Thursday, December 22, 2022

Patriots $37.5 million TE calls officers over missed call

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The New England Patriots failed to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12, but a call could have changed the course of the game.

In the third quarter of the Thanksgiving game, Hunter Henry seemed to have caught a touchdown, but the officiating team thought differently. After watching the replay review, the acting crew picked up the call.

A touchdown would have given the Patriots a 30-23 lead assuming a successful point-after-try. Instead, they settled for a 25-yard field goal.

After the 33:26 loss, Henry seemed to disagree with the officials’ call.

“I think I caught it,” said Henry. “He said it hit the ground. But I think my hand was under the ball. The hand was under the ball when it hit the ground, which made it bounce.

“You called. I just have to live with it.”

After the controversial call, acting NFL Vice President Walt Anderson explained the lifted call in a pool report.

“He went down, the ball eventually hit the ground and then he lost control of the ball in his hands,” Anderson said.

The Committee Vice-President then went on to explain why Henry didn’t have possession to negate the ground’s influence on the ball.

“Because if he goes down, he has to keep control of the ball when it hits the ground,” Anderson said. “The common term is ‘surviving the ground’… he has the elements biped and control, but because he’s going down he has to keep control of the ball.”

And that despite the fact that Henry had two hands on the ball.

“Had he controlled the ball with two hands, that would still have been a catch even if the ball hit the ground,” Anderson concluded.

While there’s no doubt the call impacted the game, New England quarterback Mac Jones said the Patriots had other chances to win the game.

“We have to keep going [overturned] play and play the rest of the game. There was still a lot of time,” Jones said. “There were other times we could have entered it and that wouldn’t have been a problem. A phone call cannot determine the outcome. We have to be able to do better, so it’s not even close.”

Bill Belichick also addressed the implications of the call in a news conference Friday.

“I don’t know,” said the head coach. “It’s a four-point game. I do not know. A lot of other things happened besides that.”

Still, it was an impressive performance for Jones, who threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns on 28 of 39 passes as the Patriots fell 33-26 to the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving.

Jones was asked by reporters after the loss if it was his best performance of 2022.

“Yeah, like I said, I think we all played with effort and toughness, and that’s all you could ask for,” the quarterback said. “I want to be able to score more points and win the game, so that’s all that matters to me. All we care about is winning and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Bill Belichick also addressed the implications of the call in a news conference Friday.

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