Vintage

NFL admits Patriots got away with one in the Super Bowl in least shocking news in the history of American sport

March 27, 2019
Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore
Al Bello

As one of the worst offenders, even I can admit the complaining over the New England Patriots' last two decades of success has gone too far. At some point, you've got to just tip your cap, and six Super Bowls in 19 years would be that point. All they do is win win win no matter what, and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady deserve all the praise in the world for that.

Here comes the "having said that" part.

HAVING SAID THAT, it really does feel like everything constantly goes their way, which could be viewed as a byproduct of always being in big games where every call and every play is magnified. But the list goes on and on: the Tuck Rule, Pete Carroll not giving it to Marshawn Lynch, Dan Quinn not running the damn ball, Julian Edelman making that impossible catch, the Jaguars clearly getting robbed in last year's AFC Title game, the Chiefs somehow not winning this year's AFC Title game, etc. I'm sure I'm missing a hundred other instances. Sour grapes? Absolutely. Hint of truth? Absolutely.

That's why it should come as no surprise that the Pats may have gotten away with another one in this year's Super Bowl, which they won 13-3 over the L.A. Rams. On Tuesday, the NFL announced that all pass interference calls can now be challenged (because there aren't enough video reviews already), a move clearly influenced by the bogus call in the NFC Championship game between the Rams and the New Orleans Saints. For some reason, this announcement also led to the NFL Competition Committee admitting that, had pass interference challenges been legal, the Rams may have been able to challenge one in the Super Bowl that would have changed things dramatically, according to Adam Schefter:

The play in question (not that Rams fans or Pats haters needed reminding):

We could argue until the cows come home over whether this is PI or not. Personally, I didn't think it was at the time and I still don't. It's certainly a slight grab of the arm by Stephon Gilmore, but it doesn't seem egregious enough to warrant a flag on the biggest play of the game. Players should decide those types of plays, not refs, though it sounds like with this latest rule change the refs will be MORE involved in the proceedings. What a fun idea! Said no one ever.

But, according to the Competition Committee, it was egregious enough, and it would have just slightly changed the game, and by slightly I mean massively. The Rams would have gotten the ball at the Pats 1-yard line, and, as long as Pete Carroll didn't run onto the Rams sideline, rip Sean McVay's headset off and call for an inside slant over a run to the bowling ball that is CJ Anderson, L.A. likely scores and the game is tied at 10-10. Instead, Jared Goff throws a pick and the rest is history. Peak Pats (salt intensifies).

RELATED: The Patriots' character coach leaves team, raising question: the Patriots had a character coach?

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