Bills owner Pegula questions NFL replay review inconsistency
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills owner Terry Pegula questioned the lack of consistency in NFL replay rulings and said the issue needs to be addressed after Buffalo receiver Kelvin Benjamin’s touchdown was overruled in a loss to New England last weekend.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but we have to fix it,” Pegula said Tuesday, while appearing on Buffalo’s WGR-Radio. “I’m not saying this as the owner of the Bills. I’m saying it as a football fan. We can’t have stuff like this happening in our league.”
One of Pegula’s biggest concerns is whether the league has taken its review process too far in overturning officials’ calls on the field.
“It just wasn’t consistent. Replay was developed by this league to correct obvious mistakes,” Pegula said. “If you’ve got to look at a play 30 times from five different angles and keep looking at it and looking at it and looking at it, you go with the call on the field. It’s what the league’s been doing ever since replay started.”
Pegula then specifically mentioned NFL officiating chief Al Riveron in being among the only people who might disagree with him.
“Obviously, they weren’t looking at the same television the rest of the country was looking at, were they?” he said.
“You know what, you can probably find somebody in this country who disagrees with that. And I know one guy would be Al Riveron sitting in New York City.”
The NFL declined to comment on what Pegula said.
Benjamin was initially ruled to have had both feet down in the end zone in catching a 4-yard pass that would have put Buffalo ahead 17-13 in the final seconds of the first half of a 37-16 loss on Sunday.
The official’s call, however, was reversed upon a video review, with referee Craig Wrolstad explaining Benjamin did not have control of the ball when his first foot hit the turf.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said he was “at a loss” to explain the reversal following the game.
Former NFL officiating VP Mike Pereira criticized the league by saying the official’s call was incorrectly reversed by “someone in a suit in an office in New York.”
The Bills (8-7) are still in playoff contention, but need help from other teams to end a 17-year playoff drought in closing their season at Miami (6-9).
Pegula intends to take his concerns to the NFL, and says he’s not afraid of having what he termed an “unfriendly” conversation.
“Well, you know, if it’s unfriendly from the other side, I can dish back unfriendly, too, because it’s a little upsetting” he said.