The Patriots lost a close three point battle in the New Meadowlands yesterday, as the Jets kicked a game winning field goal to nab a 30-27 win over their hated divisional rivals. There were a lot of flags thrown in this contest (16 total), but there is one particular call that will resonate with the Pats for a long time.
After Tom Brady’s first drive of the overtime period stalled, Geno Smith led his group into field goal range, where kicker Nick Folk woul attempt a 56 yard field goal for the win. Folk missed badly to the left, but a penalty flag was thrown, negating the missed field goal, which allowed Folk to hit a much easier 42 yarder, giving the Jets the win. This flag that was thrown on the first field goal was an interesting one. In fact, it was the first time it had ever been called in the history of the NFL. Chris Jones, the undrafted rookie out of Bowling Green, was called for an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty because he pushed his own player (Will Svitek) into the pile. Obviously everybody in MetLife stadium was stunned, because no one had ever heard of such a rule. This rule was in a fact a real thing (not just made up on the spot as some Pats fans claim), but this was the first year that it was in place.
According to Rule 913, ”Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.” Mike Pereira, the former vice-president of officiating, explains that this call was correct, and details why the rule was implemented this year.
As Patriots fan, I was livid after I heard the call, and I still think that the rule is a questionable one. But according to the letter of the law, the officials made the correct call, and the game was fairly won by the New York Jets.