The New England Patriots’ recent game against the Carolina Panthers proved to be more than your run-in-the-mill Monday Night Football game. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and fans alike were thrown for a loop when a potential game changing penalty was disregarded. Brady was trying to deliver the ball to his Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, but it never got there because the enormous red zone target was being mugged. The seemingly logical call would have been pass interference, but all of New England’s players and fans are wondering what could or should have happened if the officials did not pick up the flag?
“Automatic first down” would have been the first statement uttered from the zebra’s mouth. The Patriots would have gotten an untimed down for one last play, ranging anywhere from the ten to one yard lines. New England would have had a chance to run a number of plays depending on what yard marker the penalty would have put them on. Potentially a quarterback sneak with Brady, who is unstoppable in those situations 0r a possible fade to Gronkowski in the corner would have been the call. Either play would have had a chance. Regardless, Brady would have had the perfect play called for that situation, and all the experts would have had something different to talk about, instead of a botched call.
Headlines would have varied, reading “Tom Brady and New England Offense Back on Track” or “New England Making Case for AFC’s Best Team”. But this is all an afterthought thanks to one man making a terrible judgment call which the NFL should consider fixing. But this is not the time for that.
However, we all know the real result as the Panthers pounced on the win, leaving Monday night’s ending in a brewing controversy. Even after 14, long seasons in the NFL, Brady and his Patriots still haven’t been faced with every situation in the book with this being one of them. The Patriots walked away defeated from that loss but displayed an eager attitude to move on. With a week of intense preparation under their belts, the Patriots are looking towards being regarded as the AFC’s best once again. Up next, a date with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Foxboro.