Before dissecting some of what dramatically impacted the Patriots in their matchup with the Jets on Sunday, it's essential to be reminded that acknowledging bad officiating doesn't absolve the team from their poor performance.
Both can be true and worthy of fault.
With that out of the way, the NFL officials assigned to New England's week three game made their presence known far too much. Unfortunately, it was mainly at the Patriots' expense.
Two absolute misses stood out from the entire game, with the first coming in the first half when Mac Jones threw a deep pass to rookie Demario Douglas. Despite Michael Carter not turning his head around to look for the football and grabbing at the receiver's facemask, defensive pass interference nor illegal hands to the face was called.
It came with just seconds remaining in the quarter, forcing the Patriots to leave points on the field heading into halftime.
Other than missing out on the potential touchdown there, the rest of the drive ended unsuccessfully. After both teams took turns taking timeouts, kicker Chad Ryland attempted a 57-yard field goal to add to their lead. Although he's been impressive so far this season, he couldn't kick it through the uprights.
Had the pass interference been called, he may have had a closer opportunity if a touchdown wasn't scored instead.
The second missed call, probably the more egregiously missed so far this season, came in the fourth quarter. The Patriots went for a bit of a quarterback sneak on 3rd and one, but Mac Jones was immediately dogpiled by the Jets' defense, forcing a fourth down.
Things got aggressive when the quarterback broke free of the defender's grip. He was aggressively brought to the ground by C.J. Mosley, prompting a scuffle between New England's offensive line and New York's defensive line.
That seemed like something that could have resulted in a flag, but Sauce Gardner's late shove to Jones, who fell to the ground from the push, warranted the penalty more than anything. However, like earlier in the game, the officials swallowed their whistles and didn't flag the cornerback.
Later in the same quarter, a Zach Wilson pass to Randall Cobb in the endzone on 3rd and goal was obviously uncatchable and would have ended their drive with 5:30 minutes left in the game.
But as the officials began getting more involved in the game, they called Myles Bryant for pass interference despite an Emmy-worthy flop from Cobb on an uncatchable pass.
With the drive extended, the Jets went on to score their first touchdown of the game on the following play, bringing the game within reach as they closed the gap to just three points.
Fortunately, safety courtesy of Matthew Judon on the Jets' next possession basically sealed the win for the Patriots, a victory that should have been much easier than it was. It was the first win for the team this season, and continues their dominant winning streak against the Jets to 15 straight.