I don’t know if you know this, but the Jets and Patriots had a little game of football yesterday.
The Jets won. They controlled the ball for most of the game (46:13 to 23:40). They won the quarterback battle (2 touchdowns to 0 [Tom Brady had ZERO TDs]). They won the 3rd down efficiency battle (11-21 to 1-12). They outgunned the Patriots in yards (383 to 295). They even overcame their weakness for penalty yards (45 to 100).
Of course, the post game storyline has nothing to do with what some might call the dominance of the Jets; or even the possible downfall of the suddenly struggling Patriots.
No, it is a penalty in overtime, which is being played as the only reason the Patriots lost Sunday.
(Did you know the embattled Jets secondary held the Patriots Top-3 wide receivers [Thompkins, Dobson, and Edelman] to only 94 yards yesterday?)
The penalty is quoted by Albert Breer as, “…players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.”
The “Push Rule” made a strong opening presence in the NFL, in a pivotal moment of a division game between two hated rivals. It is a basically unknown rule. It seems like an unnecessary rule. It is a surely debatable rule.
(Have to stop bringing up the word “rule”. People might think the referees actually did the right thing.)
Referee Jerome Boger explained himself after the game (via CBS Sports): “The call was that No. 94 on the defense pushed his teammate into the formation. That is a rule change for 2013 that a teammate cannot push a teammate into the opponents’ formation … Any push. It could be with the body, not necessarily with the hand, but with the body into his teammate, into the formation. It’s any type of pushing action.”
(How dare the refs call a rule for the first time!)
It did not stop Patriots Nation from flooding social media platforms with vitriol and pleas of being cheated out of a win. How can it be allowed that a little-known rule change the course of a game!?!?!
(Oh come on! 2002 was so a decade ago.)
Today, stories were abound that Rex Ryan had learned about the issue from brother Rob and so the Jets tipped off the NFL and their referees about Bill Belichick and the Patriots skirting the rules. This unconscionable act of tattle-tailing could not be tolerated!
(Don’t follow the rules, cheaters! Wait, what?)
Everyone knows it is wrong to tell the league when you think something might be wrong, even if it is the completely flawless, never-do-wrong, Spy-less, Gate-less, Patriots.
(Pssssst, I’m alluding to Spygate. Oops, better get the video tape bonfire going again)
It’s okay. The Jets will take being on the downside of this one. It has worked so far.
The worst team in the NFL is 4-3 and one game out of first in the AFC East. Thanks for the bulletin board material, ESPN!
It’s also a team currently in the NFL playoffs. (Nevermind that.)