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Gabe Davis’ questionable catch in Bills-Vikings thriller would’ve been overturned if reviewed, NFL VP says


The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Buffalo Bills in one of the wildest games of the 2022 season, but there could have been some major controversy if the result had been different Sunday.

After the Vikings recovered a Josh Allen fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to take the lead, the Bills quarterback started his drive to either pick up the win or force overtime. One play on that drive saw him throw a laser to wide receiver Gabe Davis.

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Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis, #13, catches a touchdown pass as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans, #21, tries to defend in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, New York.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis, #13, catches a touchdown pass as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans, #21, tries to defend in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, New York.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Davis caught the pass as he was going out of bounds, but it appeared he did not have complete control of the catch as he hit the ground. Allen rushed the Bills players to the line and got off another snap before anything cold be reviewed by officials. The Bills tied the game and sent it to overtime.

The Vikings would win the game, 33-30, but the lingering question was whether officials should have – at the very least – reviewed whether Davis had caught the ball. Pool reporter Lindsay Jones, the president of the Pro Football Writers Association and senior editor at The Ringer, asked NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson about the sequence.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis, #13, tries to evade Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Harrison Smith, #22, in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, New York. 

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis, #13, tries to evade Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Harrison Smith, #22, in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, New York. 
(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

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Jones asked Anderson why there was “no review initiated” on the Davis catch.

“It was a significant distance down the field,” Anderson said. “And even though it happens fast and Buffalo hurries to the line of scrimmage for the next play, if the replay official can’t confirm it was a catch on that long of a completed pass, we should stop play to ensure it is a catch.”

Anderson was then asked whether officials looked at the play after the fact and whether it would have been confirmed as a catch.

Patrick Peterson, #7 of the Minnesota Vikings, tackles Gabe Davis, #13 of the Buffalo Bills, during the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium on Nov. 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.

Patrick Peterson, #7 of the Minnesota Vikings, tackles Gabe Davis, #13 of the Buffalo Bills, during the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium on Nov. 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

“We were able – several players after – to look at all the angles,” Anderson said. “It would have been reversed to an incomplete pass because he did not maintain control of the ball after he hit the ground and the ball touched the ground out of bounds.”

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Buffalo was up 24-10 before Minnesota came back to win the game.

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