The Patriots33-26 loss at Vikings Thursday night did not come without a fair amount of controversy. The two teams traded scores throughout the third quarter, but New England’s final goal appeared to end in a touchdown pass to a tight end. Hunter Henrybefore being controversially overturned upon review.
On third down and goal from the Minnesota six-yard line, Mack Jones found Henry on the goal line. The tight end seemed to extend the ball over the score line, before bouncing on it after it hit the ground and rolled. At first glance, it looked like an obvious score as Henry broke the plane. The review showed that the ball hit the turf as Henry reached the ground before the tight end lost control, and it was enough for the referees to reverse the touchdown, leaving New England to kick a field goal to go up 26-23. The Vikings would tie the game with a field goal on the next drive, and scored the go-ahead on their next drive, which proved to be the game-winner.
Coach Bill Belichick was asked after the game if the decision to call off the call was explained to the Patriots. He did not have with the question.
“Why don’t you go to the officials with your pool reporter and ask them about the play, and let them explain it to you?” Belichick responded. “Right, isn’t that what you do? Thank you.”
Reporters did just that, explaining Walt Anderson—the NFL’s senior vice president—who was responsible for the decision.
“Because as he goes to the ground, he has to keep control of the ball as he touches the ground,” Anderson said. Via ESPN’s Mike Reese. “The commonly used term is ‘surviving the ground.’ A lot of people refer to that. So, as he goes to the ground, he has the elements of two feet and control, but because he goes to the ground, he has to maintain control of the ball when he goes to the ground.”
Henry was more open about the play after the game He did not agree with the officials’ decision.
“They called what they call it,” he said after the game. “I think I caught it. But, I mean, they make the call, and they have to live with it. … They said it hit the floor, but my hand was under it—I think my hand was under the ball. The hand was under the ball and it hit the floor, and that’s what caused it.” [the ball] To jump. “
With the loss, New England fell to 6-5, good for last place in the AFC East and one spot outside the wild card in the AFC.
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