Jets lose big game after brutal call that continues confusion over NFL's catch rules and horrible penalty in the 4th quarter

  • The New York Jets lost to the Carolina Panthers, 35-27, on Sunday.
  • The Jets had a fourth-quarter touchdown overturned when referees ruled the receiver lost control of the ball as he landed.
  • Late in the game, the Jets were called for roughing-the-passer as they needed a stop, setting the Panthers up for a game-sealing field goal.


The New York Jets lost to the Carolina Panthers, 35-27, on Sunday after a rough fourth quarter crushed their chances for a win.

Early in the fourth quarter, with the Jets trailing 18-17, Josh McCown threw a pass to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the end zone for what looked like a touchdown.

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Controversial catch overturned during Jets-Panthers game
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Controversial catch overturned during Jets-Panthers game
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets misses a catch against cornerback James Bradberry #24 and strong safety Mike Adams #29 of the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets attempts to make a catch against cornerback James Bradberry #24 of the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The play was originally called a touchdown, but was reviewed, ruled as an incomplete pass and reversed. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Nov 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) catches a touchdown pass during the second half of their game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. The play was overturned on review for failure to maintain possession of the ball. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) drops a touchdown pass in the end zone during the National Football League game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets on November 26, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) drops a touchdown pass in the end zone during the National Football League game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets on November 26, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets attempts to make a catch against cornerback James Bradberry #24 of the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The play was originally called a touchdown, but was reviewed, ruled as an incomplete pass and reversed. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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However, upon reviewing the play, the officials ruled that the ball came loose as Seferian-Jenkins hit the ground. The touchdown was overturned and the Jets had to settle for a field goal, making it 20-18.

Here's the overturned call, adding greater confusion as to what a catch is in the NFL.

Jets fans were clearly not happy with the ruling.

The rest of the fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with the Panthers scoring on a fumble recovery and punt return to go up 32-20 before the Jets scored a touchdown to make it 32-27 with 5:32 remaining. Needing one stop to get the ball back, the Jets nearly had their chance before shooting themselves in the foot with an awful penalty.

On 3rd-and-11, on the Jets' 48-yard line, with over two minutes to go, Cam Newton misfired on a deep pass to Devin Funchess, appearing to give the ball back to the Jets. However, Jets defensive end Mike Pennel was flagged for an obvious roughing-the-passer penalty, hitting Newton well after the ball had been released. The Panthers got an automatic first down and continued to grind out yards until kicking a field goal.

Trailing 35-27, the Jets did not come close in the final seconds to scoring the touchdown and two-point conversion they would have needed to tie the game.

For the Jets, the loss is a big "what-if" game. The Jets have struggled in fourth quarters this season, but had they wrapped up this game, they would have moved to 5-6 with five games left to play. In the weak AFC, 5-6 would keep the Jets in the playoff hunt, particularly with few teams in the AFC outside of the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers distinguishing themselves. Instead, at 4-7, the Jets would have to go 4-1 the rest of the way just get to .500.

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