Patriots Beat Bills Despite #WhistleGate

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Credit: NFL Network

Credit: NFL Network

Week 11 in the NFL ended with quite the bang. Or should that be whistle? When the time clock ran down on Monday Night Football, the New England Patriots had taken down their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills, 20-13. But the big story wasn’t the score.

With 14:05 remaining in the third quarter, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a pass down the sideline to wide receiver Danny Amendola. Just as Amendola caught the ball, a whistle rang out. There seemed to be no reason for the stoppage, but instead of running down the open field for an (probably) easy touchdown, Amendola stopped. As did the Bills players defending him.

“The official, he lost track of the football and blew his whistle inadvertently,” said Dean Blandino, Vice President of NFL officiating.

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Once the play stopped, the referees came together for a lengthy conference.

Following the NFL rulebook, the refs placed the ball on the spot where Amendola caught the ball. The rule does not allow for the referees to assume he would have made it any father down the field, even with no one standing in his way.

Before the Patriots could snap the ball on the next play, the Twitterverse had picked up the hashtag #WhistleGate, playing off of the Patriots’ ongoing #DeflateGate scandal.

Additionally, after the play, Bills coach Rex Ryan was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for interfering with the sideline judge, tacking on another 15-yards in the Patriots’ favor. The series ended with Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski missing a 54-yard field goal.

During the days leading up to the game, Rex Ryan, known for his confrontational and blunt talk, claimed he wasn’t obsessed with his division rivals.

But Brady got the last laugh.

During the first quarter, Brady used Ryan’s name when he called out an audible at the line of scrimmage. When asked about his call during his post-game press conference, Brady said, “We have a lot of unusual terms. I think we run the gamut. So we’ve got to get creative and think of different things. That one is pretty unique.”

Ryan seemed unfazed. “He likes me, I know that.”

The Patriots are 2-0 against the Bills (5-5) this season and went to 10-0 on the season to remain undefeated and hold a commanding lead for the division title.

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