Sunday, October 20, 2013

Patriots-Jets Officiating Raises Questions

     This blog is usually about the Cleveland Browns, but their pathetic play against the Packers is not worth writing about this week.  Hence, I am writing about the Patriots-Jets game, which I watched this afternoon. 
Photo Credit: Boston Globe
Um, I guess someone pushed.   Tsk tsk.  
As a fan, I have no qualifications to criticize the officiating, and for the most part I tend to believe that the officiating is pretty good, and that the process of critiquing the officiating is beyond my pay grade.  However, in this game I was struck by the apparent absurdness of the call which decided the game in overtime.  Namely, the Jets kicker was attempting a 56 yard field goal, which is very tough to make.  His attempt was off line.  But wait! 

     An official threw a flag and called a penalty that no one had ever heard of before.  The penalty was for unsportsmanlike conduct, in which a Patriots lineman allegedly pushed a Patriots player, causing him to make contact with a Jets player.  What? 

    This was the game deciding play, and the defending team normally tries to block the field goal attempt.  Nobody was injured or caused any obvious discomfort on the play. All that us fans could see was 11 Patriots trying to block a kick. 

    While watching the game with my friends, I had remarked that several non-calls on pass interference by the Jets were unusually blatant, and that to my amateur eye it looked like the Jets defenders were being permitted unusual lattitude in defending against Patriots' receivers.  The stats look about the same for both games, but nevertheless that was the impression that I received while watching the game. But the ultimate weird call was pushing your own player, which caused the game deciding kick to be moved forward some 15 yards, with an additional first down thrown in for good measure.  

    I know that the NFL always reviews its officials and discusses each game.  I hope that they review this one in particular very closely, and that they can offer an explanation to the fans on what happened.  

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