Jets lose big game after brutal call that continues confusion over NFL's catch rules and horrible penalty in the 4th quarter

  • The New York Jets lost to the Carolina Panthers, 35-27, on Sunday.
  • The Jets had a fourth-quarter touchdown overturned when referees ruled the receiver lost control of the ball as he landed.
  • Late in the game, the Jets were called for roughing-the-passer as they needed a stop, setting the Panthers up for a game-sealing field goal.

The New York Jets lost to the Carolina Panthers, 35-27, on Sunday after a rough fourth quarter crushed their chances for a win.

Early in the fourth quarter, with the Jets trailing 18-17, Josh McCown threw a pass to tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins in the end zone for what looked like a touchdown.

However, upon reviewing the play, the officials ruled that the ball came loose as Sefarian-Jenkins hit the ground. The touchdown was overturned and the Jets had to settle for a field goal, making it 20-18.

Here’s the overturned call, adding greater confusion as to what a catch is in the NFL.

Jets fans were clearly not happy with the ruling.

The rest of the fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with the Panthers scoring on a fumble recovery and punt return to go up 32-20 before the Jets scored a touchdown to make it 32-27 with 5:32 remaining. Needing one stop to get the ball back, the Jets nearly had their chance before shooting themselves in the foot with an awful penalty.

On 3rd-and-11, on the Jets’ 48-yard line, with over two minutes to go, Cam Newton misfired on a deep pass to Devin Funchess, appearing to give the ball back to the Jets. However, Jets defensive end Mike Pennel was flagged for an obvious roughing-the-passer penalty, hitting Newton well after the ball had been released. The Panthers got an automatic first down and continued to grind out yards until kicking a field goal.

Trailing 35-27, the Jets did not come close in the final seconds to scoring the touchdown and two-point conversion they would have needed to tie the game.

For the Jets, the loss is a big “what-if” game. The Jets have struggled in fourth quarters this season, but had they wrapped up this game, they would have moved to 5-6 with five games left to play. In the weak AFC, 5-6 would keep the Jets in the playoff hunt, particularly with few teams in the AFC outside of the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers distinguishing themselves. Instead, at 4-7, the Jets would have to go 4-1 the rest of the way just get to .500.

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