Confusion Surrounding New England Patriots' Loss

By Jared Smith
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

What a time for a new penalty in the NFL to be called. I wish I could say I’m surprised it was against the New England Patriots, but I really am not considering all the questionable calls surrounding the Patriots over the years.

There has been a lot that is going into this personal foul call in overtime that ultimately led to the New York Jets beating the Patriots. I’m not going to sit here and argue the rule — it was a bad call for many reasons, but the timing of the call is what I really have a problem with, especially considering that penalty had never been called before.

I have no problem with the penalty becoming a new part of the rules this season, I have a problem that it was called on a play that decided the game. New rules come into play all the time, and it is the responsibility of the NFL and officials to make the calls on these rules at the right times during the game.

But, it is known that officials should not be calling penalties that decide the outcome of a game unless it is a clear-cut penalty that absolutely cannot be go uncalled. This situation did not warrant a call; the “infraction” did not even impact the kick and with a 15-yard gift to the Jets on that play, the officials once again gave a team another chance to beat the Patriots.

Maybe all the conspiracies over the years are true. It seems that every year, questionable calls will give the opposing team another chance to beat the Patriots late in a game.

If this call on a field goal came in the second quarter, nobody would have a problem with it. That would have been the proper time to make that call. But on a game-deciding play, it’s an absolute joke that an official would make that call. After the call was made, it was evident the Jets would win. That means the penalty impacted the outcome of the game, which is exactly what officials and the NFL wants to avoid.

Bill Belichick obviously disagreed with the call, and seeing the wording of the rule, I can understand why. The wording of the rule has ironically been changed since the end of the game and after Belichick’s comments in his post-game press conference. This was caught by Comcast SportsNet New England insider Tom E. Curran and has Patriots fans irate.

The rule stated before the game that “players not on the line of scrimmage cannot push players on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.” Chris Jones lined up on the line of scrimmage, which means the penalty does not apply to him. After the game, the part about players not on the line of scrimmage was taken out of the wording of the rules.

This topic will not go away the next couple days. It will be a topic of discussion that will have Patriots fans on one side and almost everyone else siding with the NFL. So whether it was or wasn’t a penalty is not the issue here. The issue is that the call was made on a play that impacted the outcome of the contest, and that there was wording changed in the rule after it cost the Patriots the game.

The whole situation seems kind of suspicious, but that seems to be the story of the NFL in recent years.

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