Despite the Misleading Title, Even NFL Films (League Propaganda Machine) Admits The Patriots Got Screwed By the Refs Week 14 On NFL Turning Point
I say that lovingly. I am a diehard NFL films fan. RIPIP both Sabals. Guess who made that gif? Same guy who made this blog nbd.
The NFL blocks all videos on 3rd party sharing so you'll have to watch on youtube, it's 5:12 long and critical for context of this blog. I lead the horse to water, now drink up.
I try to not be a blame the refs guy. I'm evolving. I understand how hard it is to get things right 100% in real time, especially with how fast the game is played today! Despite the horrible second half officiating, the Patriots could've easily put themselves in a better spot in the first half where none this would've mattered. The blocked field goal, and 3 & out after starting a drive in KC territory after an Mahomes INT. (eerily similar situation to McCourty INT in Ravens 2014 playoff game) immediately come to mind. But I'm human. When they (the refs) fuck up enough to the point where their competence is in question I'm gonna complain. I don't want to say the fix was in, but when there are that many critical mistakes against the Patriots in key situations in the favor of an underdog it really makes me wonder (Maroon 5, 2007).
What pisses me off is when they fuck up even with replay. Why do we even have it? What's the point if you're not going to get the call right. No bullshit with replay there should never be a mistake. Don't even get me started on the PI rule... But I'm veering off course... That's what set off the domino effect, if I'm power ranking the egregiousness of each faux pas:
1. Not overturning the spot of the ball on Watkins catch.
I get it that these are rarely overturned because of how difficult it can be to have concrete evidence to tell at times. They say that in the booth all the time, how they're likely to let it stand....This one was clear as day. Sammy Watkins didn't have full control of the ball when he was initially hit.
Of all the things that went wrong this set everything else in motion. In an alternate reality where the referees and replay crew have 20/20 vision the Chiefs are now facing 4th and short and tough decisions to make. More importantly the Patriots retain their challenge and time out. Losing both proved to be critical later on.
2. Blowing the Gilmore potential scoop and score dead
Had Gilmore scored a touchdown (I think he would've) it would've closed the gap to 23-19 with an upcoming XP/2 point attempt with an entire quarter to play. Even if he got tackled the Patriots would've have fantastic field position.
These calls piss me off to no end. IMO they're a direct result of the NFL's push to take violence out of the game. The refs are at the point of being over zealous to blow plays dead. I swear sometimes you think they have a roll of quarters in their pocket when they grab for the whistle. This whole in the grasp bullshit and blowing fumbles dead are ruining the game. The Saints got fucked by one on a potential Cam Jordan scoop and score against the Rams earlier in the year that would've totally changed the game. I hate it. I understand trying to make the game safer and I am for doing it, but I've been saying it for years football is football. It's a violent game. There's only so much you can do before you completely alter the DNA of the game and turn it into something completely different. It sucks that things like the Ryan Shazer injury happened but let's be honest he used poor form and it was a freak play. We have to let plays play out. You can always overturn it with replay. It's like measure twice, cut once.
What really sucks is this could've been an all-time highlight in the potential Defensive Player of the Year campaign Stephon Gilmore has been putting up in 2019. Taken away because the refs have too much pride/not enough brains. I'm 100% serious here. Losing this totally hurts his chances.
3. Calling N'Keal Kerry out of bounds
What sucks is if the right call is made here, then on that final drive the Patriots only need a field goal to tie the game. A drive where down 4 they ended up turning it over on downs inside the 5 yard line. I know the Patriots field goal kicking has been a crap-shoot at best, but at that point I think they have the decent chance. Very well could've still lost although in a sort of reverse AFC Championship script they shut the Chiefs offense down in the second half.
Even though this is got the most talk on tv and radio this week I can understand the ref making a mistake. I mean sometimes there's just too much going on around you. Maybe you are too far away to know for sure?
No zoom from a few feet away. Green in between!
At that point the dominoes had all slammed to the ground. Can't review the play since the Patriots had no more challenges because of a failed challenge that should have been overturned. Ultimately settling for three here after clearly scoring a touchdown was the difference. Losing the game sucks, but on a much smaller scale in a year where Tom Brady is both chasing the all-time passing touchdown list....and, also....not having the most eye-popping season statistically, every touchdown counts.
It reminds me of a Sunday Night Baseball Game I watched years ago when Carlos Delgado was still on the Mets. Long before replay in MLB. He hit a home run that was clearly fair and called foul and Joe Morgan said he'll always have one fewer home run than he should (or something along those lines) and it really resonated with me; obviously. Man, the human brain is a wild thing.
We're on to Cincinnati....
If the Patriots win out they're still the 2 seed with the best defense in the NFL. I still believe the offensive woes can still be fixed, but I do think the kicking game will ultimately be what costs them. Sure it's cool to have a video by the league basically saying "hand up, we fucked up" but it doesn't change the standings or put teams in the Super Bowl. The NFL HAS to fix this shit for the integrity of the game. Of course I love the rare times these errors benefit the Pats but something's gotta give.