The story behind two calls that were pivotal in the Rams’ loss to the Bills

Rams' Darious Williams reacts during a game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
(Adrian Kraus / Associated Press)

Two controversial calls.

One favored the Rams, and helped them make a historic comeback against the Buffalo Bills. The other helped the Bills win in the final seconds.

Both were topical in the aftermath of the Bills’ 35-32 victory over the Rams on Sunday at Bills Stadium.

The Rams trailed 28-10 in the third quarter when Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw a pass to tight end Tyler Kroft, who pushed off Rams cornerback Troy Hill and leaped to catch the ball. Rams safety John Johnson arrived as Kroft came down, and Johnson snatched the ball from his grasp while the players fell to the turf.

Officials called offensive pass interference against Kroft, and ruled that Johnson had possession. The ruling was upheld on review, and the Rams used the momentum to storm back for a 32-28 lead with less than five minutes left.


Rams safety Jordan Fuller injured his shoulder, so Taylor Rapp took over at safety and finished with seven tackles.

Sept. 27, 2020

“I really could have just run up and plucked it, but for some reason I stopped because I thought it was going to be a tip,” Johnson told reporters afterward. “It was push-off. I just tried to wrestle with him all the way to the ground and they gave me the call.”

In the final minute, the Bills drove to the Rams’ 13-yard line, where they faced a fourth-and-eight situation. Rams cornerback Darious Williams lined up to cover receiver Gabriel Davis on the left side.

At the snap, Davis took about four strides. The two players engaged in contact before Davis cut to his right. Allen’s pass sailed through the end zone, but Williams was called for pass interference, giving Allen another opportunity to throw a game-winning touchdown pass to Kroft.

“I was trying to run my route,” Davis told reporters, “and I felt like he was holding and grabbing me and pulled me. I couldn’t get to where I needed to be.

“So, you know, I heard the whole sideline saying it was a holding call, and once I seen the flag in the air it made me real happy to see that we got it.”


A look at the numbers behind the Rams’ 35-32 road loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Sept. 27, 2020

Rams receiver Robert Woods said pass interference should not have been called against Williams.

“He’s playing defensive back, you know he’s playing hands on, he’s checking him,” Woods said, “and as [Davis] gets into his route, the receiver initiates the contact and the quarterback is literally just throwing the ball in the area.

“It wasn’t even a catchable ball.”