Sat. May 25th, 2024

Well-respected NFL insider Peter King of NBC Sports is the latest member of the football community to suggest the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were robbed on the final play of their 24-18 loss at the Buffalo Bills this past Thursday night. 

In Monday’s “Football Morning in America” column, King called upon NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to “please fix” how referees seemingly ignore instances of defensive pass interference that often happen on Hail Mary plays at the ends of games. 

“Officials cannot simply watch players getting mugged and tackled on the last play of a game and look the other way, as they did in Bucs-Bills,” King argued. 

With four seconds remaining in regulation of Thursday’s contest, Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield launched a pass into the end zone that teammates Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Cade Otton failed to catch because they seemingly were interfered with by Buffalo defenders. King noted that Otton, in particular, “was held/interfered with/thrown down in a two-man vise.” However, the refs threw no flags, and the Buccaneers suffered a third consecutive defeat that dropped them to 3-4 on the season. 

“On Hail Marys, there are never offenders,” King explained. “Anything goes. There is no play like this in football, and possibly in all of sports, where the officials see blatant pass interference and defensive holding (and some offensive penalties at times too) and never throw a flag.” 

To his credit, Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles acknowledged on Friday that “very rarely are you going to see a flag on that play.” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote that same day that “the NFL has (inexplicably) applied a different standard to pass interference on Hail Mary plays” and mentioned that the Buccaneers should have had one more offensive play via an untimed down at the one-yard line. 

“The competition committee and the commissioner should come out of next spring’s league meeting with a decree that says the play will be called differently going forward,” King suggested as a possible solution. “Beginning in 2024, jostling will be allowed as players get in position for the Hail Mary pass to fall to earth. Pulling players down, blatantly holding them or locking them away from the play with two defenders will result in pass interference, with an untimed down for the offensive team at either the spot of the foul or the one-yard line. Bottom line: Officials cannot allow one play to be a bastardization of the rules, which is exactly what the Hail Mary is now. It is a joke, and the NFL has allowed it to be that.” 

Such a switch would do Mayfield and company no good as the Buccaneers prepare to play at the 3-4 Houston Texans on Sunday. As of Monday afternoon, OddsChecker listed the Buccaneers as 2.5-point underdogs for that contest. 

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The post Insider rips NFL over Buccaneers-Bills Hail Mary controversy appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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