Every year, the NFL’s Thanksgiving games are some of the most highly-anticipated and most-watched games of the entire year. As a result, you’d expect the officials to be at their best to avoid scrutiny as much as possible. But on Thursday afternoon’s game between the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions, the NFL referees made a huge and costly blunder.
After some brutal clock management from Lions head coach Dan Campbell, the Buffalo Bills kicked a late 45-year-old game-winning field goal to beat the Lions. But if the referees had made a correct call on the final play before the field goal, it would have been a much longer game-winning attempt.
As Anthony Casey pointed out on Twitter, Bills offensive tackle Spencer Brown clearly grabbed the facemask of Lions cornerback Mike Hughes on the final play of the game. It should have been a 15-yard penalty as a result.
The referees stole that game from Detroit there was a facemask on the last play before the field goal and they didn’t call it. Should’ve been about 15 yards back. @CardPurchaser pic.twitter.com/K41nV9QbGf
— anthony casey (@Ant110974) November 24, 2022
“The referees stole that game from Detroit there was a facemask on the last play before the field goal and they didn’t call it. Should’ve been about 15 yards back,” Anthony Casey pointed out on Twitter.
It was a massive missed call, and the NFL world had plenty to say about it as a result.
The NFL loves Buffalo https://t.co/DkRf4mIq41
— Hueneme Bandit 🧛🏿 (@BeeMizzle) November 24, 2022
Yeah also this https://t.co/KMi6hvijOC
— Stephen (@racecrazy) November 24, 2022
Can't believe the refs missed that facemask on the Bills game-winning drive
— blitz (@blitznotinspace) November 24, 2022
Where’s the face mask call on the Allen run to set up game winning FG? pic.twitter.com/KZOhjVN1FD
— Matt “Evel Phin-Evel” Mahaffey (@mahaff5499) November 24, 2022
@NFLOfficiating hopefully you at least acknowledge this one and reprimand the official who should be staring at it
— Bootstraps (@Bootstraps99) November 24, 2022
If the referees had thrown the flag on the play, the Bills would have been forced to attempt a 60-yard field goal instead of a 45-yarder.