Dion Lewis was at a distinct disadvantage on one of his most important carries Sunday afternoon.
During the third quarter of the New England Patriots’ eventual 37-16 win over the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Tom Brady handed the ball off to Lewis on fourth-and-1 — not realizing the running back had lost his right shoe on the previous play.
Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams had ripped the cleat off on a third-down run, and with the Patriots hurrying to the line, Lewis did not have time to retrieve it.
The lack of proper footwear inhibited Lewis’ ability to make his signature jump cuts, and Buffalo appeared to stop him short of the first-down marker. New England challenged the ruling, however, and replays revealed Lewis had reached the ball over the line before being wrestled to the ground. First down, Patriots.
The Pats, who trailed 16-13 at the time, capped that drive with a game-tying field goal, then proceeded to score 21 more unanswered points to turn a tightly contested matchup into a blowout win.
NFL Films recapped the pivotal sequence in this week’s episode of “NFL Turning Point.”
Lewis was the star of the game for New England, amassing 153 total yards on 29 touches and scoring the Patriots’ final two touchdowns. He was recognized as the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for Week 16.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images