Many members of Patriots Nation have had an us against the world mentality for a long time, but this year many fans are taking it a new level. Following the loss last week on Sunday Night Football to the Denver Broncos, there were a lot of sour grapes being served at the table. Many Patriots fans not only questioned the officiating, but also talked about the possibility of the NFL’s involvement in calls against the Patriots. Granted, there certainly were some questionable calls. However, to suggest that the calls consistently go against the Patriots is simply not being objective. The Patriots get their fair share of calls in their favor.
If you have followed the NFL this season, you will know that the officiating has not been very good. There have been a lot of bad calls that have impacted the outcome of games. Just in the past week alone, there were three other games that has questionable calls that impacted the outcome.
The Cardinals vs. 49ers game last week was tied at 13. The Cardinals had a third down play in the final minutes. The 49ers made the stop and were getting the ball with an opportunity to win until…a flag was thrown on a clean hit on Carson Palmer. The hit was on Palmer’s chest are. There was no lead with the helmet. There was no contact on his head. First down for the Cardinals and they won the game.
The Ravens vs. Browns game on Monday Night Football featured two teams that are not anywhere close to competing for a playoff spot. That’s a story for another day. The game came down to a field goal attempt for the Browns to win the game. The Ravens blocked the field goal and ran it back for a touchdown to win the game. But wait…the replay showed that a defensive lineman on the Ravens was lined up in the neutral zone. No flag, game over. Had the flag been thrown, it’s likely the Browns line up for the field goal and win the game.
On Thursday Night Football, the Lions held a 23-21 lead over the Packers with six seconds to go. The Packers had the ball on their own 21 yard line. After a completed pass to James Jones and two laterals, Aaron Rodgers ended up with the ball back in his hands. As he was coming to the ground on a tackle, the Lions defensive player put his hand in the area of Rodgers facemask and grazed it slightly. 15 yard flag. Rodgers then threw a 61 yard touchdown pass on the final play to win the game. This call was not a terrible call. It really could have gone either way. Plus, the Lions have no one to blame but themselves for putting themselves in a position to lose this game.
Can you imagine if any of these calls were made a Patriots game?! We weren’t hearing about a conspiracy theory with the league on any bad calls, were we? They were just chalked up as bad calls. Bad calls have been consistent. They have worked in team’s favor in some case and against them in others. This is no different for the New England Patriots. Yet, anytime a call doesn’t go in their favor, it’s look at as if the underlying issue of bad calls is specific to them.