Unbelievable game last night between the Seahawks and Bills. In fact, one of the best games of the entire season.
A shoot-out that no one expected. Russell Wilson, looking healthy for the first time all season, and Jimmy Graham making one absurd one-handed catch after another. That was the guy Seattle thought they were getting in that trade before he shredded his knee. And it’s not like the Bills rolled over. Tyrod Taylor showed freaky athleticism, playing probably the best game of his career.
In short, one of the best games of the year and a game to make us forget what was an otherwise crummy NFL weekend we just had. Or at least, it should have been or would have been if not for the referee’s butchering yet another game.
And their inability to do their job definitely affected the outcome of this game. I’m not saying that’s why Buffalo lost. And I’m not saying the Bills didn’t still have a chance to win it late. But I am saying the officials going into the tank on the Sherman v. Carpenter play late in the first half, definitely had an impact on the outcome of this game.
So after all that chaos, Richard Sherman jumping offside and running into kicker Dan Carpenter, there has to be another penalty, too, right? Not according to Walt Anderson.
How the hell do you screw that up?! Congrats on at least flagging Sherman for being off sides. At least the refs got that part right. But that’s the only part they got right. The play was blown dead, but Sherman kept playing and ran into Bills kicker Dan Carpenter. Incredibly, Sherman was not flagged for unnecessary roughness. Not called for a late hit. The play was blown dead. He ran into the kicker. That’s a penalty. Definitely unnecessary roughness.
So to recap, as Carpenter lay on the turf, the Bills trainers came running onto the field, and the refs charged Buffalo with a timeout, one that they didn’t have, which resulted in a penalty. And since the trainers had come onto the field, Carpenter had to come out of the game. Which meant the Bills weren’t going to have a kicker for their field goal attempt. And in the chaos, players on both teams started leaving the field for halftime.
Nice work, Walt. The only thing you got right during the whole sequence was having the players come back out.
So since Carpenter still wasn’t allowed into the game, Buffalo sent out rookie running back Jonathan Williams to line up under center to spike the ball, so that they could run a play and then get Carpenter in. Problem is, when he came back into the game, the officials botched that, too, because they were still standing over the ball with four seconds left on the play clock and Buffalo was called for a delay of game. Move back five yards, and Carpenter missed as time expired and the half mercifully came to an end.
And instead of going into the locker room trailing, 28-20, they were down 28-17.
As for Sherman, he insisted he really didn’t do anything wrong. That he just made a football play. And that he didn’t hear a whistle so he just finished the play.
Rex Ryan, obviously didn’t see it that way; he was pissed. And let Sherman know it. Sherman also mean mugged Rex after that pick in the endzone.
Bottom line: that’s not why the Bills lost this game. Rex would tell you that. Yes, make that field goal going into halftime and they only need a field goal on their final drive, but they had the ball for twice as long as Seattle and ran nearly twice as many plays as Seattle. And committed way too many penalties.
They were driving for the go ahead score late in the game, but Tyrod Taylor, who was great, took two late sacks and they couldn’t finish.
So, the refs are not the reason they lost, but the refs are the story coming out of this game. And that’s not good for anyone.
The fact that we’re talking about Walt Anderson instead of Russell Wilson or Tyrod Taylor is a very, very bad thing. But it’s fitting, because Walt Anderson and his team had a very, very bad game.