I went back and watched it again: Johnson was still edging forward, bucking for yardage. He had several guys draped on him, and JT was pulling at the ball. At some point the whistle blew, and the ball came free. Which came first? That was too close to call.
In any event, the ball did indeed come free and a whistle was blown. Miami made a clear recovery. And it was not reviewed.
Last year, in an early season game, there was a play where San Diego stripped the ball from the Denver QB, and "the whistle blew" and the Broncos were allowed to maintain possession.
There was an outrage and the rule was changed to allow play to continue after the whistle.
This year (a) there was no such outrage, even though the playoffs were othe line, (b) they didn't follow the rule change that they put in - it was implemented specifically for plays like this, and (c) they didn't even review it.
Just what were the refs thinking?
The net result - as it happened in several games this season - Miami got jobbed by the refs, and it led to the loss.
So, I'm calling out the refs! Watch the freakin game!!!! And apply the rules even-handedly. Maybe it would help if they were full-time and dedicated to actually knowing the rules and applying them. So NFL, I'm calling you out too!
BTW, the penalty on Camarillo was also bogus. The guy made the pick, and took a knee and declared himself down. But the whistle didn't blow. His teammates were urging him to get up, and he started to - but the whistle still had not blown. So, Camarillo did the smart thing and made a play on the ball. The fact that there was no whistle means the play wasn't over.
So, the refs blew two calls in 4 plays. Great.