The game between the Patriots and Jets ended after the first application of a new rule, and New England coach Bill Belichick believes that the rule was improperly applied.
The rule, adopted for 2013 and codified at Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3, subsection (b)(2), states that the defensive team on a kick from scrimmage “cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.” That’s what the Patriots did, drawing a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. (Based on the rulebook, it technically should have been unnecessary roughness. Either way, it should be — and was — a 15-yard penalty.)
The flag wiped out a missed field goal, and it gave the Jets a fresh set of downs 15 yards closer to the end zone.
Via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Belichick said after the game that he “disagrees with the penalty for pushing,” an that “there wasn’t a push in the second level that would require a flag.”
The rule doesn’t require a push from the second level. Instead, it generally prohibits pushing teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.
And so the rule apparently was applied correctly. Even though Belichick and plenty of Patriots fans will believe otherwise.
Raiders fans can relate. And they’re likely thrilled about it.