Belichick avoids criticizing non-call, or asking official for explanation

AP

The aftermath of Monday night’s memorable win by the Panthers over the Patriots, fueled by a controversial non-call to end the game, included a press conference from New England coach Bill Belichick.

Which included not much of anything by way of memorable comments, as they usually do.

There was no explanation given to me,” Belichick said.  “[The] officials ran off the field, and I didn’t see anything.  [I’ ve] been through that before.  The last time I tried to ask an official about a call, it was the wrong thing to do. . . .  Didn’t get [an explanation] tonight, didn’t get one at the Baltimore game.  I guess that’s the way we do it.”

Belichick was referring to a 2012 incident with a replacement official, where the “wrong thing to do” wasn’t asking for an explanation but making contact with an official in an effort to get an explanation.  After a loss to the Ravens, which ended with a field goal that appeared to be close but wasn’t reviewed by instant replay, Belichick grabbed an official who was leaving the playing area.

Belichick was fined $50,000 for that incident.  The magnitude surely was influenced by the league’s effort to protect the replacement officials from abuse by coaches who were more exasperated than usual with the quality of the calls or lack of them from the officials who were working in place of the regular officials, who had been locked out.

He definitely won’t be fined for Monday night, given that Belichick neither did nor said anything remotely controversial after losing a game on one of the most controversial officiating decisions of the season.

107 responses to “Belichick avoids criticizing non-call, or asking official for explanation

  1. Gronk tries to cut in and the defender puts him in a bear hug. Then the ” uncatchable ball” is caught by another defender. Can’t imagine what the issue would be there????

  2. If you watch any game carefully, you would probably see 10 to 20 bad or non calls.That was only one out of so many that have gone on Patriots favor. Don’t cry…

  3. Here we go again. The officials follow the NFL rulebook but since it involves the Pats being on the short end the media is going to make a big deal out of it.

    Naturally if the roles were reversed (just like in the Jets game) the media wouldn’t be saying anything about it. Apparently the Pats should be above the NFL rulebook if it results in them losing.

  4. All need now is word from NFL that the officials flubbed the call for all the good it will do.

    I’m still waiting for some coach fined for criticizing officials to file a lawsuit against NFL for violating their constitutional right of freedom of speech. Legally you cannot be forced to give up your constitutional rights. A person accused of a crime cannot be coerced into giving up their right against self incrimination. Having to agree to not criticize officials as condition of employment is coercion.

  5. Fact is, these referees are about as good as the replacement referees. Save some $, give those replacements some more $ and experience, and avoid a work stoppage in the future. Each year gets progressively worse overall.

  6. He may not have criticized but what about Brady? You didn’t have to be a lip reader to know what he said to the official in the tunnel. Does anyone other than the poster boy get away with that?

  7. How many times this year, across multiple sports leagues, have I had the displeasure of watching an entire hard fought game only to have it wiped out at the end by an official snatching the game up in their hands and handing it over to a team? The “screw The Rock” finish is getting old.

    Also, I gotta say it… Keuchly is a beast.

  8. Carolina never impeded Gronks path to the ball, his own momentum did.

    That was not good officiating, it was GREAT officiating.

    Chris Carter and Jimmy Johnson both said that the officials got it right. Carter went a step further and pointed out the double standard on Brady, if that had been DEZ…..we would all be talking about it.

  9. Poor guy, see that is the kind of game they used to win at the last second by cheating. That is the big difference between the cheating “dynasty” Patriots and the post Spygate mediocre Patriots – they can do OK against their weak division and other weak AFC teams but they can’t beat the decent and better teams the way they used to with that slight ill-gotten advantage gained by stealing the defensive play calls. Poor little guys.

  10. Now let the Pats have a call like this go against them in an AFC Championship game. Then they’ll know how the rest of the country felt when Oakland was robbed blind.

  11. Another potentially great game.clash of the titans that was diminished by a dumb old ref. Just like the Saints, the Panthers victory is cheap. Feel like I wasted my time watching that game. What a waste.

    In real time the ref saw the foul, thought it was catchable, and threw the flag…He had the call correct. YOU CANT PICK THE FLAG UP AND CHANGE YOUR MIND.

    Now instead if the greatness and glory that should have been attributed to that Clash of the Titans. You got controversy and false victor/winner, and One of the great game winning drives erased.

    Cheap game…cheap victory. Football is king right now,but give this crap 5-10 years, and see where it will be.

  12. I understand pass interference being a judgment call as to whether Gronkowski was ever close enough to where the ball went. But seeing how Kuechly basically slow-danced Gronkowski right out of the play AND the flag was thrown, picking it up at that point was egregious. If it wasn’t pass interference due to being uncatchable, it could have been illegal contact (if it initiated before the pass was thrown-which was close) or defensive holding.

    Watching the espn clip with Gerry Austin – former official – makes me even more convinced. Gronkowski is where the ball is headed when the contact begins, and pushes him back 5 more yards. Austin is covering his colleagues’ mistake. The flag shouldn’t have been picked up.

  13. I hate how Vegas and their employees – the Zebras – have ruined the NFL. This call against the Pats was ridiculous. The norm has been to call fouls – ghost PI fouls, BS holding calls – on players far away from the actual play. Yet, this one was deemed OK for some reason. It’s all Vegas and even Roger G. better keep his mouth shut.

  14. if you think this is bad, just wait until next week. when lord manning will get every call known to man. if a defender gets within 5 yards of lord manning, the refs will throw a roughing the passer flag. KC was clearly ordered by goodell and league not to pass rush lord manning or get within 5 yards of him on sunday. anybody with a brain can see what the NFL’s agenda is this year, to have lord manning in a superbowl

  15. I am a Dolphin fan, I always want the Pats to lose.

    But C-MON, that was AT LEAST illegal contact, but more likely pass interference.

    To pick up that flag and call nothing is beyond ridiculous.

  16. Was the play reviewable? If so, it should have been reviewed.

    Gruden’s comment that the non-call was the correct action was inappropriate in my opinion.

    Because the receiver was being held you can’t say there was no chance of catching the ball. Holding a receiver downfield by a defender is foul is it not?

  17. A team that benefitted by the technical “tuck” rule in a critical, game-changing playoff circumstance cannot complain about a technical call that goes against them in a non-playoff circumstance.

    Ever.

  18. It’s actually pretty rare when an official’s call on one play determines the outcome of a game, but everybody knows they do regularly make mistakes – and the league does not hold them accountable. That part is wrong.

  19. Absolutely horrible call. Of course the ball was uncatchable, the defender tackled him right as the ball was thrown!

  20. As a patriots fan. That game was great to watch the teams were evenly matched throughout as controversial the call was we can’t solely blame it but there definitely is that what if factor… Just thinking okay suck it up still in good position for the playoffs move on

  21. Belichick, raven harbaugh, and tomlin rarely criticize officials when they lose. They say we need to play better. 49er harbaugh criticizes them often in a loss and rarely takes accountability.

    That’s the difference between a champion and a wannabe ladies and gentlemen.

  22. If the refs didn’t like the pass interference call, they could have called holding. Definitely should have been a penalty of some sort. Patriots got “jobbed”.

  23. I just watched the replay and could stop the video. Two Panthers make contact with Gronkowski one yard into the end zone, a two-handed push by one Panther takes place 2 yards into the end zone, a full grab of Gronk by a Panther (both arms around Gronkowski) takes place 3 yards into the endzone and he is physically moved out of the play towards the middle/back of the endzone while the ball is caught/intercepted 3 yards into the endzone by the Panthers. The game is over but the least the NFL can do is admit the officiating error.

  24. I know from what I’ve seen on the replays that the ball was under thrown but I’ve seen flags for Pass Interference where the ball is much further away from the receiver..

    The way Keuchly bear hugged Gronk so he stayed further away from the ball was a Bush League move too..

    After the game the announcers asked someone (who serves in the capacity of clarifying the rules etc) and that person agreed w/the officials.. The immediate response from the announcer was “Interesting”… In other words, NFL saving face for a borderline call..

    Patriots deserved to lose that game. The Panther’s stayed dominant throughout but that call really sours the outcome.. Great game made controversial by bad call w/Refs running away after the game and not held accountable.. Why no explanation? I’ve seen explanations at game’s end or in OT that clarified why they called what they called or pulled a flag.. Last night? Nothing!

    There’s no honor in pro sports anymore.. Seeing garbage Bush league calls like that just water down the product (not that these sissy tackling rules and QB “Safety” rules haven’t done the same, if not MORE damage to our favorite sports product)!

  25. I don’t like whining about refs, but there does need to be some basic integrity. What’s the point of following a team and watching these games if non-players can decide wins and losses like that?

  26. That presser was wild. The silence was deafening. There were so many questions that could’ve been asked about the game but the media seemed half paralyzed and half scared to engage Belichick.

    The look on his face throughout reminded me of the movie Carrie. I was expecting parts of the room to start catching fire and some huge support beam to come down and crush that idiot who asked him for the fourth time whether or not he got an explanation from the refs.

  27. Wow, those Patriots sure do get all the calls, don’t they? Obviously the NFL favors the Patriots and Tom Brady. Not.

  28. Not a pats fan at ll, nd the game was not lost on that play. However that was an awful non-call. They called McCourty for holding on a third down that extended a drive for the Panthers on a ball that was completely not catchable, about a mile over Olsens head, not to mention the fact Olsen was the one holding McCourty to him. Fine, you want to pick up the flag for pass interference, then you re call it for holding or illegal contact. Last time I checked you are not allowed to touch a receiver after five yards. Gronkowski was bear hugged in the end zone on the final play of the game, and that just cannot not be a call in a game, or if it was just a no call with no flag that would make sense. But to throw the flag and then pick it up, makes absolutely zero sense. Of course the ball is in catchable if he has no opportunity to turni and come back to it. The nfl is setting a bad precedent for itself. The call against the niners, then this, two days in a row. Also watched and read on some blogs this morning as well as watching last night. The Panthers scored their TD with 1:03 remaining yet the clock went down to .59. I am in no way saying games are fixed or anything of that nature, especially against a team so prominent in the league as the Pats, but things seem awfull crazy in the league right now.

  29. Now fine Brady for dropping the F-bomb while screaming at the ref while they were walking on the field…

  30. Just checked out the play in question. The pass was well underthrown, and uncatchable. By rule, DPI cannot be called on an uncatchable ball. Defensive holding could have been called, I suppose.

  31. The ball was picked off before it even got near him. I agree he should have gotten a flag but lets be honest even without the contact he had little or no hope of threading that needle.

  32. Not a fan of either team but new England got screwed, I understand the panthers intercepted the pass but gronk got mugged with no chance to fight for it. Imo

  33. Don’t like the call but its time to move onto Denver which is a more important game for playoff seeding. This game could determine homefield advantage in the playoffs.

  34. Trust me, I wanted NE to lose but that was a penalty. If it’s not Pass Interference (supposedly not catchable), wouldn’t it be illegal contact anyways? Why is nobody saying this?

  35. Belicheat has been on the receiving end of more calls in his favor than he has lost.

    Glad to see that the pats are losing their grip on the refs. ***

  36. 2 of the prime time games this week where teams faced off basically with playoff implications sf – no / ne – car. Something smelling fishy here.

  37. Uncatchable.

    Had the other Panther who intercepted the ball not been there, then yea, it’s a penalty.

    But it was intercepted prior to the illegal contact.

  38. dicksquared says:
    Nov 19, 2013 8:03 AM
    “Carolina never impeded Gronks path to the ball, his own momentum did.

    That was not good officiating, it was GREAT officiating.

    Chris Carter and Jimmy Johnson both said that the officials got it right. Carter went a step further and pointed out the double standard on Brady, if that had been DEZ…..we would all be talking about it.”

    Right. Because a 260lb man bear hugging you and running you into the back of the end zone isn’t “impeding”. And in the future, if you want to validate your opinion its probably not the best idea to use the opinions of Jimmy Johnson and Cris Carter as support.

  39. I think we should look at the positive. Now we know if the receiver isn’t close to the ball he can be mugged by the defense and it wont be called. If I was the patriots I’d use this to commit legal pass interference every play. As soon as the ball is in the air just destroy the receiver on the other side of the play. He can’t catch it so its not interference.

  40. Jimmy Johnson also said Spygate was stupid and blown out of propotions because all teams do it. I’m guessing you dont side with his “beliefs” on that issue though right?

    “Carolina never impeded Gronks path to the ball.” True……but Luke Kuechly certainly did.

    Dez Bryant. Great Talent. Marred by his off field antics, etc… He’s got a long career ahead of him, but he came into the league behind the eight ball so he lost the “benefit of the doubt” out of the gate. There is a reason he fell to pick 24 right? It certainly wasn’t talent based. So if you’re looking for Dez/Brady comparisons…they’re not there…sorry

  41. @halbert53 That’s not a first amendment violation. A private entity fining someone is not the same as the government putting someone in jail.

    If they tried to press charges and bring legal action against someone speaking out against the refereeing that would be a different story.

  42. fatsolio says:
    Nov 19, 2013 7:39 AM
    Here we go again. The officials follow the NFL rulebook but since it involves the Pats being on the short end the media is going to make a big deal out of it.

    Naturally if the roles were reversed (just like in the Jets game) the media wouldn’t be saying anything about it. Apparently the Pats should be above the NFL rulebook if it results in them losing
    ——————
    That’s the issue. They didn’t follow the rule book. Go look it up. Uncatchable balls are near sidelines/end lines…NOT underthrown ball.

    As for following the rules, the Tuck Rule was called appropriately years ago so why the haters right? We can all agree it was a dumb rule, but it was called appropriately. wasn’t it?

  43. What about the no-call on that cheap leg whip to Charles Johnson? That actually resulted in an injury, but it didn’t hurt the Pats so no one cares.

  44. “It wasn’t a non-call. The flag was thrown by the back judge. He was then talked out of sticking with his original observation.”

    He wasn’t talked out of it. That ref did the right thing, he was watching the receiver, saw the contact, threw the flag. Then the proper thing happened, the ref who had a different view and perspective clearly saw the ball was uncatchable. Short conference call, done. What’s the first ref going to say, ” it doesn’t matter it was uncatchable, I saw interference.”

  45. This call could have gone either way, what is evident from the difference of opinions being stated by the commentators. You can’t really get too upset over it.

  46. chiadam says:

    Now let the Pats have a call like this go against them in an AFC Championship game. Then they’ll know how the rest of the country felt when Oakland was robbed blind.
    _______________________

    2006 AFC Championship. Indy is at the end of a furious comeback with only seconds left. Manning throws a long bomb down the left sideline which is not caught and Ellis Hobbs is called for “face guarding”.

    The only problem ? Face guarding had been eliminated as a penalty a couple years before that. Replay showed no contact at all between Hobbs and the receiver. There was no penalty committed by Hobbs.

    Know your history before you make a statement like you just did. And the Pats never cry about bad calls unlike the whiny little girls of Oakland, that’s why you never hear this discussed.

  47. The official reached for his flag BEFORE the ball was thrown…such a bogus ending.

    How do other teams in the league feel knowing that they can’t beat the mighty Pats by themselves? Great game my Carolina but I wouldn’t feel content with that blemished victory.

  48. Anyone who thinks that wasn’t some form of a penalty is either stupid or just doesn’t like the team; any semi-unbiased person with eyes could see that was pass interference: the reason the ball was “uncatchable” is because Kuechly bear-hugged Gronk, pinning his arms down and not allowing him to plant and get back to try and make a play on the ball…read the rules and it’ll show you that pass interference can be called for, I think, eight different infractions, and Kuechly committed three of them on the same play…the refs ruined what was a great game and what’s worse is the back judge, who had the best view, threw the flag and was talked out of it by someone else…I hope the NFL finds some way to punish this crew for that

  49. I see the one poster saying you can’t touch Lord Manning or you will get flagged,well there are 31 more lords in the league because its that way with every QB.Drew Brees,RG111,Suh got penalized and fined for doing the same to Brandon Weedon.If you are a QB it does not matter what your name is.

  50. Too bad the Panthers victory was tainted by the lack of a pass interference call. Put an asterisk next to it.

  51. The call was wrong and the head official over turn it. The player was moving back and had no chance at the ball, and the other player had the ball in his hands and Carolina won. And with the Jets non call against the pats was a mistake, and the same thing happen with the Dolphins and Baltimore, we should had a 15 yard advance and a first down, a much better chance at a field goal or touchdown, all teams have bad calls, the pats cry about there’s. Bill

  52. It was a hold, and I only say that because if it was my team and I seen that I would be very upset. So for any one that says that it wasn’t Pass Interference think of how you would feel if it was your team.

  53. What is wrong is wrong irrespective of who is the aggrieved party… That was a penalty.. 99% of ppl would agree if their team was the Victim..

  54. steelersaregodsteam says:
    Nov 19, 2013 7:20 AM
    Held or not, that ball was thrown into triple coverage. We can feel comfortable knowing that a hold wouldn’t have really changed the outcome in that situation.

    Hey Smart Guy if that was the issue your franchise would not have won many superbowls including the one with Santonio Holmes..

  55. Patriots, 7 wins, Opponents 1 win, Refs 2 wins . . . Patriots haters, even with two games being given to the opposition the Patriots are 7 – 3 and in the hunt for a playoff bye. Keep chirping.

  56. First an observation & reading the comments its interesting how fans will see what they want to see to justify an outcome they want.

    Second, and mind you this is coming from a true green Jets fan where the bias couldn’t be any worse for the Patriots….. I am torn between my hate of New England (all in good fun of course) & my disgust with the lack of quality officiating week after week in the NFL impacting or potentially impacting outcomes of games.

    I’ll also have to put aside the mostly favorable rulings that Patriots normally get in the equation of things and comment on this purely on its own merits.

    My love of the game will override all this so all that I still don’t like the position this puts me in but I don’t see how this is not either a holding or pass interference call?! Gronkowski was basically taken out of making an adjustment to and play on the ball by the Panthers defender. Even though it was a bit of a noodle arm throw by Brady it wasn’t so bad as to have been ruled uncatchable. It was uncatchable because he was interferred with. A big distinction! If he wasn’t interfered with he absolutely could have at least competed for that ball with the defender who made the interception. It’s obvious so explain away all you want Carolina fans Patriots got robbed of a final play either 5 Yds closer for holding or a play at 1 yd line for interference. Not sure which applies here more, but its one or the other. So all you Patriots fans whining that Panthers were given the game you would still have had to win it with that last play… Which leaves for a obvious crappy ending & not how we want our games to end as fans with the what could have beens…

    Officials are seriously diluting the quality of the sport & nothing is really being done about it is my main point….

  57. The back judge saw contact and immediately threw the flag before the ball arrived.
    Once the underthrown ball was intercepted, the side judge runs in and says “uncatchable” (which I tend to agree with).
    In either case, the refs did the right thing – they reacted in real time to a changing paradigm during the course of the play. They conferred and all agreed to pick up the flag.
    Question their judgement all you want – it’s what they are paid to do and I’d venture to say they do it a hell of a lot better than any of us would.

  58. Dear jason9696 and all other tuck rule boohoo-ers,
    The Tuck Rule, is no longer a factor… it wasn’t a good rule. However, it was properly called at the time. It has nothing to do with the this call or even the Patriots–the NFL put it in, the refs called it by the book, the Patriots legally benefited, the Raiders didn’t (in the most famous instance of it being called). Oh and by the way, that was 2001–time to move on!

  59. God people are so stupid – here goes

    1. Tuck rule was a rule before that game, and Oakland still had a chance to win it. Shutup and get over it.

    2. Of course Gronk had no chance to catch the ball, he was forced to dance with Lucheil.

    3. The fact that people compare this to a hold is asinine. The flag was thrown, and you DONT pick it up in that instance. You at least call defensive holding, if not P.I. Still gives the Pats a chance.

    All that being said, I think the game was lost when Brady threw the ball away on 3rd and 1 at the 15 or whatever it was. Should have ran Blount through the middle. Worst case scenario, field goal (which you got anyways) – Best scenario, you get a first, possible a TD and go up by 7 with less time on the clock. IMO, that was the play that defined the loss for the Pats.

    Time to get ready for Denver!

  60. Legally you cannot be forced to give up your constitutional rights.
    So wrong. When you agree to join a private organization than you agree to the terms and rules. How do you think home owners associations limit flags and political signs. HOA have fought this numerous times. Sometimes they loose but most come out on top since you decided to live there. We’ll coaches decide to coach in the nfl where there are rules against such things.

  61. Per the NFL rule book:

    Pass Interference

    There shall be no interference with a forward pass thrown from behind the line. The restriction for the passing team starts with the snap. The restriction on the defensive team starts when the ball leaves the passer’s hand. Both restrictions end when the ball is touched by anyone.
    The penalty for defensive pass interference is an automatic first down at the spot of the foul. If interference is in the end zone, it is first down for the offense on the defense’s 1-yard line. If previous spot was inside the defense’s 1-yard line, penalty is half the distance to the goal line.
    The penalty for offensive pass interference is 10 yards from the previous spot.
    It is pass interference by either team when any player movement beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders the progress of an eligible player of such player’s opportunity to catch the ball. Offensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is snapped until the ball is touched. Defensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is thrown until the ball is touched.

    Actions that constitute defensive pass interference include but are not limited to:

    (a) Contact by a defender who is not playing the ball and such contact restricts the receiver’s opportunity to make the catch.

    (b) Playing through the back of a receiver in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

    (c) Grabbing a receiver’s arm(s) in such a manner that restricts his opportunity to catch a pass.

    (d) Extending an arm across the body of a receiver thus restricting his ability to catch a pass, regardless of whether the defender is playing the ball.

    (e) Cutting off the path of a receiver by making contact with him without playing the ball.

    …looks pretty clear that the Panthers were in violation of (a) and (e).

    Regardless of whether it was PI or Illegal contact, there should’ve been another play. The fact that the ball *may* have been underthrown is irrelevant.

  62. Now let the Pats have a call like this go against them in an AFC Championship game. Then they’ll know how the rest of the country felt when Oakland was robbed blind.
    \***************************************

    I LOVE how the Oakland fans always forget the 76 AFC playoff game where Oakland bet the Patriots due to a blown call. So I’d say Oakland and New England are even in the karma category.

  63. honkeyt says: Tuck rule won you a Superbowl. Let it go.

    Actually the Patriots team won that Superbowl. Let it go.

  64. @Ridley Me People

    Don’t know your background but I had mass communication law as an undergraduate and a graduate seminar on press freedom taught by a law school professor who taught press law to law school students. I also have 20+ years as a practicing journalist.

    People who are public figures, such as athletes, actors, singers and referees, are subject to “fair comment and criticism” not only by journalists but anyone.

    The coach does not work for the NFL. He works for a specific team. The NFL fines coaches and players who exercise their constitutional right to make fair comment and criticism about public figures. This is a civil matter, not criminal.

    You can criticize the referee. You can criticize the coach. You can criticize a TV sports analyst or the person who wrote this article. And it is all protected First Amendment speech upheld by the courts.

    The NFL, NBA, other pro sports and college conferences have similar rules. Unless a coach is willing to not coach for a few years while a civil lawsuit makes its way through the courts, no coach is likely to challenge the constitutionality of that rule.

  65. That was pass interference, bottom line. The ball wasn’t even there yet when Gronk got wrapped up, so it doesn’t matter whether the pass was catchable or not. Not only that, but if Gronk doesn’t get bear-hugged he could have cut back and caught the ball. You can hate Tom Brady, BB, and the Patriots all you want but that was horrendous officiating. If you disagree, read the rule book as hopefully you’ll realize how biased you are.

  66. honkeyt says: Tuck rule won you a Superbowl. Let it go.

    ——————————

    I wasnt aware you could win the Superbowl in the wildcard round? Esp having to kick two FGs in the snow after that just to win.

    You probably dont remember them playing the steelers cause you probably barely watched football at that age.

  67. I have no dog in this fight so I’m objective. That was pass interference. Patriots DB was flagged on the Panther’s game winning drive for doing the same thing-holding the arms of the WR. So the guy was holding Gronks arms and impeding his path to come back to the ball. How can that not be PI? Refs made a bad call. The NFL players and coaches commentating post game all agreed.

  68. PI on underthrown deep balls is a pox on the NFL. It’s a massive reward for a poor throw by the QB. Just throw it short, have the WR flop, get 40 yards.

  69. In related news, upon further review of the Kennedy Assassination files are part of the 50th anniversary of the investigation, the CIA has determined that Oswald in fact did not interfere with Kennedy.

  70. Another thought is that the official who overruled the official who threw the flag maybe didn’t fully see the contact by defenders if he was more focused on the catchability of the ball. Why doesn’t the first official argue his point stronger? Since Gronk got taken away from the ball it made it appear more uncatchable than it actually could have been so the overruling official must not have seen all facets of the play and was overly fixated on the catchability of the ball. Now why didn’t the flag throwing official argue “hey it wasn’t catchable because of the interference by the defender” or was he just told to shut his pie hole by the senior official? Not sure how they manage that if all officials have equal say or in what scenereos they have a say? It would be great to hear these ref conversations and how they occur in real time… Fat chance of that happening!

  71. Can we all just agree that the NFL has been ruined by all of the over-officiating going on over the past few years? The fact that every game seems to come down to some questionable interpretation of what we all thought was the rule but wasn’t is the big problem here. It’s literally become the NBA out there with all of these questionable soft calls. I’m a Pats fan and I think the pass was uncatchable and would rather lose legit than win cheap.

  72. chiadam says: Nov 19, 2013 8:12 AM

    Now let the Pats have a call like this go against them in an AFC Championship game. Then they’ll know how the rest of the country felt when Oakland was robbed blind.
    ___
    Contrary to popular belief, that game was NOT the AFC Championship Game. It was the 2nd round of the playoffs. Raiders fans love saying they were screwed out of a SB, yet they still would have had to win AT Pittsburgh who was the #1 seed to get to the SB. Smh.

  73. Why does everyone hate the patriots so much? I mean they dominate us pretty much everytime we ay…but even as a football fan i have nothing but respect for them. The coach is exactlly what every other team in the NFL would want. And Brady the same. Guy comes out, does his job, never says negative stuff, blames himself, shows emotion during games, his work ethic is 2nd to none.

  74. @scyankee9999.
    The situation involving NFL employment free speech and a homeowners association are entirely different and also involve different laws.

    If you choose to buy a house in a subdivision that has a HOA, you are voluntarily agreeing to follow HOA rules that generally flow from land use planning and police powers. A HOA can prohibit ALL yard signs (yard sales, home for sale, political signs, etc.) but if they try to prohibit a certain category (political signs for example) they generally will be overruled in court if challenged.

    Workplace rules are different, especially in what is tantamount to a monopoly. If I don’t like a rule at a newspaper, for example, I have the opportunity to apply at thousands of newspapers.

    There are only 32 NFL teams with a finite # of coaching jobs. In effect if you wish to coach in the NFL you are coerced into following the prohibition against criticism of officials. That rule was established decades ago to “protect the integrity of the game.”

    Officials blow calls. If criticizing officials really undermined the integrity of the game, TV contracts would prohibit commentators or ex officials from doing so.

  75. Wow – objectively horrible call. The ball was underthrown and the receiver was trying to adjust – the defender who drove him off the ball had no idea where the ball was and was actually driving the receiver away from the ball (the only way to justify the contact would be if contact occured as the defender also moved toward the ball as both have the same right to the ball in flight). The interception was made by another defender who was further from the ball at the time of contact than the receiver so to say the receiver had no shot at the ball without the interference is not reasonable. Bad calls happen now and then, really really bad calls should happen rarely. This was a really really bad call.

  76. It was a great game.

    Pats can absorb the non-conference loss.

    The Panthers were obviously happy they could slug it with the Pats and win, let them have it, they earned it.

    A healthy Dennard and Talib will fix what ails the defense.

  77. I’ll never forget the elation I saw on Bill Belichick’s face after a close win over the Saints a few weeks ago. It was memorable because we rarely see BB smiling.

    Us Saints fans were not smiling, though because of a no-call holding penalty that enable Brady to throw that winning TD. There’s nothing worse–for any team–than to lose a game on a questionable play.

    So, in big boy style, BB knows he has no right to complain when he is on the receiving end of a no-call at the end of a close game. I give him credit for wisely realizing that that’s the way the cookie crumbles. (Sucks, don’t it Bill?)

  78. I love how when the Pats lose people always say that “it’s in the rule book so get over it,” or ” stop whining Pats fans.” But when it’s the Pats who win all everyone does is whine and say the rules are fixed for the Pats. You have to love the double standard. Haters and hypocrites. Explain that.

  79. 2007
    “Undefeated” Pats vs. 5-11 Ravens

    1:48 to play. Ravens ahead.
    Pats 4th and 1
    Ravens sack Brady-game over.
    WAIT!

    The refs permit Ravens asst. coach Ryan to call a time out and negate the play.
    The rules say only the HC (Billick) or a player on the field can call a time out.

    Doesn’t matter-the Pats must win.
    Not a judgement call like last night-flat out cheating by the refs.
    Oh well its was only the Ravens.

  80. I don’t hear all these Pat fans talking about the noncall with the leg whip on Charles Johnson. They scored 17 of their points with him off the field. You got beat get over it. Maybe this was a small consolation for you cheating the Panthers out if a Super Bowl !!!

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