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NFL Week 1: After Jets vs. Bills, Mario Williams Angry at Replacement Referees

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 9:  Mario Williams #94 of the Buffalo Bills cools off before the start of their season opener against the New York Jets during an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Adam WaksmanCorrespondent IIINovember 9, 2016

In the wake of the 48-28 shellacking the Buffalo Bills took from the New York Jets Sunday, Bills star defensive end Mario Williams is upset. The replacement referees—who saw regular-season playing time this week due to the ongoing strike—were the target of his anger.

Williams complained (via Mike Mazzeo of ESPN), "Pass blocking doesn't consist of illegal hands to the face just about every play." Williams—who lined up at left defensive end all day—was in the spotlight going up against new Jets right tackle Austin Howard.

Howard, a replacement for former Jet Wayne Hunter, was given the starting job late in the preseason and was a big question mark heading into Week 1. It was surely a surprise to many people to see him keep Williams under wraps the entire game.

Williams' complaint was in reference to the pass blocking that prevented him from getting a sack, a hit or a pressure off on quarterback Mark Sanchez. Howard was not called for any offensive holding penalties in the game. Clearly, Williams believes that some penalties should have been called.

Williams said further of the pass blocking:

You're getting off the ball and getting punched in the face, literally—not by accident—just about every other time, and that's a penalty, last time I checked, unless they changed it with the new CBA or something. Last time I checked, that's a penalty.

It was a rough day in general for Mario Williams. He recorded only a single tackle in the game and was unable to impact the passing game in any way.

Williams was brought in to be a game-changer for the Bills' defense this season. Obviously, his performance in Week 1 was not up to his own standards, or those of the Bills'.

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