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Bills owner Terry Pegula rips NFL ruling on Kelvin Benjamin catch

Jesse Reed
Bills owner Terry Pegula

On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills cruelly had a Kelvin Benjamin touchdown taken off the board when the league office overturned the ruling on the field of a catch. It was a baffling ruling, because quite honestly it’s not clear how in the world it was overturned.

Even the top experts in the field agreed on this.

On Tuesday, Bills owner Terry Pegula expressed his frustration with the entire situation, speaking on a team-produced radio show, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak.

“They obviously weren’t looking at the same television the rest of the country was looking at, were they? You know what, you can probably find somebody in this country that disagrees [with the catch], and I know one guy would be [NFL Senior VP of Officiating] Al Riveron sitting in New York City. But everybody I talked to — and they’re not Bills fans and they’re not necessarily anti-Patriots — they’re all baffled by that call, which just wasn’t consistent with what replay [should be] … I don’t know what’s going on, but we have to fix it. And I’m not saying that as the owner of the Bills, I’m saying that as a football fan. We can’t have stuff like this happening in our league.””

Now, it’s important to note that one overturned touchdown would have had little to do with the overall outcome of the game. After all, the Bills ended up losing 37-16.

The bigger overall issue here is that there really is no way the NFL can say it has a good rule for what is and what isn’t a catch. We saw this same mind-boggling issue come up just one week before when Jesse James — to everyone watching — crossed the goal line with the ball in hand. Yet because the ball bobbled when he hit the ground, even though he hadn’t yet been touched by a defender, it was ruled incomplete and the Pittsburgh Steelers ended up losing to the same Patriots.

The catch rule must be changed. The rule as it is now is so convoluted and goes against common sense, and there’s no doubt the NFL can do better.