NFL fans wonder whether Bengals got away with penalty on historic Sam Hubbard touchdown


Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard made NFL history when he returned a fumble 98 yards for a touchdown and gave his team the lead against the Baltimore Bengals in their wild-card matchup.

Hubbard’s touchdown helped put Cincinnati up 24-17 and the Bengals would win by that score.


Sam Hubbard of the Bengals recovers a fumble by Tyler Huntley of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC wild-card game at Paycor Stadium on Jan. 15, 2023 in Cincinnati.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

But NFL fans wondered whether officials missed an illegal block in the back as Ravens tight end Mark Andrews tried to track Hubbard down. Andrews made a valiant effort to try to tackle Hubbard but couldn’t do it as Markus Bailey moved him out of the way.

It appeared Bailey may have side-blocked Andrews but some fans were looking for a penalty.

Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley was rolling in the fourth quarter before his fumble. He had a touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson to tie the game at 17 and appeared to be getting ready to give his team the lead after a 25-yard run that got the team to within 2 yards of a touchdown.

Eli Apple of the Bengals tackles Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens at Paycor Stadium on Jan. 15, 2023 in Cincinnati.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

He was met by Logan Wilson at the goal line and the linebacker poked the ball away.

It was the longest fumble return in postseason history.

Hubbard had four tackles and a quarterback hit in the game. Wilson finished with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. The play put Cincinnati up a touchdown and an extra point with about 11:39 to play in the game.

Bengals cornerback Eli Apple tackles Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews in wild-card playoff game at Paycor Stadium on Jan. 15, 2023, in Cincinnati.
(Kareem Elgazzar-USA Today Sports)


Cincinnati won the game and will take on the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round.