The Buffalo Bills should have easily beaten the Miami Dolphins in their opening round playoff match-up.
Not only were the Dolphins starting their third-string quarterback, but the Bills have been a consensus favorite to win the Super Bowl since the preseason.
In the early going, things were definitely going Buffalo’s way. Quarterback Josh Allen’s girlfriend posted a series of wild Instagram stories as her beau was smoking the opposition.
But then Miami started to chip away at the deficit.
By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the Bills were up by just three and desperately clinging to the advantage.
That is when one particularly egregious error occurred that ended up completely altering the trajectory of the game.
With a little over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Buffalo had the ball and was trying to take time off the clock.
On third-and-7, running back Devin Singletary took the carry and rushed forward towards the first down marker. Officials immediately ruled it a first down, but the video clearly shows that it wasn’t:
Devin Singletary ices the game for the @BuffaloBills! #MIAvsBUF #SuperWildCard pic.twitter.com/uM9kZiRx53
— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2023
The replay confirmed it wasn’t a first down:
Is this a Buffalo Bills first down? pic.twitter.com/AUkllyWGSL
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 15, 2023
But no one reversed it. And thus the game ended.
The reality is, if that play had been called correctly, Buffalo would have had to decide whether to go for it on fourth down. And regardless of what route they went, there was a better-than-decent chance Miami would have gotten the ball back.
Poor officiating has been a theme in the NFL all year. This was no exception.
The Dolphins obviously didn’t play a great game on Sunday. The playcalling, especially, was really unimpressive.
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 16, 2023
But Allen repeatedly turning the ball over was enough to keep them in an outing that never even should have been competitive.
This season is what it is, but hopefully over the summer league officials take a long hard look at how bad the refereeing was in 2022-23 and do something to mitigate that ahead of next year.
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