NFL officiating became a hot topic of conversation at the end of Week 6 because of how the Buffalo Bills were able to hold on against the New York Giants on Sunday night.
The Giants got a chance on an untimed down to win the game from the Bills’ 1-yard line. Tyrod Taylor fired a quick pass to tight end Darren Waller but the ball sailed over his head. It appeared Bills cornerback Taron Johnson was grabbing Waller’s jersey but no flag was thrown.
Buffalo won the game 14-9, but fans on social media were outraged over the missed ball.
“You wanna believe that they even themselves out over the period of the season. Some calls you get, some calls you don’t get. It’s also tough, when you see a call like that, to go, ‘God that’s, it’s really unfair,'” Brady said. “You know, it’s definitely a penalty. It was obviously a holding. They just didn’t call it.
“I don’t know why they call it sometimes when they don’t. I always had a problem when they threw a flag and it didn’t happen. Like, for example, they call a hold and there was no hold. I don’t know how you can throw a flag on something that you didn’t see. I always accepted the fact that if a ref, if there was a hold and they didn’t call it, OK, I didn’t see the call. So sometimes they let guys play.”
Brady said it was an “obvious” holding penalty on Johnson and everyone expects, in that moment, for the officials to get the call right.
“They don’t always get it right. They mess up, too, just like we as players mess up. So I don’t think you always blame the refs. I don’t think you can always let the refs off. There’s always probably a middle ground in all of it that you’re hoping over the course of the season they balance themselves out and maybe you’re on the positive end of one of those calls.”
Officiating seems to be the topic of conversation each week. The difference this time is the play happened so fast that slowing down the moment on replay may have been the only way to see the holding at that moment.
“Sunday Night Football” referee analyst Terry McAulay explained the situation to Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth.
“Yeah, Mike, it certainly wouldn’t be holding. The ball’s in flight. And had the ball not been in flight, that jersey pull is an automatic foul. We understand that,” he said. “Once the ball’s in flight, now it changes what that pull means. It has to significantly hinder the receiver. And one can argue it did. Certainly one could argue that it maybe didn’t. Again, that’s the level you’re looking for, for a foul. Does that jersey grab significantly hinder the receiver’s ability to make the play?”
McAulay said he believed Waller was hindered but left it up to the officials on the field who “didn’t believe it significantly hindered him and didn’t make the call.”