Article Written By: Alexandro H. Zatarain
Vintage Tom Brady was driving against a Panthers defense that was desperately looking to make a stop to win the game in the final minute of Monday night’s game. It all came down to an interception, one call, one flag. A flag that was later picked up and that was how the game ended.
When watching the game, the first reaction many of us had was that the Patriots would get one more snap at the 1-yard line, but this is how the play went down:
On the very last play, Rob Gronkowski ran a slight in post route into the end-zone, where he’s being covered by Carolina linebacker, Luke Kuechly. While this was happening, Tom Brady’s pocket was collapsing, forcing him to scramble out. He then threw into the end zone, with the last opportunity of the game, but was picked off while Kuechly and Gronkowski got tied up in the back of the end zone.
One official was about 10 feet away as everything happened in front of him. First reaction of the ref was the throwing of the yellow flag, making Carolina fans in the stands hearts stop. After a minute of discussion between the officiating crew, the flag was picked up, ending the game. But why did they pick the flag up?
Here is the NFL rule that explains the situation:
Rule 8, Section 5, Article 3 Permissible Acts
Article 3 Permissible Acts by both teams while the ball is in the air. Acts that are permissible by a player include, but are not limited to:
(c) Contact that would normally be considered pass interference, but the pass is clearly uncatchable by the involved players, except as specified in 8-3-2 and 8-5-4 pertaining to blocking downfield by the offense.
In the end, it’s very tough to argue against this call, but the NFL and it’s officiating crew did well to stand their ground.