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Official to Bills: “I don’t know” why Kelvin Benjamin TD was overturned


FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: of the New England Patriots during the quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Adam Glanzman

The Bills weren’t the only ones confused about why Kelvin Benjamin’s touchdown was overturned on replay Sunday. The officials on the field didn’t know why the call was changed, either.

A video from Sunday’s game shows Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor and coach Sean McDermott both talking to the officials on the sideline, seeking an explanation for why the ruling on the field of a touchdown was reversed to incomplete. But that change was made by the league’s head of officiating, Al Riveron, and the officials in the stadium couldn’t explain what Riveron was thinking.

“That’s a hell of a throw, and a catch, I thought,” deep judge Mark Hittner told Taylor.

McDermott then asked, “How is that incomplete?” to which Hittner replied, “I don’t know.”

The point of instant replay is supposed to be fixing obvious errors -- the kind of mistake that anyone can easily see. If the error isn’t obvious to an NFL official, it’s hard to see how it could be a mistake obvious enough that it should have been overturned. Riveron has a problem on his hands if his own officials are acknowledging to the players and coaches on the sideline that they don’t know what Riveron was thinking.