NFL admits to costly blown call in Bills-Texans playoff game two seasons later
The Buffalo Bills lost to the Houston Texans in the playoffs two seasons ago in part because of a controversial call it overtime. It took more than a year, but the NFL has finally admitted the Bills may have been robbed.
Buffalo and Houston went to overtime tied 19-19 in their 2020 postseason game. The Texans got the ball first, but the Bills stopped them with a three-and-out and had a chance to win the game with a field goal. They were in field goal range after Josh Allen scrambled for four yards on 3rd-and-9 from the Houston 42-yard line, but offensive lineman Cody Ford was called for a blindside block. That backed Buffalo out of field goal range and forced a punt.
The Texans went on to win 22-19. On Friday, the NFL shared a video on Twitter explaining what officials look for with blindside blocks. One of the examples of a clean block that should not have been called was Ford’s block. You can see the play at around the 1:10 mark below:
Here’s what officials look for when it comes to blindside blocks pic.twitter.com/XYnBD0mXHp
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) April 9, 2021
Had no flag been thrown, Stephen Hauschka would have been able to attempt a game-winning field goal of around 55 yards. That is hardly a chip shot, so there’s no guarantee the Bills would have won. However, the NFL has confirmed that Buffalo at least deserved a shot.
As New Orleans Saints fans could tell you, the blindside block penalty wasn’t the most egregious officiating blunder we have seen in an NFL playoff game. A certain non-call on this pass play still holds that title. That said, it has to sting Bills fans to see the NFL admit the mistake now.