Foxborough, MA: For all the Patriots haters, your time as finally come. After over a decade of endless favorable calls, non-calls, and overall shadiness in favor of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick and company were given a taste of their own medicine.
So of course, the logical thing to believe if a call doesn’t go the Patriots’ way is, “CONSPIRACY! RABBLERABBLENINEELEVENRABBLERABBLEILLUMINATIRABBLEBEIBERRABBLE!”
So let’s look at the play that has totally unbiased Barstool Sports writers from Boston having a hissy fit.
Patriots defensive lineman Chris Jones was lined up for Nick Folk’s 57-yard overtime field goal attempt. During the play, Jones was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct because he attempted to shove teammate Will Svitek through the center of the Jets line. The missed kick was waived off due to the penalty, which resulted in a 15 yard penalty, first down, and enough momentum through three straight running plays to allow Folk to kick a game-winning field goal for the Jets later.
So, what is this crazy rule? Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 (b) 2), which states that “Team B [defensive side]players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.” The rule was meant to help in player safety by keeping multiple defensive players from loading up on one offensive lineman, for example. It’s meant to keep those linemen’s chicken legs from being continually crushed by two or three times the normal force of giant men crashing into each other. The spirit of the rule falls in line with leverage penalties where defensive players would climb up the backs of teammates or play leap-frog to get some additional height in attempting to block a kick.
So why are Patriots fans in a frenzy? Well, for one, because Patriots coach Bill Belichick disagreed with the penalty, and how can Belichick ever be wrong? It’s not as if he has an ulterior motive besides making sure that all rules in the NFL are upheld, right?
Another issue is that the rule is new and this is the first time that it has been upheld. So OF COURSE it would be called on the Patriots in the very fir.. seventh game in the season. The New York Jets are clearly the choice for this year’s Super Bowl champion by the shadow government of the NFL. They have that wonderful “chumps to champions” story that under-dog fans love to see in real life as much as sports movies. It was all planned for the past 45 years.
Bu-bu-bu-bu(ttfumble) WAIT! NFL.com had a different version of the rule: “Team B players not on the line of scrimmage at the snap cannot push players on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.” So THERE! CONSPIRACY!
While this may be true (I can’t confirm, as I only have the word of crazed Patriots fans showing their “cached content”), this can only reflect on a mistake by the content editor’s of NFL.com. Yes, just like all news editors, the NFL website is maintained by people, too. Luckily, referees and coaches don’t have to rely on reading a website on their smartphones to see if they’re getting crewed on a call. They have a nice, thick, hard-copy of the rules, which the public does not get to see until after the season in order to keep couch officials from complaining about everything that is call against their team. It you go looking for the push rule in the PDF version of the rule book on NFL.com, you won’t find the rule.
Why? Because you’re looking at the 2012 rulebook.
I’ll admit, I am a firm disbeliever in the application of the Tuck Rule in 2001 that kept hope alive for the Patriots in the AFC Championship game against the Oakland Raiders, but I didn’t scream “CONSPIRACY” when it happened. You can argue a call all you want but, at the end of the day, the call came from a referee and is cemented into a game, for better or for worse for your team.