This week’s Controversy That Won’t Die (and We Sort of Like It) relates to the enforcement of the rule against pushing players on the line of scrimmage who are defending field-goal attempts.
On Tuesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick suggested that the Jets were doing the same thing that the Pats were caught doing in overtime, which gave the Jets a Mulligan after Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal in overtime.
“Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves I don’t even know about all that,” Belichick told reporters regarding the suggestion that the Jets alerted officials to New England’s habit of violating the new rule. “But basically we’re just moving on here.”
But the Jets weren’t using it on Sunday. Sure, it appears via the NFL Game Rewind coaches film that there was a quick and fairly mild one-armed shove by one Jets player on another Jets player. But that was nothing like the maneuver from Chris Jones, who played the back end of a two-man horse costume and shoved the ass of the guy playing the front end of the horse costume.
And it happened directly in front of the official who immediately grabbed his flag and threw it high into the air.
Regardless of whether the Jets or anyone else did or didn’t do it in that game or other games, stuff happens all the time that should have drawn a flag but doesn’t. That hardly provides a credible basis for complaining when a rule is blatantly violated, and when the official sees it.
Because it happened directly in front of him.