BOSTON (CBS) — Like many of his players and head coach, Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pagula is not happy with the NFL over an overturned touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.
Pegula jumped on WGR 550 in Buffalo on Tuesday and criticized the league for reversing a touchdown by Kelvin Benjamin just ahead of halftime in Sunday’s 37-16 loss in Foxboro. Benjamin’s catch was overturned after a video review by NFL Senior VP of Officiating Al Riveron.
The Bills owner said the league has not been consistent with their replay reviews, and called for changes.
“They obviously weren’t looking at the same television the rest of the country was looking at, were they?” said Pegula, via ESPN’s Mike Rodak. “You know what, you can probably find somebody in this country that disagrees, and I know one guy would be Al Riveron sitting in New York City. But everybody I talked to — and they’re not Bills fans and they’re not necessarily anti-Patriots — they’re all baffled by that call, which just wasn’t consistent with what replay [should be].”
Benjamin was initially given a touchdown after hauling in a four-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor in the back corner of the end zone, which would have given the Bills a 17-13 lead with two seconds remaining in the half. All touchdowns are automatically reviewed by the league’s central replay office, and one angle showed that Benjamin’s foot was not down when he gained full control of the football before falling out of bounds. So instead of a potential four-point lead, the two teams went into halftime tied 13-13. The Patriots outscored the Bills 24-3 in the second half en route to their 37-16 victory.
Benjamin did not complain about the call after the game, but several of his teammates voiced their displeasure with the league. Buffalo defensive end Jerry Hughes went as far to say that someone in Boston had the officials on their payroll.
On Tuesday, Pegula said the NFL needed to fix their replay system and guidelines.
“Replay was developed by this league to correct obviously mistakes,” he said. “And if you got to look at a play 30 times from five different angles, and keep looking at it, and looking at it and looking at it, you go with the call on the field. That’s what the league has been doing ever since replay started. As a matter of fact, Dean Blandino, who was the head of replay last year, said last year that was a touchdown.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but we have to fix it. And I’m not saying that as the owner of the Bills, I’m saying that as a football fan. We can’t have stuff like this happening in our league,” he said.
With Sunday’s loss, the Bills are now on the outside of the AFC playoff picture. They still have a shot to end their 18-year postseason drought, but need a win in Miami and some help from other teams.