The Buffalo Bills were on the cusp of their first playoff win since 1995. The Indianapolis Colts were trying to ruin their party. The Colts were driving down the field trailing by three, with the score at 27-24. Indy converted two straight fourth downs when Philip Rivers completed a pass to wideout Zach Pascal to put them nearly within field goal range.
Paschal caught the pass, then got up and appeared to fumble while being tackled by Bills safety Jordan Poyer. But the officials called him down by contact. For some reason, an automatic review was not triggered and Sean McDermott had to sprint up the sideline to call a timeout. He did so barely before Indianapolis got the snap off, and the review was under way.
It was clear as day that Pascal had gotten up and fumbled. See for yourself.
It sure seems like Poyer does not touch Pascal until his knee is off the ground. Poyer then punches and rips the ball out. It should have been Bills ball. Instead, the officials let the call stand.
As the great Rasheed Wallace has always said, ball don't lie. So the Colts failed in their comeback attempt, unable to build off a poor call in their favor, and a Hail Mary fell incomplete as time expired. Buffalo will move on and Bills nation rejoices.
But what a terrible call. There needs to be "indisputable evidence" that Pascal was not down, and it was admittedly pretty close. But it seemed clear enough to overturn. The referees will explain themselves after the contest, but it's tough to imagine any explanation will exonerate them of this.