As rough as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked on Thursday night in Buffalo, the team naerly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Down by six-points, Baker Mayfield heaved up one of the most gorgeous Hail Mary throws you'll ever see. It was right on the money, and had Chris Godwin spotted it in time it would have been one of the easiest touchdown catches of his career.
We should be sidebarring about the Buccaneers making one of the most random plays in football look so controlled deserves it's own thread. Instead, the conversation about the Hail Mary has been dominated by fans calling out what appears to be blatant pass interference on both Godwin and tight end Cade Otton.
It was pretty blatant, and was so bad that fans and pundits are essentially unified in their disgust with the missed call. All of this for a team that these same folks were tossing to the scrap heap and trolling all offseason.
That's how bad this is.
Even Peter King is hopping aboard and defending the Bucs after a moment he thinks should make the NFL reconsider its rules.
Peter King rips NFL officials for missing pass interference call on Bucs Hail Mary
Twice in his latest Football Morning in America column, King called out officials and urged the league to re-think how it calls pass interference on Hail Mary throws.
"Can the NFL please fix it," King wrote. "Officials cannot simply watch players getting mugged and tackled on the last play of a game and look the other way, as they did in Bucs-Bills."
He returned to the issue later in his column, once again raging about how the Bucs got screwed on a play that shouldn't be officiated the way it is. He issue, which aligns with virtually all of the criticism, is this idea that blatant fouls should simply be ignored on the play when they wouldn't otherwise be at any point in the game.
"Cade Otten [sic] was held/interfered with/thrown down in a two-man vise with Taylor Rapp and Christian Benford the Buffalo offenders," King continued. "How can the NFL officiating department expect us to believe all plays are officiated equally regardless of the situation when Otten gets mugged by two Buffalo defenders and lands on the ground and no flag is thrown?
It was easy to shrug the clear fouls on that Hail Mary as "part of the game", but the more it gets called out the more sense it makes to consider changing the rules. It's a bit of a tricky thing to legislate, since pass interference on the play might be something a team banks on being the outcome rather than catching the ball.
Then again, there are plays this happens on at early times in the game and they get called as such. Why should a Hail Mary be treated differently?
It's not likely to be near the top of the NFL's list of rules to change, but it's nice to see so many folks on the Bucs side.