Xavier Gipson’s place in Jets lore should come with an asterisk.
That’s the take from ESPN officiating analyst John Parry, who cited a missed tripping call on the Jets wide receiver’s walk-off punt return for a touchdown in Monday’s 22-16 overtime win against the Bills.
“You’ve gotta put an asterisk on it because there’s a tripping call that was not made,” Parry said after the game-ending score. “A trip, a leg whip, right near the 23-yard line, No. 55, which would have brought the touchdown back.”
Parry’s objection comes on what certainly appeared to be a missed tripping call on Jets linebacker Chazz Surratt.
As Gipson made his way up the sideline, Surratt attempted to undercut Bills tight end Quintin Morris near the Bills’ 27-yard-line.
Morris appeared to be Buffalo’s last real chance at stopping Gipson – punter Sam Martin obviously did not factor into the play – and Surratt dove in front of him.
Surratt’s left leg, however, remained elevated and tripped Morris, sending him crashing to the turf and paving the way for Gipson’s path to the end zone.
That action should have resulted in a penalty, per Parry, but the referees did not blow the whistle.
“Not called on the field, and it sprung Gipson really with the last important block – albeit it with that leg whip, and it gets Xavier Gipson into the end zone with a tremendous effort on the punt return to win it,” ESPN announcer Joe Buck said.
Even if the Jets had been called for that penalty, which is a 15-yard setback, it may not have cost them the game.
Parry received some online criticism for his opinion, especially since missed calls are an accepted part of sports. Missed holding calls are a routine part of NFL games.
The Bills also had plenty of chances to tackle Gipson before he closed in on the red zone.
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