Patriots $37.5 Million TE Calls Out Officials Over Missed Call

New England Patriots

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The New England Patriots were unable to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12 but one call could have changed the course of the game.

In the third quarter of the Thanksgiving game, Hunter Henry appeared to have snagged a touchdown but the officiating crew thought otherwise. After looking at the replay review, the officiating crew overturned the call.

A touchdown would have given the Patriots a 30-23 lead, assuming a successful point-after attempt. Instead, they ended up settiling for a 25-yard field goal.

After the 33-26 loss, Henry seemed to disagree with the officials call.

”I believe I caught it,” Henry said. “He said it hit the ground. But I believe my hand was under the ball. The hand was under the ball, with hitting the ground, that’s what kind of caused it to jump up.

“They made the call. Just got to live with it.”

What Was the League’s Response to the Call?

After the controversial call, NFL vice president of officiating Walt Anderson explained the overturned call in a pool report.

“He was going to the ground, the ball ended up touching the ground, and then he lost control of the ball in his hands,” Anderson said.

The VP of officiating then went on to explain why Henry didn’t have possession which would have negated the impact that the ground had on the ball.

“Because as he’s going to the ground, he has to maintain control of the ball upon contacting the ground,” said Anderson. “The term that’s commonly used is ‘surviving the ground’ … he has the elements of two feet and control, but because he’s going to the ground, he has to maintain control of the ball.”

This was in spite of Henry having two hands on the ball.

“If he had maintained control of the ball with two hands, even if the ball were to touch the ground, that would still be a catch,” Anderson concluded.

Were the Patriots Focused On the Call During the Game?

While there is no doubt that the call had an impact on the game, New England quarterback Mac Jones that the Patriots had other chances to win the game.

“We have to move on from that [overturned] play and play the rest of the game. There was plenty of time left,” Jones said. “There were other times we could have punched it in and that wouldn’t have been an issue. One call can’t determine the outcome. We have to be able to do better, so it’s not even close.”

Bill Belichick also touched upon the impact of the call in a press conference on Friday.

“I don’t know,” the head coach said. “It’s a four-point play. I don’t know. There were a lot of other things that happened besides that.”

Still it was an impressive performance for Jones who threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns on 28-of-39 passing as the Patriots fell 33-26 to the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving.

Jones was asked if it was his best performance of 2022 by reporters after the loss,

“Yeah, like I said, I think we all played with effort and toughness, and that’s all you can ask for,” the quarterback said. “Want to be able to score more points and win the game, so that’s all that I care about. That’s all that we care about is winning, and we didn’t do that tonight.”

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