Why was the Bills' touchdown overturned at the start of the second half of the AFC wild-card game?
That's what Twitter wanted to know, after the Bills were awarded a TD on the opening kickoff and then the call was reversed.
@nfl_commish1. Why was the touchdown erased from the wild card game Bills and Texans ?
— Jeremey Kimes (@JeremeyKimes) January 4, 2020
With help from the reserve officials, officials on the field determined that the kick returner had given himself up, despite the play not being blown dead.
The Bills did not get the points and the Texans had a touchback.
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If you missed the play, here's a look at what happened:
Touchdown or Touchback?
— Madden NFL 20 (@EAMaddenNFL) January 4, 2020
And here's a closer look at the play:
That ref is hilarious.
“Not touching it not touching it not touching it” pic.twitter.com/JykjqrZy8o
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) January 4, 2020
So was that a touchdown? Well, was the dress gold and white or black and blue?
Here is the rule in question:
Here’s the rule regarding what happened to start the 2nd half
RULE 7 BALL IN PLAY
SECTION 2 DEAD BALL
ARTICLE 1. DEAD BALL DECLARED.
(d) when a runner declares himself down by:
(1) falling to the ground, or kneeling, and clearly making no immediate effort to advance.
— trey wingo (@wingoz) January 5, 2020
Here's how Twitter reacted:
@BuffaloBills totally robbed there. Kick returner didn't kneel, therefore it's a live ball. His fault if he can't follow 'common sense'. Receiver still crosses into the end zone on a runaway TD because, like a touchback, it's what you have to do
— Lachlan Waugh (@lachlan_waugh) January 4, 2020
that is a touchdown for the bills... that signal that carter gave is to let his teammates know he’s not coming out NOT the ref... the proper signal he’s supposed to do is either fair catch or knee... which he didn’t do... should’ve been a td
— maria im drunk (@WentzGoesOff) January 4, 2020
That should have been a #Bills touchdown. #Texans got lucky on that call. Carter didn’t take a knee. #Bills got robbed. Can it get any worse for the Texans? LOL! #Houston #Buffalo #NFLWildCard #NFLPlayoffs
— Kevin Lange (@txwharfrat) January 4, 2020
People are saying the Bills were robbed of a touchdown. The ref acknowledged Carter by raising a hand at him before Carter threw the football towards him.
— Autumn Brooke (@autumn_lowry) January 4, 2020
Can somebody please explain to me how in the world that is NOT a Bills touchdown off the kickoff?! Where in the rule book does it talk about “giving himself up,” without making a clear concise signal to everybody?? #BUFvsHOU
— Todd Risley (@trisley317) January 4, 2020
So who is going to explain to Bills Mafia that they got eliminated from the playoffs because a touchdown that should've counted didn't get counted and the Texans made a comeback
— T-Matt (@sum1namedtyler) January 4, 2020
Still confused how that wasn’t a TD for the Bills on the kickoff
— casey 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ (@CaseyMcAllister) January 4, 2020
Still confused? Here's what the NFL said about the ruling:
The officials got together and correctly ruled that the runner had given himself up prior to tossing the ball to the referee. #BUFvsHOU
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) January 4, 2020