PHILADELPHIA — A playmaker who has made his living rushing the quarterback off the edge, Haason Reddick has made several game-changing plays since joining the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
This particular play, however, won't show up on the stat sheet as a sack or forced fumble, but rather a penalty on the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Josh Allen, who was flagged for intentional grounding on a play that could have just as easily been ruled a horse-collar tackle against Reddick during what ended up being a 37-34 Eagles overtime victory.
Facing a second-and-goal with less than two minutes left in the first half, Allen was flushed outside of the pocket on a play that started at the Eagles’ 3-yard line. As Reddick dragged him down, it appeared Reddick’s left hand first grabbed Allen by the front collar – the stretch marks afterward proved that – and again with his right hand near Allen’s neck and back of the helmet.
Josh Allen may need a new jersey sheesh pic.twitter.com/USIY0atiEd
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 26, 2023
"We felt that the force from the front of the collar and what pulled him down was not from the back," referee Shawn Hochuli told a pool reporter after the game. "So, that’s pretty much it. We felt he was pulled down from the front of the jersey and collar."
The officials did eventually drop a flag – for intentional grounding on Allen. Not wanting to take a sack, Allen was able to get rid of the ball before he went down. But the refs determined no receiver was in the vicinity, although the Bills contested that claim.
“From the information I got," head coach Sean McDermott said, "Gabe (Davis) was in the area."
Instead of receiving a new set of downs, the Bills were pushed back for a long third-down attempt that was unsuccessful. Tyler Bass' subsequent 34-yard attempt was blocked by rookie Jalen Carter.
On Sunday, the Bills found themselves on the wrong side of the officials' flags at a much higher rate than Philadelphia. By the end of the first half, they'd been whistled 10 times, compared to the Eagles' one penalty. Buffalo finished with 11 penalties total for 85 yards compared to Philadelphia's four for 30.
“I think we shot ourselves in the foot,” center Mitch Morse said.
He added: “Every person can take it as it is and learn from them. I think in the end, it shouldn’t have played a role in us not coming out with a victory.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Josh Allen horse collar no-call proves key in Bills' loss to Eagles