With his team trailing 28-17 at the end of the first half Monday night, Bills kicker Dan Carpenter lined up to attempt a 53-yard field. Unfortunately, Carpenter was hit below the knees by Richard Sherman on the play. Even worse, Sherman was not flagged for unnecessary roughness, as the play had been blown dead because he was offside.
Only Sherman didn’t know that.
The Bills got an extra five yards, but they should have gotten an extra 15. They then lined up to attempt the field foal but were penalized for a delay of game. Carpenter missed the ensuing 54-yard attempt.
Bills fans couldn’t believe it.
Mike Pereira? Well, he didn’t think the sequence was as cut and dry as most did.
“Well, I’ve begun to take the very unpopular approach to this,” the FOX Sports rules analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “As I looked on it last night, I got hammered on Twitter because I went on and said it’s not roughing the kicker, but I do think it’s unnecessary roughness – and I got killed because people are going, ‘Think? You think?’ They then took it out on me when I was kind of wishy-washy on my assessment of the play. The more I look at it, I’m not sure that Richard Sherman did anything wrong other than being offside. . . . It’s not as clear-cut a foul as it would be made out to be.
“But there’s a clear breakdown, though,” Pereira continued. “You can’t excuse the crew for the whole delay-of-game situation. That was so crazy to me that I woke up this morning and said, ‘It can’t be that bad. I’m going to go time this. Maybe the play-clock operator only put 25 seconds on the clock after the spike instead of 40.’ Well, that wasn’t the case. They did put 40, and it appears they had trouble getting the kicking ball in. That, to me, was a huge mistake by them, but I’m leaning to the camp that Richard Sherman didn’t do anything wrong.”
Pereira also weighed in on photos that have surfaced suggesting that the Seahawks used deflated balls during the game, which Seattle won 31-25. Punter Jon Ryan, in fact, was shown squeezing a ball that appeared easily pinched by his grip.
Pereira, however, wasn’t buying it.
“I refuse at this point to be influenced by that,” he said. “I know that you can do so much with pictures now to make things look completely different than they are, but I’ll leave that to the league to investigate. But to me, is it somebody knowing that Walt Anderson was involved in the Deflategate game with New Engand? I have a hard time fathoming that a ball would be that soft on a kickoff that you would see it collapse like that. So whether it’s been photo-shopped or not, I’ll let the league determine that. Just seeing him being able to squeeze the ball on the punt play, I find it highly unrealistic, but I’m sure with all of the Deflategate (stuff) that the league will take a look at it now that those pictures are out. I just kind of don’t believe it.”