of after-the-fact attention.
[Arthur Arkush on Twitter]