Analyst Issues Warning to Bills QB Josh Allen After Controversial Call

Josh Allen

Getty Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Buffalo Bills came back from a 17-point deficit in the second quarter to beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 following a game-winning field goal on Sunday, October 2. However, the final few minutes of the matchup have come under major scrutiny.

After Bills safety Jordan Poyer intercepted Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s touchdown attempt on fourth down, it gave quarterback Josh Allen and the offense the chance to start with the ball at the Bills’ 20 with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter. Tied 20-20, Allen led a 12-play, 77-yard drive down the field and with pitch-perfect clock management, put kicker Tyler Bass in position to drill a 21-yarder to clinch the victory.

However, with 2:06 left in regulation, the Bills were first-and-15 on the Ravens’ 41-yard line when Allen threw an incomplete pass and was subsequently tackled by Baltimore’s blitzing cornerback Brandon Stephens. Allen fell to the ground and complained to the ref, after which Jerome Boger, whom the NFL reprimanded for questionable officiating during the playoffs last season, called a 15-yard penalty on Stephens.

While it seemed the flag was thrown for a late hit, The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec tweeted that that’s not why the penalty was called. Boger said, “What I had was forcible contact in the head/neck area of the QB w/the helmet. He said the referee conference after he threw the flag was just to make sure he had the right number of the player who he flagged.”

CBS rules analyst and former referee Gene Sterator tweeted, “This was a hard hit on Josh Allen in #BUFvsBAL, but the contact was neither late nor to the head/neck area. Allen did fall awkwardly which always adds an additional layer of difficulty for these plays, but IMO that did not warrant a flag for Roughing the Passer.”

USA Today’s Doug Farrar agreed. “Boger has a bit of a history regarding consistency of calls in his career, but when you are an official told by the league to call roughing the passer if there’s even the appearance of it — and you then multiply that variance by Boger’s variance — well, weird things are going to happen,” Farrar wrote. “In this case, Boger and his crew absolutely got the call wrong. The replay shows no contact to Allen’s head or neck, forcible or otherwise.”

The Athletic’s Tim Graham said Allen “flopped” to draw the call and noted that with the NFL’s new rule changes to concussion protocol, exaggerating a hit to the head or neck when there’s no injury could have major consequences.

Graham wrote, “Allen does take extra punishment because of his rugged playing style, but with Tua Tagovailoa’s brain health creating heightened awareness, frequently complaining about helmet hits or snapping his neck backward to get the referee’s attention might also catch the concussion spotter’s eye someday, too, and get Allen pulled from game, however briefly.”

While the league has yet to officially announce the concussion protocol changes, NFL’s chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills announced on Sunday morning, “If you were to remove gross motor instability as a judgment call, then yes, anybody who stumbles would be ruled out” after taking a hard a hit.

Allen, however, was thankfully not injured on the play and 13WHAM’s Bills reporter was impressed Allen got the penalty called. He tweeted, “Superstars get that call. Josh Allen is a superstar.”

Several Analysts Balked at Boger’s ‘Dreadful Call’

While Allen was doing everything he could to get his team the win, the responsibility of that call ultimately lands on the ref. During the live CBS broadcast, commentator Charles Davis immediately disagreed with the penalty. “I think he was right there to make the play on Josh Allen,” Davis said, per SB Nation. “I don’t like the call.”

Ravens editorial director Ryan Mink tweeted, “Ref literally waited for Josh Allen to throw up his arms and complain before throwing a flag for roughing the passer.”

Former NFL quarterback turned analyst Robert Griffin III tweeted, “A QB getting hit hard DOESN’T equalroughing the passer.”

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen also disagreed with the call. “These plays simply need to be reviewable,” Eisen tweeted. “Or let the Hawkeye from NFL officiating center overrule dreadful calls like this.”

McDermott Praised Buffalo’s Execution During the Final Drive

Bills head coach Sean McDermott loved what he saw from his team during that final drive. While speaking to the media after the game McDermott called it “high-level” execution.

“We had two first downs, two chains left and we knew we could put them in a tough position there knowing they only had two timeouts at the time. My guys upstairs were right on it. The coaches on the headset and collectively the players. At the two-minute warning we had a chance to communicate that to the huddle. And then ‘Motor’ (running back Devin Singletary), with the screen we threw to him, knew not to score because of where we cut put them with a couple of those first downs, especially one of them, that first one he got on that play.

“And then Josh came over after they burned the last timeout and said, ‘Hey, they’ve got one left.’ And he got that first down to force them to burn it with no score, drained it to 3 or 4 (seconds), called a timeout, and (Tyler) Bass executed.”

Comment Here
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jason Wheeler
Jason Wheeler
1 month ago

If you had watched the game, you would’ve seen Allen get hit in the head multiple times. No flags.
The officials warned the Raven D that if they came close again they would get a flag. They did.
Watch the tape.
On 2 slides he gets hit in the head, no flag.
There were also a few plays in the backfield where he took head shots.
Also regardless of the penalty, Bills would’ve driven down anyways. Ravens did not stop them.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x