Dolphins Were Cheated: Time For the NFL to Review All Scoring plays FOR REAL

One of the reasons that Bills fans have such a hard time accepting that Sammy Watkins fumbled on his “touchdown” is that they incorrectly believe that all scoring plays are reviewed. All scoring plays are NOT reviewed.

Did the refs give Buffalo a free win?
Why does the NFL believe that the loose ball above is in the runner’s hand?

In defense of the Bills fans, for the past few years, we have all been fed the same line from every single NFL announcer…over and over and over. “All scoring plays are reviewed. All scoring plays
are reviewed. All scoring plays are reviewed.” Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

The NFL rulebook states that the video official is the only person who CAN initiate a review on a scoring play. It does NOT state the said replay official MUST review anything. It says he “has the ability to initiate a review” if he wants. But he doesn’t have to.

That’s an important distinction that so-called professional announcers get wrong every single week.

A coach cannot ask for a scoring review. The referee cannot initiate it. If a review is to come at all, it comes from the replay official. But that “if it comes at all” part is important. The replay official doesn’t have to do anything if he thinks a score was clean.

It’s very subjective. And that makes it dangerous.

When a field goal goes right down the middle, does the replay official call down to the referee and say, “You better go under the hood and verify it went through. After all, every single score must be
reviewed?” Of course not. That does not happen and it’s not in the rules.

When a runner scores on an easy touchdown, running upright and untouched into the endzone, is that play reviewed? Nope. It’s not hard to tell. You see the referee lining up for the extra point, so
it’s obvious he is not under the hood.

All scoring plays are not reviewed. That phrase is nowhere in the rule book whatsoever.

Instead, the subjective nature of the rule comes into play because the replay official gets to determine if there is any controversy. A running back walks the ball right into the middle of the
endzone? No real need to review, right? It looks obvious, right?

Maybe so. But what about a play where the runner may have stepped out of bounds. It’s up to the replay official to say to himself, “Hmm, this one is not so obvious, so I will tell the referee to
review it.” But again, the replay official is not mandated by the rule book to do this. He simply decides on his own. Scary.  And wrong.

So now we come to the Sammy Watkins fumble. After the referees incorrectly signalled touchdown, only a few seconds went by before they lined up for the extra point. The referee never went under the hood. That play simply was not reviewed. The replay official did not call down to the referee. And that is where the problem lies.

How can an allegedly unbiased official up in the booth watch Watkins fumble, and then allow the refs to give him a touchdown, and think everything is fine?  Look at that photo above.  Is everything fine?

If the refs on the field think Watkins scored (he didn’t, but let’s just say), then let them confirm that after review. But to not even review it in the first place? This terrible call should once and for all dispel the myth that all scoring plays are reviewed.

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  1. Hey D-Truth! Sorry to post this here. But Can you offer something about why after the NFLPA agreement that Reshad Jones and Dion Jordan are required to serve their full suspensions. When Wes Welker who allegedly was suspended for using the same substance is allowed to return? Talk about bias.

    1. Author

      We tried to get a statement from the NFL a few weeks ago when rumors of the suspensions ending early first started. The league told us that they only reply to established media outlets. I understand that. Dolphins Truth is a small blog, and we aren’t a real media service like ESPN. But then the NFL also told us to check their website for the information we wanted. So we went to NFL .com and also turned on the NFL Network on tv. Both sources mentioned that Jones and Jordan would come back and their suspensions would be lifted.
      Then a week later, we find out that the NFL’s own website and network were wrong. Wes Welker gets to come back, but not the two Dolphins. The NFL tells us to check their site for info. We do. Then we find out they fed us false information. And sadly, there’s no one you can call to and complain.

  2. Hey Boss, thanks for posting this story on the Bills ESPN page. Sour grapes just make your stomach hurt…try spitting them out. I love the photo you published. Although it was a close call, and I will give you that, it was most likely a touchdown, and the replay official most likely saw the replays and didn’t see enough evidence to discuss the matter…remember, the calling on the field is the starting point, and if there is not enough evidence in the replay to warrant a review, then one is not necessary; that is the rule. So please don’t go on a tirade about what the NFL announcers say or don’t say, because most of them are turds anyway.
    As for the replay: I watched it several times and have to say, from some angles it may look like a fumble/touchback, until you see the low corner endzone angle (yeah, you know which one I am talking about), that clearly shows that Watkins lost control of the ball, regained control of the ball, then he reached out for the pylon, crossed the goal line, hit the pylon with the ball, then lost control and dropped the ball out of bounds. Once again: The BALL came out AFTER it crossed the goal line. Therefore, the ball was DEAD in his hand when it hit the pylon, so it didn’t matter what happened after that. Your photo above shows a BENT pylon (towards the viewer) , which means that the photo was taken after the ball HIT the pylon, and therefore doesn’t mean much of anything.

    And finally, your O line got beat down all day long, your D line was manhandled most of the game, and you had two turnovers (or three if you count the turnover on downs), so it really didn’t matter what happened there because the Bills were more intense and outplayed the Phins all game long. To say Bills fans don’t understand the replay system is pretty lame, and the VIDEO doesn’t conclusively prove that it wasn’t a touchdown….that’s why they call it VIDEO replay and not PHOTO replay like your ill-timed photo at the top of the page.

    1. can I have the crack you are smoking. he lost the ball at the two and never I REPEAT NEVER GOT CONTROL OF THE BALL. it was a horrible call and inevitably changed the outcome of the game. The fins had already scored on back to back drives and were down by 6 . So stop the bs of the fins were being destroyed . It was a bullshiz call and the nfl should apologize to the fins orginazation for pooping the bed on this one.

  3. In Saro’s own words:
    “Watkins lost control of the ball,
    regained control of the ball,
    then he reached out for the pylon,
    crossed the goal line,
    hit the pylon with the ball,
    then lost control and dropped the ball
    out of bounds. ”
    So if a player drops the ball TWICE on the same play. and (debatable) regains control two different times–ALL within the one yard line…isn’t that scenario enough for the replay official to say “The ref should look at this in slow mo.”
    The replay official’s job is not to look for evidence. That evidence is up to the on-field ref. The replay official just has to look for anything remotely controversial. Such as a Bill player dropping the ball TWICE inside of the one yardline.

    1. Thanks for the comment Flori Dammit . I was speculating about whether the replay official should have reviewed the play. Bottom line is the call on the field (by two officials 20 feet from the action) was touchdown. You can debate that all day long if you want.

      I am not speculating about the fact that in my opinion it was a touchdown. For future reference, a debate should at least include a differing opinion of the other party’s bottom line comment. So please enlighten me regarding any objection to the very last (and most important) part of my analysis, the ball was DEAD when it hit the pylon, because the touchdown was already scored.

      Maybe the replay official saw that in the 30 seconds it took for the Bills to line up for the field goal? Maybe that is why he didn’t ask for the call to be reviewed?

      And finally, if you are going to cry sack about losing a game because of a phantom touchdown (that happened while you were already losing), at least keep it to yourselves (Phins fans that is), and not on the Bills page on ESPN. Oh yeah, the Phins didn’t score another point the rest of the game… technically, the Bills could have not scored that touchdown, or either of the two field goals they scored after that.

  4. Dude cry about it even if they had reversed it the bills wouldve had it 1st and goal at the 1. You dont think they wouldve scored? The dolphins were outplayed and lost the game

    1. uh, no. The fumbled ball hit the pylon. Miami’s ball at their own 20.

      1. Author

        Tannehill is correct. Austin is mistaken about whose ball it was.

  5. The problem is the fact that Watkins didn’t gain control of the football after he fumbled it before it crossed the line. If he held onto it after no problem but he didn’t so therefore it should have been a touch back Fins ball at the 20. The Fins were moving it in the second half so who knows? Either way the replay official should be canned.

    1. FlyerFan is absolutely correct. But when you explain that to a Bills fan, all you get is “Squish the Fish” and “sour grapes”

  6. BILLS 2-0 FISH 1-1 period!!

    1. Author

      When the Bills end up at 5-11, we’ll talk.

  7. It was under control, a close call, but still under control when it touched the pylon. And yeah it would have been a momentum changer if it was a fumble/touchback for Miami, but it wasn’t. It was a great touchdown for the Bills. That photograph is garbage and shows nothing besides the loss of control AFTER it touched the pylon. It’s a joke. Miami had been dominated in the trenches allday. Great win for Buffalo, get over it.

    1. Lol. The photo above shows the ball hitting the pylon while the ball is loose. Nice try Bills fans. San diego is killing you already. Lmao

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