FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In its latest controversial decision about a catch, the NFL overturned a four-yard touchdown reception by Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
Benjamin was ruled by officials on the field as having caught the pass from Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the corner of the end zone. The play would have given the Bills a 16-13 lead before an extra-point attempt with two seconds left in halftime.
The touchdown triggered an automatic replay review by the NFL’s central replay office. Replays showed Benjamin had both feet in bounds but camera angles were inconclusive about whether Benjamin, who initially caught the pass with only his right hand, had full control of the ball when he was in bounds.
The NFL’s football operations department released the following explanation on Twitter shortly after the ruling:
In #BUFvsNE, when Kelvin Benjamin gains control, his left foot is off the ground. The receiver only has one foot down in bounds with control. Therefore, it is an incomplete pass. -AL
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) December 24, 2017
After referee Craig Wrolstad announced the touchdown had been overturned, Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka converted a 23-yard field goal to tie the game at 13 entering halftime.
The controversial decision about Benjamin’s catch comes a week after Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James‘ potential game-winning touchdown against New England was overturned. The play reignited discussion about the NFL’s catch rule.