Josh Allen, quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, may have been more involved with the referees in Sunday night’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals than in any previous game in his career. Allen’s night with the referees began with a minor taunting penalty on the Bills’ first drive for gesturing at a Bengals defender as he raced into the end zone.
The second, and possibly more noteworthy, run-in with the officials occurred at the conclusion of the first half, when Allen was penalized for late intentional grounding after failing to connect with receiver Gabe Davis.
Allen was noticeably displeased with the decision during the game, and he expressed his disappointment in further detail afterward. “I’ve never seen that call in my life,” Allen said. “It’s an option route. Gabe can sit down or go. I wasn’t pressured”.
“They decided to make that call and unfortunately didn’t allow us to get points there. I wouldn’t do anything different. I’m expecting him to run a go, he made the read to stop. That’s what it is.”
That decision had a significant influence on the game as a whole. The Bills were on the Bengals’ 38-yard line, so a long field goal might have been tried right before halftime. With the 15-yard penalty, the half came to a conclusion with Buffalo losing by 14 points.
“It’s a huge swing. Whether it’s three or six coming out of the half, scoring on back-to-back drives and getting yourself some momentum, that’s huge in a game, especially against a good team like we just played,” Allen said.
Buffalo finished the game with five penalties to Cincinnati’s six, despite the fact that both teams lost 49 yards to penalties. The Bills’ defeat is not excused by the officiating, but they must now pick up the pieces and go on.