Sometimes, the No Fun League makes a comeback.
The NFL has done well to relax rules on celebrating touchdowns, but it still gets caught up in ridiculous things sometimes. It did on Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s touchdown run Sunday night.
Allen had a great fake on Bengals safety Nick Scott on his way to the end zone. Allen pump faked, Scott jumped and Allen kept running. Allen gave a quick point to Scott, and a replay showed he was smiling as he strolled into the end zone. All in good fun.
And that little point earned Allen a taunting penalty.
And that little point e taunting penalty. between competitors after a fantastic fake would be worth a 15-yard penalty. It was enforced on the kickoff. It’s hard to argue that was some “won’t someone think of the children?” moment. Just players having fun on a Sunday night stage. Scott probably wasn’t offended. That kind of innocuous trash talking happens in the NBA once every third possession it seems, and the game of basketball still survives.
Allen will probably get lectured about costing his team 15 yards. He won’t show as much excitement next time he scores. The game will be less fun for it. That’s what the NFL wants, apparently.
Allen also flagged for questionable grounding penalty
Allen was flagged for another questionable penalty before halftime.
As the Bills looked to move into scoring position before the break, Allen overthrew Gabriel Davis on a route down the left sideline. The overthrow appeared to be the result a miscommunication between Allen and Davis. Allen expected Davis to keep running a go route while Davis pulled up short once the ball was thrown.
Allen wasn’t in immediate duress and clearly expected Davis to keep running. But officials called intentional grounding.
“I understand the rule and the definition of it. But in reality — the game of football, that wasn’t grounding. He wasn’t trying to throw that one away. It was just a mistake in read.”
NBC’s Cris Collinsworth and Terry McAulay banter over an intentional grounding penalty called… pic.twitter.com/poOYDUOm8e
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 6, 2023
The penalty cost the Bills nine yards on third down and knocked them out of range of what would have been a 56-yard field goal attempt. They punted instead and went into halftime trailing 21-7.
NBC’s rules analyst Terry McAuley agreed with the call while arguing that the ball was thrown too far past Davis. But his explanation ignored the “intentional” aspect of intentional grounding to the dismay of color commentator Cris Collinsworth, who argued that officials got it wrong.