The Seattle Seahawks squeaked by the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, but an officiating gaffe caused the NFL more embarrasment.
A wild first half between the teams concluded with Bills kicker Dan Carpenter lining up for a 53-yard field-goal attempt. He was subsequently blasted by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who was trying to block the kick off the edge.
The officials called offsides, which Sherman was, but they blatantly missed another foul.
Dean Blandino, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, tweeted that Sherman should have been flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting Carpenter.
"I went straight for the ball," Sherman said on the field after the game. "I didn't go for the kicker. That (tweet) don't mean nothing to me. They've missed a ton of calls."
Buffalo had no timeouts at their disposal, and with Carpenter writhing around in pain, the team was charged an injury timeout. That meant Carpenter had to miss a down (if the officials got it right he could have stayed in).
Ryan called a spike so Carpenter could return, and after he lined up again, the Bills were flagged for delay of game just as Carpenter connected on a 48-yard field goal. Given the officials were late spotting the ball and should have reset the play clock, it was another miscarriage of justice.
Back at 53 yards on the next snap, Carpenter then knuckle-balled the 53-yard attempt wide right to keep the game at 28-17. But as we know now, it should have been a 38-yard try.
"Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous," Ryan said afterwards. "It was wrong. It's clear what happened. The guy roughed our kicker. ... From an officiating standpoint I think they can do a little better than that.
"He roughed our kicker and then he's over on the sideline basically taunting us. I told him, 'You're too good of a player to act like an (expletive).' "
The miss could have been the difference in the game.
Tyrod Taylor, who was excellent, drove the Bills down the field late in the game, but was unable to convert in the red zone.
Had Carpenter been given credit for his 48-yard field goal before halftime, Buffalo could have needed just three points to send the game to overtime at the end of regulation. Instead, Seattle won 31-25.