You know the saying that two wrongs don’t make a right?
Yeah, well, Bill Belichick isn’t a big fan of the phrase, as evidenced by a conference call Wednesday, during which the New England Patriots coach complained that the New York Jets got away with the same illegal move that may have cost the Patriots a chance at victory when the teams met Sunday.
“Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves I don’t even know about all that,” Belichick told members of the Miami Dolphins media corps when asked about the reports that the Jets had told officials to look out for illegal pushing violations on field goals. “But basically we’re just moving on here.”
“That’s not true,” Ryan told reporters regarding Belichick’s claim that the Jets had been illegally pushing players on the line of scrimmage while defending against field-goal attempts. “He’s got to make up his mind. Was he aware of this thing? Was it second level, all this kind of jazz, or now the story is we did it? . . . . The fact is we’re moving on. We earned that victory plain and simple, and we’re focused on Cincinnati now.”
In case you missed it or forgot, here, via Deadspin, is the illegal pushing penalty the Patriots got called for in overtime on Sunday:
The play is in pretty clear violation of Rule 9.1.3(b)(2), a new measure enacted this season that makes it illegal for a defensive player to push another defensive player on the line of scrimmage from behind. As a result of the call, Nick Folk’s missed 56-yard field goal was waived off and he got a second chance to win the game from 42, which he did.
Now, here, via NESN, is what the Jets did during Stephen Gostkowski’s game-tying field goal with 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter:
Here’s another less conclusive angle, courtesy of TheJetsBlog:
It appears that Quinton Coples (lined up two to the right of the Patriots center) may have used the same move for the Jets that Chris Jones did for the Patriots, but Coples was not called for a penalty. Would it have made a difference if he had been? It’s tough to say.
The call, had it been made, would have given the Patriots a first down at the 11-yard line with at least one or two shots at a game-winning touchdown, but that’s hardly a guarantee that New England would have scored more than the three points it scored anyway — or that they would have ended up scoring at all.
So, in the end, what we’re left with is a losing coach who’s mad, not so much about a call made on his player, but rather, one not called on an opponent — to which the rest of the league says: “Get in line.”