The Daily Sweat: What you need to know to bet the Raiders and Bengals and Patriots and Bills
The enlarged Wild Card weekend gets underway on Saturday when the Las Vegas Raiders visit the Cincinnati Bengals (4:30 p.m. ET, NBC) before the Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots (8:15 p.m. ET, CBS). The basics: the Bengals are favored by 5.5 points and the total is 49. If you want to place a moneyline bet on Cincinnati, the Bengals are -250 to win straight up while a Raiders upset is +200. The Raiders enter the playoffs on a four-game win streak, though its biggest margin of victory during that stretch is four points. If the Raiders do pull the upset, it’s probably going to be a close game.
The play should have been dead, but the discourse is very much alive.
In the second quarter of Saturday's Bengals-Raiders wild-card playoff matchup, Cincinnati's Joe Burrow tossed a touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd that came with drama: a whistle was blown as the ball was in the air before it reached Boyd's hands, which may have indicated that a sprinting Burrow was out of bounds before the ball was thrown.
After lots of confusion and a discussion by the officials, the play stood and the touchdown counted, much to the dismay of the Raiders and their fans.
By rule, an inadvertent ("erroneous" in the rulebook) whistle means that the play does not count and that the down should be replayed. Those are not things that the crew ruled on the field.
Raiders vs. Bengals live score, updates, highlights from NFL wild-card playoff game
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Bengals vs. Raiders on Saturday. Follow for complete results from the 2022 NFL wild-card playoff game.Cincinnati clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC after the team defeated the Chiefs 34-31 in Week 17. Joe Burrow was benched the following week, during the Bengals' 21-16 loss to the Browns, and got some extra time to prepare for his first playoff game. Meanwhile, Derek Carr is coming off a wild 35-32 overtime win against the Chargers that granted Las Vegas the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.
MORE: Officials in Bengals-Raiders wild-card game infuriate fans of both squads
What was the NFL's explanation?
Following the game, NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson tried to explain what exactly happened on the field, but instead he complicated the matter further:
The main takeaway is that the officials believe the whistle was blown after Boyd had possession. Anderson's explanation:
We confirmed with the referee and the crew that on that play — they got together and talked — they determined that they had a whistle, but that the whistle for them on the field was blown after the receiver caught the ball. …
Due to erroneous whistle, Joe Burrow's TD pass against Raiders shouldn't have counted
"Play to the whistle" is the cliche everyone knows. Maybe a really bad whistle on a touchdown pass by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow in a wild-card playoff game didn't affect the Las Vegas Raiders' defense. On a third down late in the second quarter, Burrow rolled to his right. Tyler Boyd grabbed it, but a whistle blew right after Burrow released the ball. The officials huddled and decided that Burrow wasn't out of bounds, and it was a touchdown. A replay showed Burrow wasn't really close to being out of bounds when he threw it. JOE BURR-WOW. #RuleTheJungle#SuperWildCard @JoeyB????: #LVvsCIN on NBC????: NFL app pic.twitter.
They did not feel that the whistle was blown before the receiver caught the ball.
Anderson also dodged a question about which official blew the whistle. When pressed, he continued to dodge.
Could replay have been used?
It's important to note that a whistle being blown erroneously is not reviewable. That means that even though the scoring play was reviewed (as all scoring plays are), the whistle would not have been a component of the review process.
PLAYOFF BRACKET: Scores, matchups, schedule
It's also important to note that sound exists, and even though there may be a slight delay between what happened on-field and what came over the tube, the most telling thing is that some Raiders players seemed to think the play was dead while the ball was in the air.
Two quarters — and a few more questionable calls — later, the game came down to the wire, with the Bengals holding off the Raiders 26-19, punching their ticket to the divisional round next weekend.
MORE: Raiders-Bengals score updates, highlights
The officials may want get the heck out of Cincinnati faster.
Bengals kicker Evan McPherson called his shot on game-winning field goal, Joe Burrow says .
With a trip to the AFC championship game on the line, Bengals kicker Evan McPherson had no doubts after his 52-yard field goal.His fourth field goal of the game – from 52 yards away as time expired – sent the Bengals to the AFC championship game for the first time since the 1988 season with a 19-16 win.