Yesterday on Twitter, I chastised Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey for not at least challenging a fumble late in the game against the Tennessee Titans that came within an eyelash of Buffalo recovering and sealing a game they would soon after go on to lose. I even went as far to say Gailey not challenging should be a fire able offense, if not for him at least for the staff member in the booth monitoring replays.
I was wrong.
I watched the play several times on the handy DVR and examined it in slow motion. Jairus Byrd causes the fumble, Stephon Gilmore keeps his foot in bounds while seemingly keeping the ball in play before Byrd falls on it and has possession before being knocked out of bounds while on the ground by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. All the television views led to my conclusion.
But as this photo clearly indicates, the very tip of the ball is barely grazing the tip of the sideline chalk, meaning the Bills would’ve lost a challenge.
The most frustrating part of this entire play—Buffalo was about a quarter-inch away from going to 4-3 on the season.