Jets appeared to do same thing as Patriots by pushing player into field goal formation (GIF)


The New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets on Sunday thanks in part to a call that was made for the first time in NFL history. Jets kicker Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal attempt wide left in overtime that would have given Tom Brady and company great field position, but Patriots rookie Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing one of his teammates into a Jets offensive lineman.

[Video: Did the Patriots get hosed on this call against the Jets?]

The officials got the call right based on the new rule. It was just surprising that they decided to call it at such a crucial point in the game and essentially hand New York a victory. As you can see from the GIF above that Barstool Sports passed along, it appears the Jets did the same thing on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal earlier in the game.


Again, the call cannot be disputed. NFL officials were recently shown examples of the play and told that they need to start calling it. The issue is they should have been looking for it the entire game, not just in overtime. The animation above seems to show that they were not.

Patriots lose on ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Chris Jones

The New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets 30-27 in overtime on Sunday after referees called an obscure and ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Pats rookie Chris Jones.

The call came on a 54-yard field goal Nick Folk missed wide to the left to keep the game tied at 27. Jones was flagged for stacking up behind his teammate and pushing one of his defensive lineman into a Jets lineman. As of a new rule created this year designed to protect players, that is an illegal play.

The 15-yard penalty allowed the Jets to retain possession and move closer for a field goal. They won the game on a 42-yard kick from Folk.

According to NFL rules guru Mike Pereira, that is the first time the penalty has been called this season.

Referees apparently had been shown examples of this rules violation and were told to start calling it. The Pats were the first victim.

“It’s my mistake. It’s all my fault,” Jones said after the loss.

Chris Jones penalty

Also see: Did Jets do same thing earlier in game?

Cris Collinsworth defends comments about the Patriot way

cris-collinsworthCris Collinsworth took some time during NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast last weekend to praise the New England Patriots for getting previously troubled players to fall into line. He was talking specifically about cornerback Aqib Talib, which makes sense given the way Talib has stayed out of trouble since New England traded for him last season. However, Collinsworth seemed to completely ignore some guy who is currently in jail after being charged with murder.

[Video: Cris Collinsworth praises the Patriot way]

During an appearance on “Amani and Eytan” on NBC Sports Radio Tuesday, Collinsworth tried to clarify what he meant.

“I took a little heat in the game for saying (Bill Belichick) has a way of making issues go away,” he said. “A guy like (Patriots cornerback) Alfonzo Dennard still had an issue. (Bellichick) is not a cure-all. He’s not a magician out there. But they do seem to not have problems to the same extent playing for him.

“Some of it’s fear. Some of those guys, one more mistake and their career is going to be over. Nobody works that better than Belichick does. When you first come to that team, even if you’re a seven-year veteran, you don’t talk to the media. Some of those guys are more afraid of doing a press interview than they are of black cats and ghosts. They know if they screw up they’re gonna catch hell from Belichick.”

As I said before, I understand the point Collinsworth is trying to make. He just happens to be making it a season too late. Plenty of players who were known to have off-field issues have joined the Patriots and done nothing but produce. However, the team knew of Hernandez’s troubled past but drafted and signed him anyway. They also took a chance on cornerback Alfonzo Dennard after his issues at Nebraska, and he has another court date upcoming for suspicion of DUI.

Belichick loves trying to find value in talented players who have had issues off the field. Guys like Talib, Randy Moss and Corey Dillon are examples of that approach working out. Hernandez is the other end of the spectrum.

Terrell Owens wants to play for the New England Patriots

Terrell-Owens-Says-Bengals-Are-TerribleTerrell Owens has likely played his last snap in the NFL. The more time that passes, the less likely the six-time Pro Bowler can expect to be taken seriously. After all, TO has not appeared in a regular season since he was with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010.

However, Owens is not giving up hope. He has taken note of the fact that the NFL has become an increasingly pass-happy team and that several teams are struggling to find reliable receiving targets. One of those teams is the New England Patriots.

“Obviously the situation with the Patriots, they are starting out with a lot of new guys,” Owens told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “You never know how management is thinking, what their process is as far as bringing in veterans.

“I understand they may look at my age as an issue but I’m not your average 39-year-old. I think if you watch me work out, I’m not really concerned about injuries or anything like that. Plus, I’ll be getting paid the vet minimum, so it’s not like I am asking for any extra incentive in my contract.”

Over the summer, TO said he is hoping for another chance but will retire if it does not come in 2013. He told Washburn he is a “different person than I was 10 years ago” and once again reiterated that he would not be a distraction and would strictly be looking to contribute to a winning cause. While Owens said he would love to play for any team, he made a specific pitch to the Patriots.

“Tom Brady has a lot of young guys and I’m sure he could use some veteran help and I would love to play for a guy like Bill Belichick and play with a quarterback like Tom,” he said. “They are going to try to win by [receiving] committee. Coach Belichick is a smart guy that has won with not necessarily a main receiver. Aside from when Randy [Moss] played there, they’ve really had a lot of guys to produce as a committee. That’s where I could possibly fit in.”

Patriots fans would likely be all for it. Through the first two weeks of the season, we have seen rookies like Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins consistently drop passes and run the wrong routes. Of course, fans don’t make roster decisions. TO caught passes from Tom Brady at USC over the summer, so you know the two are at least associates. If the Patriots haven’t had him in for a workout yet, there probably isn’t any interest.

NFLPA files grievance with Patriots over Aaron Hernandez workout bonus

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsThe NFLPA reportedly has filed a grievance with the New England Patriots over money Aaron Hernandez was owed by the team.

Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million extension with the Pats last August. The deal called for a $12.5 million signing bonus. Hernandez already collected $9.25 million from the new deal that the Pats will not be able to recoup, but the team did not pay the $82k workout bonus due Aug. 1 and will not pay the remaining $3.2 million Hernandez would be owed in March.

The Patriots cut Hernandez in July when he was implicated in the murder of Odin Lloyd. He was indicted on first-degree murder charges last week.

Teams can recover bonus money and avoid salary cap hits if a player violates the league’s personal conduct policy.

I’m guessing the NFLPA will be unsuccessful in their efforts for this one. It’s kind of hard to win cases involving alleged murderers.

At least one Patriots writer fully expects Tim Tebow to make final roster

Tim Tebow PatriotsThe New England Patriots can release Tim Tebow before the regular season begins with no penalty. He is currently playing under a two-year, minimum salary deal that includes no guaranteed money. Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Tebow is competing for a backup quarterback position. Does that mean his chances of making the team are slim?

Quite the opposite, says Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Although Bill Belichick has abandoned the concept of carrying three quarterbacks (Ryan Mallet is expected to stay) in recent years, Volin argued on Thursday that “all logic points to Tebow staying a Patriot” for at least the upcoming season.

For starters, Volin pointed out that there is little benefit to having Tebow on board strictly as a training camp player. As previous reports have indicated, he has struggled making throws in practice and has not looked all that sharp. The thing is, that is how Tebow has been since he came into the NFL. His shakiness makes it difficult to evaluate the players around him, so the Patriots would hardly benefit from rostering him strictly for training camp purposes.

In addition, Tebow is much more than just a quarterback. While New England may not be looking to convert him to a tight end as some reports previously stated, he can still line up at different positions and confuse opposing defenses. Those who watched linebacker Mike Vrabel catch touchdown passes know that Belichick loves the element of surprise, which is something he must considering with Tebow.

And of course, there is the locker room factor. In an offseason where the Patriots have lost a star tight end to a murder investigation and have a starting cornerback due back in court later this month, leadership and positive attitudes should be valued more than ever. Patriots owner Robert Kraft previously stated that you “can’t get enough people” like Tebow on your team.

It should be noted that there are plenty of people who disagree with Volin. Earlier this month, one ESPN writer gave Tebow a 25% chance of making the Patriots’ 53-man roster. At first, I thought Tebow was a longshot to make the team. But given all of the off-field issues New England has had this offseason, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tebow’s character holds more weight now that it did when he was signed.

Houston Texans call game against New England Patriots ‘Homecoming’

Texans-letterman-jacketThe Houston Texans announced on Tuesday that they have come up with a theme for each of their eight home games during the 2013 season. On the surface, the promotion sounds pretty standard with charitable themes like “Pink Ribbon Day” and “Salute to Service” day. However, Houston’s theme for its game against the New England Patriots is all people are talking about.

As NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport pointed out, the Texans have decided to make Dec. 1 against New England their “Homecoming” game. Why is that a big deal? Last year, the Texans debuted these letterman jackets and went with a high school theme before getting demolished by the Patriots on Monday Night Football. They lost 42-14 and were defeated by the Pats again in the playoffs a few weeks later.

Is this the team’s way of plotting revenge? Clearly the Texans are not superstitious.

Granted, the Patriots have lost several key players this offseason (thanks in part to the Aaron Hernandez murder trial) and are looking shaky heading into 2013. Still, it sounds like someone in the team’s PR department should have thought it through a little more thoroughly. If New England destroys Houston once again, fans are sure to blame the theme.