Jets kicker Nick Foles missed a potential game-winning 56-yard field goal in overtime, but Patriots rookie defensive lineman Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play for pushing his teammate into the pile. The penalty gave the Jets a first down and 15 more yards to work with, and a few plays later Foles booted a 42-yarder to give New York the win.
The Patriots were left stunned, and Bill Belichick questioned the call after the game. But WFAN’s and The NFL Today’s Boomer Esiason told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday that the call was 100-percent correct.
“It’s absolutely the right call, 100-percent,” Boomer said on his weekly call in to T&R. “You read the rule book and there is no need for interpretation. I know Bill Belichick after the game spoke about the second-level, I’m not really sure what he was alluding too. What I thought when the official threw the flag, I thought someone may have alerted the officials before the game that the Patriots have done this in past games… It seemed like they were really looking for it.”
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“This is a rule that is in the books because the players brought it to the competition committee in the offseason,” said Boomer. “They said it was a player safety situation, brought to the committee by the long-snapper of the Washington Redskins who said he was tired of getting run over by other players who were pushing players into him. The committee looked at it and decided to do something about it; that’s why this rule is in place. It’s the absolute right rule, it’s the absolute right call.
Should the officials have swallowed their whistles given the game was in overtime? Boomer doesn’t agree with that line of thought.
“If they haven’t been calling it then I would say we have a big problem on our hands. The officials should always call the penalty no matter where they are in the game,” he said. “I understand there are fans saying that maybe officials should swallow their whistles late in games, but I’m not a big believer in that. Rules should be adhered to. It’s one of those things where the Patriots may have misinterpreted or they didn’t know the rule. The official made the right call in my mind.”
Boomer also touched on how the Patriots’ defense played without three of its star players, the return of Rob Gronkowski, and the big Andrew Luck-Peyton Manning showdown from Sunday night: