The Pass Interference No-Call

October 27th, 2023

Where was the flag?

Joe got this a ton last night and is getting a fair amount this morning.

The comments, both on this here website and on Twitter, pretty much follow the same script:

* Mike Evans was interfered with on the Hail Mary.

* Chris Godwin was interfered with on the Hail Mary.

But the creator, curator and overall guru of Pro Football Talk, the great Mike Florio, believes Bucs fans are missing the forest for the trees as Joe detailed on social media after the game.

Cade Otton really was interfered with. In fact, he was sandwiched by a pair of Bills defenders on the play. And yes, Otton was in the vicinity of the ball when it dropped from the sky and hit the turf.

Florio types that the Bucs should have had an untimed down after that play. An extra snap.

Taylor Rapp and Christian Benford both mugged Otton. … Nobody tripped. Rapp and Benford physically restrained Otton and eventually put him on the ground. … This is the operative sentence from the official rulebook: “It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the ball.”

No one can argue, not even a card-carrying member of Bills Mafia in mid-table dive, that Rapp and Benford did not significantly hinder Otton.

In other words, Florio is calling out the zebras. They blew it and the NFL suits in the Manhattan control room blew it, types Florio.

And Florio also provided a link of the angle that shows Otton getting squished. If that isn’t pass interference, then there is no such thing as pass interference.

Yeah, Joe gets it. Hail Marys are WWE wrestle royales, just without The Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man Randy Savage, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Ric Flair on the field.

Still, on what other play does the NFL completely throw out the rule book than with Hail Marys?

70 Responses to “The Pass Interference No-Call”

  1. zzbuc Says:

    Joke by the Refs……it was so clear for everybody……Why don’t referees don’t get suspended Joe? Please show me de light

  2. Pistol Pete Says:

    Watched GMF and Kyle said you would have to hit someone with a truck in the end zone on a hailmary. WHY?

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    💩💩💩 Fire Bowles 💩💩💩

  4. LVMYBUCS Says:

    I agree but how in gods name did not one Bucs look for the ball I mean they just like duhhhh

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    They simply didn’t want to make the call because they were in Buffalo……there is absolutely no way they missed it. And it wasn’t the first.
    There were multiple pass interference calls missed on that play.

  6. Joe Says:

    They simply didn’t want to make the call because they were in Buffalo

    There is probably more truth in your sentence than any of us know.

  7. Statguy Says:

    Gotta learn to sell the flop even if it’s a legit PI because they aren’t going to do you any favors out there

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Refs aren’t throwing that flag on a “Hail Mary”, ESPECIALLY if it benefits the Bucs on Bills’ turf.
    That we had a chance to win with the last play is a miracle unto itself!

  9. Marine Buc Says:

    Tom Brady ain’t the QB no more. We won’t ever get another PI call on a hail marry pass again…

  10. Bobby M. Says:

    They missed a call but in the end you’ve got an offense that can’t consistently get to 20 pts per game. There’s no guarantee we would score from the 1 yd line, we don’t have a back that can convert short yardage and Mayfield isn’t Brady so this hypothetical scenario of us getting the call and then converting it to a TD is hopeful thinking. The real issue is Bowles led teams generally suck on offense. Unfortunately this isn’t the 90’s and today’s game requires consistency from the offense.

  11. Buccos Says:

    Godwin should have caught it. Period

  12. Jiminfk Says:

    No big deal. The Bucs would have had it on the one & would have run it up the gut for no gain. Looking forward to next year’s draft.

  13. Steelers fan Says:

    No ref in his right mind is gonna call PI on a hail merry.

    a hailmerry is one thos situaton where they let the players play oldschool and im glad because thats just to much from the refs if they start doing that.

  14. FortMyersDave Says:

    Joe, I bet Tom Brady might have got that PI call. I think he did get one right before the half in one of the games back in the 2020 Super Bowl season.

  15. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    The refs are fairly consistent with keeping the flags on Hail Marys. That’s all I can ask for is consistency. I got no beef with this no flag.

  16. Lina Says:

    Let’s be honest, the Bucs didn’t lose because of one non call. Tons of calls went their way that shouldn’t have, and the score was closer than the game really was. Bills dominated that game, and hate to say it, but deserved to win.

  17. Texasbucsfan Says:

    You can blame the ref’s all you want. They do make mistakes and miss calls, but they do not coach the football game. Baker is not going to lead the bucs to the promised land and Bowles is a losing coach. Go Bucs

  18. matthew a veal Says:

    i don’t like this any more than you, but imo only a fraction of the penalties that happen on any particular play get called. Sometimes calls are made or not made to make the game more interesting for TV.
    Some are just blown.
    Some are likely influenced by biases, relationships, conduct away from the play, or even whim.
    Had we won due to favorable calls, it would have been a scandal, as we lost that game fair and square.

  19. Kidfloflo Says:

    One of those guys has got to pull a LeBron, and flop to the floor! Make it so maybe, just maybe the refs have to consider a body slam as egregious enough to call it! If Chris had a second more he would have been fully turned around and probably wins the most improbable game and our week turns out to be much brighter

  20. SlyPirate Says:

    PI has occurred on every hail mary from the beginning of time.

  21. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    Its a big nothing burger. We deserved to lose that game and did everything under the sun to shoot ourselves in the foot on offense.

    I’m more sad than angry today tbh

  22. Durango 95 Says:

    If the circumstances had been opposite and it was the Bills throwing the Hail Mary in the closing moments of the game, in Buffalo, on national TV . I think we would have likely seen a flag thrown.

  23. Oviedo Jim Says:

    If you have to win the game on a Hail Mary, you probably didn’t play good enough to win the the the game in the first place.

  24. DS Says:

    REFS ain’t callin that why are people crying that Godwin didn’t catch ? Have you ever played catches in the end zone with 10 guys also receivers don’t even know when the ball is in the air.

  25. D Cone Says:

    Maybe from the 5 you would get a PI call but not from the 50. Just the way it is.
    Got two 4th down conversions on defensive penalties the drive before.

    Eventually Luck runs out. Texans have a light week with the Panthers to get better still. Can the Bucs be good enough in 10 days to be ready for them?

  26. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    That pic says it all. True, there’s always a ton of contact on a Hail Mary but it’s typically hand-fighting and jockeying for position with everyone looking for the ball at the same time so I get not calling it in the majority of the cases but this was an outright MUGGING of Otton and neither defender was looking for the ball either.

    Yeah, it shouldn’t have come down to a Hail Mary for a variety of reasons (clock management, ineffective play calling and execution, etc) but rules are rules as Florio points out. And they don’t discard the “both feet in bounds” rule if a receiver catches one of them but his heel is on the line so just be consistent, FFS.

  27. JC Bucs Says:

    Guys, there is PI on every hail mary. Every single one. Can you remember a PI called on one? Maybe one I can think of.

  28. power sweep Says:

    Let’s all please stop with the whiny no-PI-called excuse on the Hail Mary. Hail Mary passes are considered free-for-alls and PI is almost never called. This from CBS Sports:

    “If you’re wondering how rare it is to see a pass interference flag thrown on a Hail Mary, it’s only happened twice over the past 15 years.”

  29. Everything is just horrble! Says:

    It $ucks when you need to beat the refs too.
    That was an easy catch for Godwin.

  30. ModHairKen Says:

    Good teams don’t need a penalty to win.

  31. WyomingJoe Says:

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5 yard play or 55 yards. A PI is PI! If you want to call it luck that the Bucs had a chance to win the game on the last play, go right ahead. Ok, they played a sloppy game. So what! Teams win sloppy games all the time. A win is a win. Hell, Aaron Rogers won at least two games that way. An exhausted and beaten up Mayfield Baker threw a perfect Hail Mary on the last play of the game and no one touched it. Never saw that before. OH … and the 6-5” QB from Buffalo had a pass batted away. If he were taller it wouldn’t have happened.

  32. JN Says:

    So let’s say refs did call the PI and we got the ball on 1… then what? White would have been stuffed for no gain….

  33. Mike S Says:

    LOL it took Baker 7 mins to check the ball down the field and got gifted 1st downs on 2 penalties.

    People here are crying about PI that happens on every single hail mary ever thrown.

    Its maddenning

  34. Steven007 Says:

    Wyoming is correct. Might as well write a new rule that says there is no pass interference on a hail Mary. Because if that rule doesn’t exist then there should be pass interference on a hail Mary. And by the way, a hail Mary doesn’t always occur at the end of the game. In fact, we should have thrown one during the failed field goal attempt at the end of the half. Because why not?

  35. tbc 1 Says:

    Otten got mugged NO CALL

  36. power sweep Says:

    “If you’re wondering how rare it is to see a pass interference flag thrown on a Hail Mary, it’s only happened twice over the past 15 years.” – CBS SPORTS

  37. Mike S Says:





  38. Duane in Sanford Says:

    There is PI every time ME13 runs a route. Thats how he gets his separation. He was good for at least one flag every other game in the past. The refs are always going to let it get physical because of this. Wish they would call it both ways- Davis and Dean can likely reroute most of the NFL if they were able to use their hands half as much.

  39. orlbucfan Says:

    Now, I’m pizzed but not surprised. I’ve been howling about coaching the team to beat these clowns as well as the opposing team. Dungy got it, and it’s about time both Bowes and Canales did. If they do, god help Houston, big gambling $$ and all.

  40. bucsfan2520 Says:

    If roles were reversed its called PI. NFL uses refs to influence outcomes which is why you can’t use a challenge on a penalty. Bills are building a new stadium – NFL needs them to stay a SB contender.

  41. D-Rome Says:

    I’ve seen PI called in the NFL on a Hail Mary. It should be called.

    It should not be up to the referee to decide what situations they should and should not swallow whistles. It’s not their job to make that decision. They are supposed to officiate fairly and without bias for 60:00 minutes not 59:59. If the Bucs ran the same play with 4 minutes to go in the 4th quarter the refs would have called it. If on the final play of last night’s drive the Bucs had a false start the refs would have called it.

    Then, when you see the over/under for that game was 43.5 it should give you pause. If you don’t think NFL referees pay attention to the line you’re out of your minds.

    Situational officiating happens in professional wrestling. It shouldn’t happen in the NFL.

  42. HC Grover Says:

    They never call anything on a hail mary scrum. Anything goes.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Mike S Says:
    October 27th, 2023 at 1:14 pm
    LOL it took Baker 7 mins to check the ball down the field and got gifted 1st downs on 2 penalties.


    I remember watching that series, and I’m pretty sure it was 27 minutes.

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’ve never seen a hail mary without pass interference.

  45. Lowest Common Denominator Says:

    There were plenty of no calls that benefitted us too. I saw no less than 2 holds in the End zone that should have resulted in safeties against us.

    And let’s be honest. We didn’t deserve to win this game. The TD that got us in position to win was underthrown and bounced off the front of the defenders helmet. And the 2 point conversion was a tipped ball that should have been intercepted.

    If not for 2 fluke gift turnovers against Minnesota we’d be 2-5.

  46. Allbuccedup Says:

    Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

  47. Allbuccedup Says:

    Its time to move on work on the Texans excuses!

  48. Lakeland Steve Says:

    No doubt everyone saw it except the refs. Mike Evans started to complain to the refs but just walked over and helped up a couple of Bills players. But it should not have come down to that play. The Bucs played horrible all night

  49. David Says:

    Every Hail Mary has a free-for-all going on, and the refs never caught anything. Who cares? They had already lost.
    Focus on the anemic office for three weeks in a row and the center and two guards that cannot block to save their lives.

  50. Nicolas Says:

    I can tell you what would’ve happened if the refs called pass interference: the Bucs get another snap, Rachaad White runs through the middle for no gain. Game over.

  51. KYBUCFAN Says:

    I’m calling BS… No we didn’t play the best game, but we played well enough to have a chance at winning at the end! How are you a true BUCS fan and agree we shouldn’t have won the game anyway, seems like a bunch of Bills fan have infiltrated this blog you ask me!!!

  52. Tony Says:

    Sure Baker will never be able to replace Brady but the OL isn’t really helping him & it doesn’t help when the WRs drop balls on him, too!

  53. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    the bills learned in the jets game that PI is the way to go on the last play. they knew it wouldn’t be called so they did it. NFL is rigged for the favorites, NBA is rigged for the favorites. a joke play in a joke league

  54. Larrd Says:

    Maybe if the two star wideouts looked like they were trying to catch the ball, it would have been called? Evans seemed fine with it, helping up the two guys who mugged him after the play. Everyone wanted to go home.

  55. Swampy Says:

    The game is the game. People who predicted we would lose by 30 are now saying we didn’t deserve to win. There’s no column in the standings for “Deserved.” If you lose by less than a TD and PAT you played a competitive game. As fans that is what we want. Wins are sweeter of course but our team didn’t quit, they were in the game until the last play. We’re not an elite team but we have a shot at winning our division. At $400+ a ticket, I’m fine with that.

  56. Pirates Life Says:


  57. BillyBucco Says:

    I didn’t happen. It should have.We gotta move on though.
    After watching this team play after the bye, does anybody believe we are suddenly going to look good after 10 days?
    I’ll be surprised if Bowles doesn’t send everyone on vacation again.
    I mean isn’t the BYE supposed to be good for a team because they have longer to WORK on a game plan?
    No, instead let everybody not show up all week!!!!
    These guys have VACATIONS, 7 freaking months out of the year.
    They get paid millions of dollars and basically WORK for the fans.
    Bowles is just not HC material.

  58. NCFloridiot Says:

    “Where was the flag”??? Come on Joe. You really put that out there? It’s a Hail Mary. I can’t believe you wrote a whole article on that premice!??? Can you come up with your love of history a time a pass interference flag was thrown on a Hail Mary?

  59. Joe Says:

    “Where was the flag”??? Come on Joe. You really put that out there? It’s a Hail Mary. I can’t believe you wrote a whole article on that premice!??? Can you come up with your love of history a time a pass interference flag was thrown on a Hail Mary?

    Pretty clear someone didn’t read the article.

  60. NCFloridiot Says:

    Florio stating a rule word for word is annoying at best, but that rule is NEVER used in a Hail Mary… You mentioning a WWE like atmosphere in the end zone when a Hail Mary occurs is exactly what happens… Who ever throws a pass interference flag on a Hail Mary? It is common knowledge that you’re gonna have to scratch, fight, and get lucky for a game winning Hail Mary… Flags are not thrown… I read your article, respect for you Joe

  61. Nope Says:

    MSNBC Joe still making Baker excuses?

  62. BucsBae Christina Says:

    That’s such BS it’s infuriating. The NFL is a joke now, rigged games & soft tackles

  63. Bucswin Says:

    Goes back to the Ramss playoff game when Brady got speared in the face by von Miller and refs called penalty on Brady. They are deciding games. Very disappointing. It’s also getting worse. Cheapening the product. It’s not legit. I thought with all the gambling going on they would work harder to call the games accurate. Part time refs are terrible.

  64. Bucswin Says:

    One of the reasons I’m cancelling my season passes. Plus the 1pm games when more people are under the stadium hiding from the sun than in their seats.

  65. Daniel Dream Says:

    There were also a couple of false start penalties against the Bucs O Line where literally nobody moved and then when they showed the replay on the telecast the announcers are highlighting the ‘offending’ player who clearly did not move an inch and I’m like wtf. Apparently all the Bills had to do was point and the refs gave them the call regardless of what actually happened. I’ve been tired of this for the past couple seasons with the Bills… the Bills must be the NFL’s newest favorite team; they get calls like the Pats used to. The Pats don’t get any calls anymore until the media starts talking about Belicheat getting fired and then they get all the calls again. All the sudden, the NFL loves the Browns as well and has handed them 3 wins on the worst calls you will ever see, already. It’s maddening (pun relatively intentional) watching the NFL. Half the games are decided by the refs. Sometimes I just can’t bear to watch anymore…

  66. PauleyD Says:

    The buccaneers could not look for the ball because they were getting spun around … This would honestly lead me to ask if the refs are allowed to bet

  67. Aaron Says:

    Why bother? The only way to move the ball was passing to White– no different than getting the running game going, really. But, the 3rd Q saw none of it. Play to the strengths of the team: pass to White, look for Godwin and Evans at times, and still try running the ball to set up PA.

  68. Aaron Says:

    It was clearly PI! Godwin turned just in time to get the ball, but was clearly held. I don’t care if it was a Hail Mary and these calls aren’t often called.

  69. Aaron Says:

    Edit prior post: this wasn’t a typical Hail Mary, where we see a cluster of players making a play on the ball. I get why the refs don’t normally call anything. But we all know this was much different; the ball found TWO players with plenty of space separating each player and the cluster.

  70. Lester from Texas Says:

    To predictable on offense. O-line can’t maintain their block. Poor coaching on both sides of the ball.