It looked like another classic Tom Brady drive with a minute left on the clock and three timeouts. The stage was set for another game-winning drive for the great No. 12. Everything was there except the final result.
Brady marched his troops right down the field to put the New England Patriots in the red zone. Game over right? Wrong. Brady targeted Rob Gronkowski and slightly under threw the ball that was picked off, but the reason Gronk couldn’t even fight for the ball is he was being absolutely mauled in the end zone by Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. It was blatant pass interference, and the ref threw a flag. Unfortunately the crew got together and deemed that the ball wasn’t catchable.
In all honestly this was a horrendous call. The interference was going on well before the ball even left Brady’s hands. The Pats should have had the ball on the one-yard line for one more play. What are the odds they wouldn’t have converted that?
Brady let the refs hear it after the game and deservedly so. This is another black mark on the league and its officiating. These types of things always seem to happen on Monday Night Football — remember last year the Green Bay Packers were robbed of a win.
That call very well could determine home field in the playoffs. At 8-2 the Pats would still very much be in the hunt for the No. 1 seed. While that is still possible, the road becomes a lot tougher now.
The Pats will bounce back from this as they always seem to do. On this night, however, the zebras straight up robbed the Pats of a potential road victory.