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Ref: Kelvin Benjamin overturned TD 'clear and obvious'

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Are you ready for some catch ruuuuuuuuuuuuuule?!

For the second week in a row, a controversial ruling in a New England Patriots win changed the trajectory of the game. This time, the victims were Kelvin Benjamin and the Buffalo Bills.

With Buffalo in the red zone as time ticked down in the first half, Benjamin apparently hauled in a pass in the right corner of the end zone, dragging two feet behind him. The call on the field was a touchdown, but upon review, the score was overturned, despite there being limited controvertible evidence. Buffalo went into the half tied 13-13 instead of up 17-13 and eventually lost 37-16, seeing their playoff hopes dwindle in the process.

Criticism of the ruling came fast and furious from across the media. After New England's win, the referee in charge of the ruling answered to the confuddled masses.

"When the receiver got confirmed control of the football, he was not able to get both feet down in bounds," referee Craig Wrolstad explained in a pool report following the game. "So, his back foot was already off the ground and it stepped out of bounds. His firm control did not occur until after he had one foot off the ground.

"It was clear and obvious that he did not have control of the ball until he brought it all the way down into his chest."

Buffalo did not agree, to say the least.

"I saw it as a touchdown," Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters. "And other than that, all I can say right now is, I am at a loss for how a play like that can get overturned."

Benjamin, for his part, seemed willing to put the whole thing behind him.

"I know the rule when you go to the ground with the ball you got to really have it secured," Benjamin told NFL Network's Kimberly Jones. "That's why I was kinda trying to pull it in on the impact on the ground, but it wasn't a catch I guess ... overturned it. Like I said you can't do nothing about it."

The Bills wideout added that settling for a field goal before halftime definitely took the wind out of Buffalo's sails.

"Definitely. It did take a lot of momentum from us," he said. "But like I said, we are players, they make the calls, so we just try to reboot, come back and score. Basically it was 0-0 to us, put some points on the board."

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