Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals entered halftime of Saturday's AFC Wild Card game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium with a 20-13 lead, but not without a little controversy.
On a third-and-four toward the end of the first half, Burrow scrambled out of the pocket, rushed toward the sideline, and somehow found Tyler Boyd for a 10-yard touchdown pass. It was an incredible play, but a controversial one as an inadvertent whistle was blown while the ball was in the air.
JOE BURR-WOW. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RuleTheJungle?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RuleTheJungle</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SuperWildCard?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SuperWildCard</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeyB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JoeyB</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LVvsCIN?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LVvsCIN</a> on NBC<br>📱: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/1U4Gq33J61">pic.twitter.com/1U4Gq33J61</a>
Per the NFL rule book, the play should have been blown dead because of the whistle. Instead, the officials ruled a touchdown, and the Bengals went up 20-6.
According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the league isn't commenting on the play. NBC's rules expert Terry McAulay noted the play shouldn't have resulted in a touchdown by rule.
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
The NFL isn't commenting on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bengals?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bengals</a>' controversial touchdown, deferring to NBC's rules expert Terry McAulay, who noted the call can't be fixed in replay. <br><br>Said McAulay: "They can't have a touchdown on that play, by rule."<br><br>A huge mistake by Jerome Boger's crew.
After the game, it was revealed the referees determined the whistle came after the receiver caught the ball, per NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson.
Many were quick to share their reactions to the play, in the moment, on social media, including Raiders guard Denzelle Good and several other NFL players.
Many fans also weighed in:
The Bengals are looking for their first playoff victory in 31 years.