The last two people to run the NFL’s officiating department say they officials erred by handing Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller a costly taunting penalty on Sunday against the Bills.
Miller got flagged when he stuck his hand out as if to help Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor up, then pulled his hand away. It was a schoolyard trick that Taylor said he laughed about, but the referee didn’t think it was funny. Miller’s penalty gave the Bills an automatic first down on what would have been fourth down, and helped the Bills seal the game.
Today, former NFL heads of officiating Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino, now analysts for FOX, both said they think that call was a mistake.
“To me it was an overreaction, unless there was something that was said,” Pereira said. “It’s just not a foul.”
Added Blandino, “I have to agree. If something is said at an opponent, that’s one thing. It didn’t appear on the video. . . . I think it’s an overreaction.”
It’s hard to argue with that, but there’s no sense in arguing after the fact. The ref called what he called, and the Broncos were dealt a costly blow.