Sunday’s Game between New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills was marred by cheating rumors following illegal use of train whistle by the Bills to distract the Patriots.
The first hint of wrongdoing came after the Steelers suggested that something unwarranted had been going on in the regular season opener at the Gillette Stadium, notes Pro Football Talk. The Patriots were hosted by the Bills at the Ralph Wilson Stadium, and the loud third-down train horn blared when it probably shouldn’t have on multiple occasions.
According to For The Win USA Today, the rule suggests that “home teams cannot pipe in audio when the opposing offense is on the field and the Bills allegedly did so in their 40-32 loss, apparently blaring their usual train-horn sound at illegal times during the game.”
The league, in their memo last month, reminded all teams of the NFL’s in-stadium noise policies which mentioned, “The home team is permitted to play audio while the visiting team is on offense and the play clock is running. The audio must cease by the time the play clock reaches 20 seconds, or when the visiting team’s offense reaches the line of scrimmage, whichever occurs first. Pursuant to this policy, the visiting team’s offense is considered being at the line of scrimmage when the center touches the ball.”
However, it is still unknown whether the patriots made an official complaint regarding the apparent violation of the noise rules to the league. Since the league rule suggests, “All clubs must submit a recording of the video board feed paired with the PA system audio by the Wednesday following a home game”, it doesn’t matter if the Patriots made an official complain or not, the NFL will figure it out.
The NFL did not respond to a request for comment from For the Win.
“On one hand, if these noises are against NFL rules, this aggression can not stand, man. On the other hand, the Seahawks basically play in an aluminum amphitheater designed to maximize crowd noise. There’s a fine line here. Rules exist. When they’re broken, we have anarchy,” For the Win wrote.
While there may be questions about the noises by the Bills, the Patriots are not in the best position to complain as they have been in the middle of the “Deflategate” controversy which is one of the most talked about cheating issues in the league.