Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman should have been penalized for unnecessary roughness after making contact with Bills kicker Dan Carpenter at the end of the first half, the NFL said Monday night. But he wasn't.
As Carpenter attempted a 53-yard field goal. Sherman flew in from Carpenter's right trying to block the kick and collided with Carpenter, who missed.
Sherman was ruled offsides on the play.
Richard Sherman destroyed the Bills kicker tonight. https://t.co/cQWB8LnQkU— The Fake ESPN (@TheFakeESPN) November 8, 2016
But the officials did not call a foul for unnecessary roughness, drawing the ire of Bills head coach Rex Ryan.
"Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous," Ryan said in his postgame press conference. “It’s clear what happened, the guy roughed our kicker. Jumps offsides, roughs our kicker.'
Sherman defended himself after the game, saying he wasn't going to let the kicker get a free play on the offsides call.
"They didn't blow the whistle so I played until the whistle was blown," said Sherman, adding he wasn't trying to hit Carpenter. "I went straight for the ball. I didn't go for the kicker. I slid for the ball. He should have not kicked it. Maybe he wanted to. I went for the ball. That's where I went. When a ball gets tipped on a play, the rule is if it's tipped, there's no flag."
ESPN's Mike and Mike continued the conversation Tuesday morning, discussing whether the play was "dirty" as some have described.
That play set off a bizarre series of events. The Bills got another chance because of the offsides penalty, but Carpenter was hurt and required to come off the field for one play. The Bills quickly spiked the ball to give Carpenter another chance.
But a delay of game penalty pushed them back five yards. And it appeared the delay was another gaffe by the officials because of how long it took them to the special kicking ball ready for play. Carpenter then missed a 54-yard field goal attempt to end the half.
During the second half, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino tweeted Sherman should have been flagged.
At the end of the half in #BUFvsSEA its unnecessary roughness for hitting the kicker. Foul means he can stay in the game.— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) November 8, 2016
Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira seemed to disagree because of the offsides penalty.
You can't have roughing the kicker because the play was shut down for defense offside. You can have a late hit which I think it was.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 8, 2016
There was widespread criticism of the NFL on Twitter for the non-call, a familiar theme for the league that has come under fire this season amid sagging ratings.
Players can't celebrate, & coaches & players can't go off on how incompetent & stupid the refs are in this league. Good stuff @DeanBlandino— Michael (@manecci) November 8, 2016
Yikes. A bad ending to a fun half— Sherman commits a blatant roughing the kicker penalty on Dan Carpenter...and yet they don't call it.— SI NFL (@si_nfl) November 8, 2016
Sherman joined the club, at least when it comes to criticizing the officials.
"They (the refs) missed a ton of calls. We dealt with missed calls all year," said Sherman after the game.
The play may have ultimately cost the Bills a chance to win. They lost 31-25 following an incomplete pass on 4th and Goal near the end of the game. Had Buffalo made the halftime field goal, they could have possibly sent the game into overtime at the end of regulation on another field goal.