3 Missed Calls That Helped the Patriots Beat the Bills and Clinch AFC East

Jamie Collins grabs Bills QB Josh Allen's facemask Saturday in Foxborough
Jamie Collins grabs Bills QB Josh Allen's facemask Saturday in Foxborough /

The New England Patriots are 2019 AFC East champions, and no one can take that away from them. The Pats are once again a threat to win the AFC, and are just one win away from clinching the No. 2 spot in the conference as well. Despite all of their long-discussed flaws, the Patriots remain the defending champs and a real threat to win the Super Bowl. However, this first accolade came with just a bit of help. Sorry, Pats Nation, but it must be said that these three referee mistakes all helped your cause Saturday against the Buffalo Bills.

3. Intentional Grounding Non-Call

Folks, we hate to disappoint you, but there was no one in the area when Tom Brady tried to throw this ball away. It's surely intentional grounding, but the officials swallowed their whistles and let it remain a simple incompletion instead. Whoops.

2. Terrible Spot Gives Patriots First Down

Part of this is on Sean McDermott for not challenging the spot, but how often does this sort of call get overturned, anyway? The ball was about a foot short here, but the officials gave the Patriots all the benefit of the doubt. Sounds familiar...

1. Missed Facemask on Josh Allen

Did Josh Allen get the first down? Yes. Should the ball have been placed 15 yards closer to the goal line, giving the Bills a more realistic opportunity to score? Yes. Either way, Buffalo didn't take advantage, but this is arguably the most egregious non-call of the night.