Referee explains controversial penalty at end of Jets-Patriots game

Bill Belichick
Patrits Coach Bill Belichick argues an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a Jets field-goal attempt in overtime Sunday.
(Ron Antonelli / Getty Images)

The New England Patriots have released an interview with referee Jerome Boger in regard to the controversial unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty and field goal do-over at the end of the Jets’ 30-27-overtime victory at MetLife Stadium.

New York’s Nick Folk was wide left on a 56-yard attempt with 7 minutes 17 seconds left in overtime, but a penalty called on Patriots defensive tackle Chris Jones -- for pushing a teammate into the Jets’ formation -- gave New York a first down and Folk eventually won the game with a 42-yard field goal.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick disagreed.

“You can’t push in the second level,” Belichick said. “I didn’t think we did that.”


The interview was conducted by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, pool reporter for the game.

Question: Please explain the penalty that was called on No. 94 [Jones] on the field goal.

Answer: 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.

Q: Is it any type of push? Is it a two-handed push?


A: 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.

Q: Is there anything else to go over with this penalty?

A: No, the umpire’s flag went up almost instantaneously as he observed the action. We just enforced it as he called it.

Q: And that’s a 15-yard penalty . . . ?

A: For unsportsmanlike conduct.


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