FOXBORO, Mass. — The NFL replay system has been kind to the New England Patriots of late.
The Patriots were on the right side of a controversial call last Sunday when Jesse James’ late touchdown catch was overturned in New England’s eventual win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
It looks like they may have lucked out again. Late in the second quarter of the Patriots’ game against the Bills at Gillette Stadium, Buffalo wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin appeared to make a highlight-reel touchdown catch with just two seconds remaining in the first half.
The play initially was ruled a touchdown, but after a lengthy review, the referees overturned the call.
Some disagreed with the call — among them former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira — arguing that Benjamin got both feet in bounds and had possession.
But the league’s official “NFL Football Operations” Twitter account defended the call, arguing that Benjamin’s left foot was off the ground when he gained possession of the ball.
Here are two more slo-mo angles, courtesy of the CBS broadcast:
Benjamin does appear to drag his left foot in bounds and have both feet in, but officials apparently saw enough evidence that the ball still was moving in his hands to overturn the ruling.
The call was huge for the Patriots, as the Bills were forced to settle for a field goal that tied the score at 13-13 entering halftime.