The New England Patriots were on the wrong end of an inadvertent whistle during their game against the Buffalo Bills Monday night, and it may have cost them a huge play.
Tom Brady scrambled out of the pocket to keep a play alive early in the third quarter when, for no apparent reason, a member of the officiating crew blew his whistle. Brady never stepped out of bounds and completed a pass to Danny Amendola, who had nothing but open space ahead of him and might have even be able to score a touchdown.
Brady drops back, RIFLES one to Amemdola, he reels it in, DENIED BY THE INADVERTENT WHISTLE, OH WHAT CHAOS! pic.twitter.com/gCky2mivKe
— Doc Emrick (@DocInRealLife) November 24, 2015
After gathering to discuss the play, the officials ruled that an inadvertent whistle was blown and awarded the Patriots the catch. Since play stopped because of the whistle, the ball was downed at the spot where Amendola caught it.
Rex Ryan was assessed a 15-yard penalty for getting in the way of an official during the play, which may explain the whistle. ESPN rules analyst Gerry Austin noted that the play should not have counted, as the whistle blew before Amendola caught the ball. When that happens, the play is supposed to be nullified and done over. Only when the whistle blows after a player catches the ball should the play count.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski ended up missing a field goal on the drive, and the Patriots came away with no points.
If Tom Brady was angry before that inexplicable play (you can see a video of him cursing out teammates here), he had to have been seeing red afterword. That was a major blunder that cost the Patriots a huge play at least and possibly a touchdown.