Officiating in the playoffs got off to a rough start Wild Card weekend in Buffalo.
The first game of Super Wild Card Weekend was billed as one of the best, but that critique was limited to the play on the field. While the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts brought their A-game, officiating got off to a rough start.
Call it first game jitters, call it shaking off the rust, or just call it what it is: A mind-bogglingly bad call.
On the Colts first drive of the game, Philip Rivers threw an incomplete third-down pass that was initially ruled to be a completion.
It couldn’t have more clearly been the opposite.
They called this a catch??pic.twitter.com/F1C51rfoRx
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 9, 2021
The call was quickly reversed, but the fact remains that for a period of time this was a call on the field that stood. The CBS announcing booth tried to massage the error by initially saying that sideline catches, specifically contested ones, often provide tough angles for officials.
But the replay is pretty indisputable.
This is two straight weekends where officials had a tough time getting a call right on the field in New York. The Dallas Cowboys season effectively ended after officials ruled that Wayne Gallman didn’t fumble a ball that very clearly appeared to be exactly that.
It was a different officiating crew, but the point stands.
Buffalo is playing its first home playoff game in almost a quarter-century, so there’s understandably some jitters to go around. But you’d think that would be more about the players on the field than the referees trying to officiate the game.