Although he has refused to publicly address
the botched pass interference callat the end of the Patriots’ 24-20 loss to Carolina on Monday night, Bill Belichick is clearly unhappy with the call.
This week he showed his team video of a last-second hail mary in a 2009 game between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns to prove that they got jobbed, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.
On the play, Calvin Johnson was held in the back of the end zone while a Browns player intercepted the pass in the front of the end zone. Pass interference was called, the Lions got one untimed down from the one-yard line, and they won 38-37.
The play has a lot of similarities to the final play of Patriots-Panthers — when Rob Gronkowski was held in the back of the end zone while the Panthers intercepted the pass. But in that instance, the pass inference flag was waved off.
Here’s the Lions play, where a penalty was called:
In real time it looked like this. Both refs made threw their flags immediately:
In the Patriots game, the pass was ruled “uncatchable.” The pass in the Lions-Browns game was even further away from the receiver than in the Pats-Panthers, but it’s still interference because Johnson’s opportunity to move back to the ball and make the catch was restricted.
For comparison, here’s the Patriots play again:
It’s a clever motivational tactic. The Patriots are already one of the better teams in the league, and now Belichick has given them a sense of victimhood going into the Broncos game.
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