Patriots coach Bill Belichick disagreed with the personal foul call on defensive lineman Chris Jones in overtime of Sunday’s 30-27 loss to the Jets, but both a reading of the rule and referee Jeome Boger’s explanation make it hard to agree with Belichick’s take.
Boger spoke to a pool reporter — Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com — after the game and explained why Jones was flagged for the penalty.
“The call was that No. 94 on the defense pushed his teammate into the formation,” Boger said. “That is a rule change for 2013 that a teammate cannot push a teammate into the opponents’ formation.”
Belichick said it was his belief that the push was only illegal if it came from a player on the second level of the defense, but Boger said that wasn’t the case.
“Any push. It could be with the body, not necessarily with the hand, but with the body into his teammate, into the formation. It’s any type of pushing action,” Boger said.
As for Jones himself, he took the blame for the costly penalty when speaking with reporters after the game.
“It was something we talked about in camp and it just skipped out of my mind,” Jones said, via WEEI.com. “It was my mistake and nobody else’s. I just have to man up to it and fix it next time. I was just trying to get that extra little umph in the middle, to get up there.”
It’s the first time the rule has been called since being put into place before this season, which made a little-noticed change to the rulebook a much-noticed ending to a game.