For all of the folks who believe the New England Patriots get every break from officials, a couple plays Sunday contradict that pretty well.
The Patriots were trailing the Kansas City Chiefs 23-13 but had a huge play near the end of the third quarter. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught a pass that would have been a first down, inexplicably ran backward behind the first-down marker and then it got worse. The ball was punched out well before Kelce hit the ground. Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore scooped it up and had a good chance to take it all the way for a score.
One problem: The officials blew a quick whistle. Kelce was ruled down. The Patriots got possession after a replay review, but didn’t get the touchdown.
Bill Belichick was clearly angry on the sideline yelling at officials, making the touchdown signal as he went off. He knew, like everyone else. The Patriots just had a touchdown taken away.
That wasn’t all for the officiating debacle. Because the Patriots had to use a challenge on that play, they had none left. On the drive after the fumble, receiver N’Keal Harry scored a touchdown but was ruled out of bounds before he scored. Harry never stepped out of bounds, but the Patriots couldn’t challenge. The Patriots ended up going backward after having first-and-goal — and kicked a field goal after they had two bad calls wipe out touchdowns. The calls factored greatly in the Patriots’ 23-16 loss to the Chiefs.
Officials are having a rough season, and Sunday wasn’t good, either. The Miami Dolphins had an enormous call go against them when a non-call on a pass interference was changed on review. That practically changed the outcome of the Dolphins-Jets game. Then the Patriots had touchdowns taken away twice in an important game.
NFL officials are going to get ripped again this week. At least they’re used to it.
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