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Flag controversy gives cover for bad route or bad throw

Brady Reuters

Quarterback Tom Brady dramatically changed his tone and demeanor from the moment he was leaving the playing field on Monday night until the time he stepped to the post-game podium.  Perhaps for good reason.

The sight of tight end Rob Gronkowski being mugged at the back of the end zone by linebacker Luke Kuechly coupled with a flag thrown but then picked up created the visceral sense that the Pats had been screwed.  Brady displayed that mindset by chewing out referee Clete Blakeman as both were leaving the field.

Still, the final outcome fell into the gray area of “uncatchable” discretion, either because Gronkowski failed to stop at the goal line or because Brady badly underthrew his oversized tight end.

There’s a chance Gronkowski simply ran the wrong route.  There’s also a chance that Brady simply didn’t deliver the ball where it should have been.  If, for example, the pass had hit Kuechly in the back as he was getting intimately acquainted with Gronkowski, it would have been a no-brainer.  But with Robert Lester undercutting Gronkowski’s path to the goal post and intercepting a pass that Gronkowski could have gotten only if he’d gotten around Kuechly and through Lester, the chances of a no-call increased.

So while the football-watching world continues to debate whether the pass was indeed uncatchable, let’s not forget that, unless Gronk simply ran the wrong route, one guy could have made the pass a lot more catchable.  But he seems to be getting a pass for that.

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79 Responses to “Flag controversy gives cover for bad route or bad throw”
  1. kperagine says: Nov 20, 2013 8:39 AM

    Gronk would have gotten the call if he even attempted to come back to the UNDERTHROWN ball but instead he just drifted into the back of the endzone.

  2. pksullivanmha says: Nov 20, 2013 8:40 AM

    Doesn’t he always?@footballady52🏈

  3. joetoronto says: Nov 20, 2013 8:40 AM

    It was just a bad throw, we’re seeing more and more of them from Brady lately.

    Much like the infamous bad throw to Welker when Pats fans said it was a drop, it was behind Welker and high.

  4. brocattosbasement says: Nov 20, 2013 8:41 AM

    I’m not a Patriots fan, but how can people keep saying the ball was uncatchable? Somebody caught it! Gronk was bear hugged and pushed backwards, if not he may have made a shoestring catch. You can’t call a ball “uncatchable” if someone catchs it!

  5. youvebeenphaneufed says: Nov 20, 2013 8:44 AM

    Thank you

  6. bunkerdaddy says: Nov 20, 2013 8:44 AM

    Mike,

    Not a fan of either club, but puzzled by the “uncatchable” argument. As I saw it, the pass was thrown into the field of play, in the direction (generally) of Gronkowski. There are two ways it should be considered.
    1. Disregard Lester. Had he not been there and had Gronkowski not been interfered with, could Gronkowski have made a play on the ball?
    2. Include Lester. If Lester had bobbled the catch and Gronkowski had not been interfered with, is it possible that Gronkowski could make a play on the ball after it was bobbled.

    In either case, it seems that it would be impossible to “rule” that the ball was CLEARLY UNCATCHABLE, which is the standard.

    Question: if Lester had bobbled the ball into the air, would there be any chance that they pick up the flag? If the answer to that is NO, then the absurdity of calling the ball uncatchable is clear.

  7. enochmh2 says: Nov 20, 2013 8:45 AM

    A bear hug isn’t holding? I mean even when qbs are sacked holding calls are still applicable let alone when the ball is thrown

  8. cgsuddeath says: Nov 20, 2013 8:47 AM

    Thank you for making sense out of this ridiculous controversy

  9. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 20, 2013 8:48 AM

    brady was hoping the fans and media would blame it on innocent Wes Welker…. AGAIN.

  10. gf2711 says: Nov 20, 2013 8:57 AM

    Has anyone considered that maybe Brady threw it there purposely to try and INDUCE a penalty?

    They’ll never admit it, but I think Gronk’s assignment was to sell a call and instead he just stood there.

  11. seabreezes51 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:00 AM

    My guess is that play was run not to score, but to draw the penalty.

  12. cb2gbequalssb says: Nov 20, 2013 9:01 AM

    Terrible Throw, Good flag pick up.

  13. metalhead65 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:01 AM

    bad throw or not he had no chance to catch it because he was being held! if not for the interference by kuechly he would have had a chance to try and make a play on the ball. the bottom line was the ref thought he was and threw the flag only to be talked out of it by the other refs.

  14. jetsmmt says: Nov 20, 2013 9:02 AM

    I think it would be hard for gronk to catch the ball once it was intercepted. Just saying.

  15. therealtruth210 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:02 AM

    I really wish patriots fan would comment without saying they are NOT a patriots when we all know you really are.

    For all the years of cheating and the tuck rule you are still owed a lot more bad karma. And not having won a super bowl since you got caught cheating basically proves that theory. Especially with the 18-0. That to me was the biggest choke in any sport of all time

  16. marvsleezy says: Nov 20, 2013 9:03 AM

    Brady already came out and said he was indecisive and didn’t want to throw it out of the back of the end zone. There was no wrong route. Do your research.

  17. morbidtaint says: Nov 20, 2013 9:04 AM

    I keep hearing people say “well what if luke kuechly and robert lester weren’t there” then could he have caught the ball? Yes, if there were no defenders he would have a small chance of diving forward and catching the ball assuming he could get his footing. However, that argument doesn’t make any sense because they were in fact THERE and since they were THERE the ball was uncatchable because it was intercepted well short of where gronkowski was located. The interception 5 yards in front of Gronk is what makes it an uncatchable ball.

  18. panthers34 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:07 AM

    Gerry Austin pretty much admitted they ref differently late in the game. That was refreshing. The Patriots had gotten a fresh set of downs a couple of plays ago. They didn’t want to give them a second flag on the road. Sucks? Yeah. Over two years we were 2-14 in one score games, mostly due to crazy stuff like this. But hey, make a stop on 3rd down.

  19. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 20, 2013 9:10 AM

    Lester OWNED tom brady.

  20. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:10 AM

    bunkerdaddy:

    1. this is a hypothetical and can be dismissed; the presence of Lester is real and legitimate
    2. because it was catchable (and caught!) by one player (particularly on the other team) doesn’t mean it was catchable by the intended receiver. (Consider this hypothetical (I know): Gronk is ten yards out, Brady overthrows him by 20 yards, there’s a deep safety lurking deep, he catches it — are you saying that because the safety was able to catch it, it was therefore catchable by Gronk even though Brady overthrew him by 20 yards? That is not logical in the least!
    3. conversely, it seems perfectly logical to call a ball that is caught before the receiver would have been able to catch the ball uncatchable. If a ball has already been caught, it is clearly no longer catchable. The hypothetical of it being bobbled or batted is moot. It wasn’t. It was caught by Lester. How can a ball caught by someone else 3 yards in front of Gronk still be a catchable ball?

  21. mykpfsu says: Nov 20, 2013 9:10 AM

    May have not been a perfect throw. But it wasn’t horrible either. FLorio seems to want to ignore the fact the route Gronk was running was interfered with by Keulchy, so Gronk was forced further away from where the ball landed. Even after Keulchy’s interference, the ball probably hits Gronk in the shins.

  22. surfinbird1 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:13 AM

    Please name me one Patriot that is whining or complaining. They have moved on. Why doesn’t everybody else. We’ve pretty much beat this one to death. Who wants yesterdays papers.

  23. flash1283 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:13 AM

    For all the years of cheating and the tuck rule you are still owed a lot more bad karma. And not having won a super bowl since you got caught cheating basically proves that theory. Especially with the 18-0. That to me was the biggest choke in any sport of all time


    First anyone who uses the word “karma” is an idiot!

    But I’ll play along, If it was not called because of “karma” what did the Raiders do to get bad “karma” put on them to be such a crappy team since the tuck rule?

  24. heisthejuan says: Nov 20, 2013 9:15 AM

    I’m a Pats fan. Not sure the pass was catchable, but Gronk definitely got mugged a little bit.

    Regardless the Pats killed themselves enough times in that game that it’s pretty absurd to think the game hinged on this. Even if the flag wasn’t picked up, they still would have needed to make another play to win. The Panthers beat the Pats, not the officials.

  25. bostonian13 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:15 AM

    So a “bad throw” isn’t catchable?!? Oh ok. When you watch and pay attention to replays you can see Gronk trying to make a slight cut but was immediately bear hugged. Even if it would never have been caught it still should’ve been called, he was pushed out of the play. You know, interfered with. The writers on this site and it’s commenters just love bashing the Patriots and their fans whenever they lose. It’s like Christmas for you people, but when we win, “Brady gets it done”. The patriots aren’t a superhuman team, we do lose. It goes from “great game but controversial” to pointing out Brady’s mistakes. Why not talk about some dropped passes or some Cam Newton over throws?! Oh ok.

  26. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:16 AM

    “the bottom line was the ref thought he was and threw the flag only to be talked out of it by the other refs.”

    People need to stop saying this. The officials deliberating is like a jury room. We don’t know what was discussed, who was more forceful, who agreed with who, who deferred to who, who changed their mind, or why. For all we know, it’s just as likely that the official erred on the side of caution, preferring the circumstance to throw the flag, review it in conversation, and then pick it up to the alternative of not throwing it and having an even more controversial late flag after review with his colleagues. The entire decision making process may have been with the one official: “I saw the contact, but I don’t think it was catchable, I threw the flag just in case, but I want to pick it up — do you guys agree? did I miss anything? No? Okay, no flag!”

    Projecting that he was overruled by someone while asserting he wanted a DPI is not supported by any evidence in the least.

  27. leatherhead9 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:18 AM

    Here’s my contention.

    Here is the NFL definition of a leg whip penalty

    “An illegal play in football in which a player swings his leg horizontally in an attempt to make contact with an opposing player’s leg. The leg whip was banned due to the likelihood of injury occurring because of the awkward contact with the leg. It is considered an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction and is penalized 15 yards. In extreme cases where intent to injure is possible, the offending player may be ejected.”

    The leg whip on Charles Johnson is indisputable and not throwing the flag on this missed penalty is as equal to a blown call as throwing the flag on the last play and picking it up.

    So, if the refs got the leg whip right, the Patriots would have had 15 more yards to gain, essentially eliminating the final three seconds, and the last play never would have occurred to begin with.

  28. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 20, 2013 9:18 AM

    Like I said two days ago…. even if Gronk is undefended…. he would have to come back to the ball 3-4 yards and climb on Lester’s back…. JUST TO KNOCK THE BALL OUT OF HIS HANDS.

  29. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:21 AM

    “My guess is that play was run not to score, but to draw the penalty.”

    Six seconds left with one chance to win and you think Belichick gambled that the other team would make a mistake and give them a win versus having faith in the team’s ability to win the game on its own? Seriously? Clearly any excuse will do.

  30. lastcenturion83 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:21 AM

    “mykpfsu says: Nov 20, 2013 9:10 AM

    May have not been a perfect throw. But it wasn’t horrible either. FLorio seems to want to ignore the fact the route Gronk was running was interfered with by Keulchy, so Gronk was forced further away from where the ball landed. Even after Keulchy’s interference, the ball probably hits Gronk in the shins.”

    No it hits Lester in the chest.

  31. heisthejuan says: Nov 20, 2013 9:21 AM

    @leatherhead9

    Didn’t the leg whip play happen in the first half?

  32. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:25 AM

    “Didn’t the leg whip play happen in the first half?”

    Yes, so it wouldn’t have eliminated 15 seconds from the 2nd quarter. However, it may have eliminated Gronk’s first TD!

  33. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Nov 20, 2013 9:25 AM

    Wow finally someone who doesn’t simply give the media’s golden boy a pass for the terrible throw he made.
    There is no doubt that the throw was way short but you would be hard pressed to read this fact anywhere else in the media.
    I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved seeing Brady on the verge of tears running off the field while whining to the ref as if that was going to change his mind and he was going to run back out onto the field and change the call.
    Then again maybe Brady’s sense of entitlement actually caused him to think this was possible.

  34. red26sox says: Nov 20, 2013 9:26 AM

    Every seems to be forgetting this play on the Panthers’ last drive:
    3-7-NE 36(2:06) (Shotgun) 1-C.Newton pass incomplete short left to 88-G.Olsen. PENALTY on NE-32-D.McCourty, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at NE 36 – No Play.

    That ball was uncatchable and yet instead of being forced to kick a long field goal, the Panthers get a first down.

  35. leatherhead9 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:26 AM

    Leg whip occurred early in the third quarter.

  36. laxcoach37 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:30 AM

    For the record, I think it was a Bad Call. Now back to reality….

    The Patriots finally got a Bad Call AGAINST them. Welcome to the Real NFL. As a fan of the Dolphins who suffer these calls almost every week, sorry live with it; every other fan has to.

  37. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:31 AM

    “Didn’t the leg whip play happen in the first half?”

    Yes, so it wouldn’t have eliminated 15 seconds from the 2nd quarter. However, it may have eliminated Gronk’s first TD!”

    My bad… memory playing tricks… No, it was the 3rd quarter and it kept the drive that led to Gronk’s TD going (can’t recall nor have the time to track down down and distance at the moment). So, yes, it would have likely ticked time off the clock and may have cost the Pat’s a TD.

  38. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:32 AM

    “Every seems to be forgetting this play on the Panthers’ last drive…”

    No, we aren’t; you seem to not know what constitutes holding however.

  39. sfm073 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:34 AM

    I guess tipped balls never happen in the nfl. IMO you can’t assume the player was going to make a an interception. If gronk wasn’t held maybe he could’ve broken up the pass and avoided the interception.

  40. newagerocker says: Nov 20, 2013 9:36 AM

    I can not WAIT until The Patriots are irrelevant once again. God forbid everything doesn’t go their way all the time. Get over it already. You did not get the call. You did not do enough to win the game. You lost, deal with it. I’m not even a Panthers fan. I’m just tired of all the crying in football anymore.

  41. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:38 AM

    “IMO you can’t assume the player was going to make a an interception.”

    No one has to assume that he makes the interception. He DID make the interception.

    People aren’t making the claim that is was uncatchable on a hypothetical. People who are making the claim that it was catchable are. It’s you that’s making an assumption.

  42. bunkerdaddy says: Nov 20, 2013 9:40 AM

    On disregarding Lester, it seems that is in fact the rule. The fact that another defender intercepts has nothing to do with whether the pass was “clearly uncatchable”.

  43. tfaulk says: Nov 20, 2013 9:42 AM

    “It goes from “great game but controversial” to pointing out Brady’s mistakes. Why not talk about some dropped passes or some Cam Newton over throws?! Oh ok.”

    The Patriots had a chance to win and the poor play cost them the game. The Panthers won. Do you think people actually think Cam was flawless or do you think it’s more likely that it’s tedious and pointless to criticize any individual poor play in a game that was won?

  44. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 20, 2013 9:43 AM

    Anyway you stack it…. Lester had already broken off coverage of Gronk and got between Gronk and the ball before Kuechly even touched him.

    The fact of the matter…. Rivera/McDermott/Carolina Defense OWNED tom brady, belichick, and the patriots.

    Lester broke off and won it.

  45. heisthejuan says: Nov 20, 2013 9:44 AM

    newagerocker says: Nov 20, 2013 9:36 AM

    I can not WAIT until The Patriots are irrelevant once again.
    =====================================

    At least the 1,000th time I’ve read this in the past 10 years. It ain’t happening any time soon. Even after Brady and Belichick go, the Kraft family are a legit ownership group. So you’ll probably be dead before the Pats go back to irrelevance. Hope that doesn’t ruin the afterlife as much as it seems to be ruining your current one.

  46. scroton says: Nov 20, 2013 9:46 AM

    “Has anyone considered that maybe Brady threw it there purposely to try and INDUCE a penalty?

    They’ll never admit it, but I think Gronk’s assignment was to sell a call and instead he just stood there.”

    ______________________________

    Right on. Said this yesterday. Brady wanted to go from the one.

  47. aphoticapex says: Nov 20, 2013 9:51 AM

    The ball was well under thrown and picked off. Gronk, no matter if Luke K would have been on him like a backpack, made no attempt to make a play on the ball. He continued to just drift to the back of the end zone. NFL Network recently played a game from 2009 that was a Colts vs Pats game. Collie had jumped into the defender and drew the flag and a sustained call. Had Gronk made any move toward the ball, the call would have stood and maybe the game would have ended with a Pats score. I can’t be bitter though, I’m very excited that the Panthers are doing well this season.

  48. red26sox says: Nov 20, 2013 9:53 AM

    “Anyway you stack it…. Lester had already broken off coverage of Gronk and got between Gronk and the ball before Kuechly even touched him.

    The fact of the matter…. Rivera/McDermott/Carolina Defense OWNED tom brady, belichick, and the patriots.

    Lester broke off and won it.”

    If owning the Pats at home means being outgained by 90 yards. You got it junior. Let’s not forget this Carolina team lost to Buffalo.

  49. lorcanbonda says: Nov 20, 2013 9:55 AM

    This was a bad route by Gronkowski, but he had turned around to come back to the ball. It was a traditional buttonhook pattern Instead, Kuechly wrapped his arms around him a pushed him back into the endzone. Which is interference.

    Had he stood there, and not let Gronkowski get back to the ball. Then it would not be — Gronkowskli probably would not have gotten back to the ball, but the “uncatchable” ruling is not supposed to depend on probably.

  50. sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 9:57 AM

    It was not catchable for three reasons:

    (1) Gronk didn’t try to catch it; to catch it, he had to plant his foot and try to go back for the ball, not give up on the play; by not trying, there is no judgment call to make; Gronk took himself out of the play; Gronk’s own momentum took him to the back of the endzone; the Car LB did not force Gronk to go into Randy Moss mode; Gronk gave up on the play possibly, indeed likely, b/c the pass was under thrown and there were DBs in position to pic it; the Ref should not 2nd guess Gronk’s decision to give up on the play;

    (2) had Gronk tried to catch the ball, that’s when the Ref is to make a judgment call of whether Gronk might have been able to catch it but for the interference; this decision implicates the physics of the play, which are being debated based on pure speculation b/c Gronk did not try; regardless, that is not the end of the analysis;

    (3) the Ref had to determine whether the ball was catchable under the circumstance, which included at least one DB 3 yards in front of Gronk in perfect position for the pic; the ball is not catchable if Gronk can’t compete for the under thrown ball, even if he tried and could defy physics; but for the interference, could Gronk have gotten into position to affect the other DB’s play on the ball; or, does the DB still do the exact same thing: be in position, untouched, to pic the ball?

    It was a good no call for all three reasons, not even counting the fact that it was the last play of the game. It does not become a bad call just b/c an argument can be made that Gronk could have defied physics and caught the ball had he tried, was not interfered with, and the other team was not on the field.

  51. lorraine1981 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:59 AM

    Pat’s have said a dozen times that they want to move on from this. So why does PFT keep talking about this??? Because it’s the Pat’s & the media loves to over blow everything they do. So sick of the ” spy-gate” B.S. Posts. EVERY TEAM taped. Pat’s won their Superbowl’s because they were a good team. Brady is a HOF. Pat’s have been to every playoff game since so called “spy-gate” btw, media needs to leave Brady alone. The guy has all the respect from his team. Even members that have left say how great of a leader he is. Just because he get’s emotional over BAD calls means nothing. Look up Manning’s crying face in the all the playoff’s games he’s lost. Its pretty priceless…

  52. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 20, 2013 10:00 AM

    This points to one outstanding thing about this is why didn’t Gronkowski fight harder to come back to the ball? It was a half hearted effort, which another announcer mentions during the highlights of the weekend. Maybe he expected it to be a higher throw? If he fought more to compete for the pass then it wouldn’t have been so borderline & he probably would have gotten the interference call.

  53. whigham25 says: Nov 20, 2013 10:01 AM

    First off I am a Patriots fan and proud of it. Its funny to me how fans of other teams will say this is all “karma” or whatever. Plain and simple this was a blown call, that was the definition of Pass Interference, Kuechly wrapped Gronk up and basically ran him out of the endzone, there is no question the ball was catchable, everyone made a big deal about the penalty in the Jets game (which had never been called before, hasn’t been called since) that it was a legitimate rule and Pats fans need to quit whining about it, after all the tuck rule was a rule too…blah blah….so in keeping with that arguement, Pass Interference is a rule, and should have been called, it was called and then magicially disappeared. There is a blatant bias towards the Patriots this year and its evident in some of the calls that have been made. I apologize to Steelers and Jets fans for using big words to get my point across.

  54. edgerules says: Nov 20, 2013 10:02 AM

    Yes. I pull for the Pats. I have moved on. The Pats have moved on. Only the Pats haters have not. Whatever floats your boat.

    Talking about Karma. Regardless of the team’s SB drought, how long as it been since the Raiders’ been in the playoffs again? How long has it been since the Raiders been IN a SB, no less WON ONE.

    Steelers are in a drought. So are the Jets.

    At least the Pats are playoff contenders every year.

    Just saying.

  55. jpb12 says: Nov 20, 2013 10:02 AM

    Somebody caught it.

  56. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 20, 2013 10:05 AM

    This points to one outstanding thing about this is why didn’t Gronkowski fight harder to come back to the ball? It was a half hearted effort, which another announcer mentions during the highlights of the weekend. Maybe he expected it to be a higher throw? If he fought more to compete for the pass then it wouldn’t have been so borderline & he probably would have gotten the interference call.

    +++++++++++++

    And then it would make sense why Brady took responsibility for needing to have had a better throw in that situation.

  57. thundastormz says: Nov 20, 2013 10:15 AM

    There was a 0% chance of Gronk making the catch. It was picked off almost 10 yards in front of him. The only argument you could make is that without the contact Gronk could have been in a different area and even then its holding so a 5 yard penalty. Brady has one shot from the Panthers 13 yard line. Panthers defense gets better and better the further they are backed up anyways. My point is even with a holding call Patriots probably still would have lost. They act like they had the game stolen when in reality they had maaaaaybe one more chance to try.

  58. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 20, 2013 10:18 AM

    OWNING…. is WINNING.

  59. neatz says: Nov 20, 2013 10:20 AM

    What NFL is Saying is that its Ok to MUG or bearhug any receiver as long as you have another Player who can make sure that the ball will not reach the receiver…lets see how many muggings this will start….DC are given a great way out now// lookout Megatron, AJ and Mr Royalty’s wide receivers…you about to get your ass kicked

  60. sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 10:36 AM

    No, what they are saying is there are and should be no gifts. Refs should not bail teams out, particularly on te last play of the game.

  61. meatsweat says: Nov 20, 2013 10:43 AM

    Bad call. Pats got screwed. Let’s move on.

  62. heisthejuan says: Nov 20, 2013 10:52 AM

    sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 10:36 AM

    No, what they are saying is there are and should be no gifts. Refs should not bail teams out, particularly on te last play of the game.
    =====================================

    Like at the end of the Pats/Jets game when the officials bailed out the Jets with a flag that was the first and only time that penalty has been called in the history of the NFL?

  63. demons87 says: Nov 20, 2013 10:57 AM

    To all those people saying arguing that there was no interference, would you have thought the same thing if your player being the one that was held.

    Putting the shoe on the other foot, if my team had gotten away with the PI. I might have tried to defend the call saying it was uncatchable but inside I still would have felt a little sheepish about doing it. I would be happy we got away with one, but a little upset that we were denied from really being able to celebrate it because of the cloud over the win.

  64. jbaxt says: Nov 20, 2013 10:59 AM

    If the pass isn’t intercepted it lands at Gronjs feet, like literally could’ve hit his foot. We’re supposed to believe an nfl player couldn’t fall to the ground and catch a ball at his feet? You know, like we see every week? Good flag, horrible reversal.

  65. pftwstbshmc says: Nov 20, 2013 10:59 AM

    So when are you guys on this site going to let science decide this? It was done you know. The guys over at ESPN did an analysis of the whole play on their “Sports Science” show and concluded what Brady said to the ref after the game. The non-call was “f-ing B.S.” And I am quoting the segment of the show.

    Whatever they want to say or whatever anyone wants to think, science proves that the Patriots got screwed – PERIOD!

    There is no further debate.

    So when are refs going to start getting fined is all I want to know now.

  66. captainspangled says: Nov 20, 2013 11:01 AM

    Lol the people saying “zomg ignore Lester! look at kuechly! stop worrying about lester” are demonstrating just how limited their understanding of the situation actually is.

    Lester intercepting the ball, PER THE OFFICIAL LEAGUE PLAYING RULES, is the EXACT reason why the flag wasnt appropriate. THAT is the rule.

    Try this one on for size Patms apologists:

    If Brady’s pass hadnt been so horridly underthrown, it wouldnt have been intercepted and therefore the flag WOULD HAVE OCCURED.

    but Brady wasnt clutch when it counted, threw a poor pass which was intercepted and therefore the ball was uncatchable, and the correct call was made in turn.

  67. jgedgar70 says: Nov 20, 2013 11:04 AM

    Yes, Kuechly held. But all the talk about Kuechly rendering Gronk incapable of moving cracks me up. Don’t you realize how much bigger Gronk is? I saved on my computer desktop the photo of Kuechly starting his hold. Gronk is a head taller than Kuechly. Yes, Kuechly’s a strong guy, but if Gronk wanted to stop his momentum toward the goal post, he could have. He didn’t. So no, I don’t see any way he could have got back to the ball, even if Kuechly wasn’t holding.

  68. sarcasm says: Nov 20, 2013 11:12 AM

    I’ll be up front. The Patriots are my 2nd most hated team.

    Carolina is my local team, though not my favorite team.

    With that said, the NFL would have saved themselves a lot of time & misery if they simply would have stated that the Pass Interference was off the table as soon Lester made contact with the ball. The Pass Interference rules ended when the non-offending defensive player touched the pass. Very similar had one of the DL had grazed the pass with a finger tip. There is no PI on a touched ball, unless the offending defender is the one that touches it.

    Furthermore, my main complaint would be that Clete Blakeman failed to make an announcement to the players on the field, teams/staff on the sideline and the fans in the stadium.

    This is where an Ed Hochuli narrative would have been well served.

    With the lack of such an announcement, I cannot find fault in Brady’s expletive filled rant toward Blakeman as he cowardly walked off the field.

  69. sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 11:17 AM

    heisthejuan says:Nov 20, 2013 10:52 AM

    sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 10:36 AM

    No, what they are saying is there are and should be no gifts. Refs should not bail teams out, particularly on the last play of the game.
    =====================================

    Like at the end of the Pats/Jets game when the officials bailed out the Jets with a flag that was the first and only time that penalty has been called in the history of the NFL?

    =====================================

    Yes and no. I agree with the sentiment but not the premise. The Refs got the uncatchable call right. The holding explanation, while technically correct (ball can’t be in flight for there to be holding), you see that call often. So, as to that part of the no call, I would agree with you.

  70. hen510 says: Nov 20, 2013 11:21 AM

    surfinbird1 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:13 AM

    Please name me one Patriot that is whining or complaining. They have moved on.

    So after the game was over and Brady was seen, and heard yelling at an official in the tunnel they weren’t talking about football ?

  71. dstroi says: Nov 20, 2013 11:21 AM

    @captainspangled, So what you’re saying is that the Kuechly bear hug is justified? Not a penalty no matter what? So this means that from here on out, hugging a player is allowed without a flag regardless if the ball is underthrown, overthrown or hummed into the stands? The only people that are complaining about this still are the butt hurt Patriot hater’s who constantly want to bring up “spygate”, “tuck rule karma” and so on. Doesn’t it get old for you people? The Patriots continue to win and go to the playoffs almost every year since “spygate” (mind you, that teams use this same technique but never caught, but since it’s the Patriots, the haters cream their pants over it. You still have to go out there and beat the team. The camera doesn’t play the game.) All of this Brady crys and other mindless rhetoric is comical. It just leads to believe that your teams are incapable to win with the quarterback that you have so you just envy Brady and how he prepares for every game every week. If it’s not Peyton or Drew Brees, then who else would you have to back your team? The bottom line here is the Pats lost fair and square. Carolina is a legit team and I happen to like Cam Newton’s game, but to say that they “owned” the Pats in this game is obsurd. Did you guys watch the same game? Both teams played very well minus a Riddley fumble and one team had to win. Wasn’t a blow out by any means. The only question I have to the hater’s on this thread is this: Was the hold on Gronkowski a penalty? Yes or No? If it was anyone on your respected teams, would you say the same if the answer is no? One last thing, to say the ball was “uncatchable” is pretty much implying that you can see the future of any outcome that is to happen?

  72. sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 11:26 AM

    pftwstbshmc says:Nov 20, 2013 10:59 AM

    So when are you guys on this site going to let science decide this? It was done you know. The guys over at ESPN did an analysis of the whole play on their “Sports Science” show and concluded what Brady said to the ref after the game. The non-call was “f-ing B.S.” And I am quoting the segment of the show.

    Whatever they want to say or whatever anyone wants to think, science proves that the Patriots got screwed – PERIOD!

    There is no further debate.

    ======================================

    That show only addressed one part of the 3-part analysts. It ignored the significance of Gronk giving up on the play (think Tejada getting tripped rounding 3rd by the Red Sox, then giving up on running home and getting tagged out; correct no call for interference). Also ignores the circumstances of the game, including that there was a DB in perfect position for the pic. Even if Gronk tries and defies gravity, no way he even competes for the ball. But, of course, that is pure speculation b/c Gronk didn’t even try.

    No basis to second guess why Gronk gave up or to excuse him for doing so. No basis to take the pic away from Car b/c Gronk was too far from an underthrown pass and going the wrong way by his own volition.

  73. sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 11:32 AM

    demons87 says:Nov 20, 2013 10:57 AM

    To all those people saying arguing that there was no interference, would you have thought the same thing if your player being the one that was held.

    Putting the shoe on the other foot, if my team had gotten away with the PI. I might have tried to defend the call saying it was uncatchable but inside I still would have felt a little sheepish about doing it. I would be happy we got away with one, but a little upset that we were denied from really being able to celebrate it because of the cloud over the win.

    =====================================

    Indeed, the shoe would be on the other foot . . . for both sides.

  74. sleetmiles says: Nov 20, 2013 11:34 AM

    dstroi says:Nov 20, 2013 11:21 AM

    @captainspangled, So what you’re saying is that the Kuechly bear hug is justified?

    ======================================

    No, just not a penalty. No harm, no foul. Come on, you get the concept.

  75. spfripp says: Nov 20, 2013 11:35 AM

    All I can say is that it is about time the Pats get a contraversal call go against them rather for them………Bring on the thumbs down Pats fans.

  76. captainspangled says: Nov 20, 2013 11:50 AM

    Lester, or any player making contact with the ball, negates any rule infraction. That is the rule. But people are so zeroed on the frozen ESPN image of Kuechly and Gronkowski that the actual rules are being disregarded.

    Once the pass was thrown, any rule other than pass interference was off the table. Once somebody touched the ball, pass interference could not be called. There was no flag that could have been thrown. None. Those are the rules.

    Again, if Brady’s pass had been better, Lester doesnt pick it off and the flag is thrown, but because Lester did, NOTHING ELSE THAT KUECHLY DID MATTERED.

  77. peymax1693 says: Nov 20, 2013 12:39 PM

    This was a sequence of events that exposed the unfortunate truth that no matter how hard the NFL tries, it will never have a perfect officiating system.

    1. Keuchly actions didn’t constitute holding because they occurred after the ball was in the air. That is a correct interpretation of the rule. Unfortunately, every week we all see holding called AFTER the ball is in the air.

    2. Keuchly interfered with Gronkowski, but the ball was uncatchable. According to the rule, it’s not pass interference if the pass was uncatchable. Again, the problem is that every week we see pass interference called in situations where the pass was clearly more uncatchable than it was Monday night.

    Thus, I have no doubt that a completely different officiating crew would not have picked up the flag.

    If multiple people can interpret the same sequence of events multiple ways, how can we ever expect uniformity in the enforcement of the rules?

  78. capegolfer says: Nov 20, 2013 12:44 PM

    If this play occurred in the first quarter there’s no doubt it would have been called PI. Refs blew it!

  79. redsoxu571 says: Nov 20, 2013 1:23 PM

    What a goofy argument…Brady isn’t getting a “pass”. If there hadn’t been any contact, nobody would be saying much of anything here. It wasn’t an easy throw, and Brady didn’t make a great throw, as would happen most of the time with most solid or better QBs in a final-seconds situation. We’re only talking about it because, in spite of the UNDERSTANDABLY bad throw, the Patriots still should have gotten another play.

    Also, why get caught up in catchable/uncatchable? The refs still could and should have at least called defensive holding. There was a penalty on the play, the question was “which penalty?”

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