After Further Review: Jets/Patriots officiating

This season, we're going to have a post after each game that breaks down some of the controversial decisions from the officiating crew in the game.

Penalty Count

Patriots 7-92 (leading to four Jets first downs)
Jets 8-60 (leading to two Patriots first downs)

Plays where the call was obvious, uncontroversial or not visible on broadcast footage

  • Julian Edelman illegal block in the back to negate James White touchdown. The call here was good, but there was no need for Edelman to do this because White would have scored regardless. Poor discipline from the non-Hall of Famer.
  • Defensive holding call on Brian Poole on 3rd-and-goal. Looked like a jersey grab.
  • Pass interference by JC Jackson on Demaryius Thomas. The broadcast did not show a clear look at this.
  • Roughing the passer on Danny Shelton. The contact here was around the head and neck area, but you can sympathize with Shelton who basically had to jump over Alex Lewis' prone body to pressurize the throw.
  • Holding on Chuma Edoga to negate a Le'Veon Bell first down run. Was hard to see from the footage, but seemed like a slight grab as Chase Winovich tried to get off his block having initially been controlled at the point of attack.
  • Illegal bat on Darnold in the end zone. Obvious call and a heads-up play by Darnold after the bad snap.
  • Eric Tomlinson holding on Jordan Jenkins. Pretty insignificant anyway as it was away from the ball and the play was blown up for a loss. The Jets did accept the penalty though, which was arguably a ticky-tack call.
  • Pass interference by Jackson on Thomas again. This one was a clear grab of the shoulder pad by Jackson.
  • Pass interference by Trumaine Johnson. An obvious call here as Johnson was beaten by a double-move and blatantly grabbed the receiver to prevent giving up a touchdown.
  • False start on Edoga. This couldn't be seen on the broadcast as the camera had zoomed in too far, but it's rare that these get called wrongly.
  • Back-to-back penalties in punt formation (delay of game and Brandon Bolden deliberate false start) that the Jets declined anyway. In any case, it was weird that New England opted to punt on 4th-and-2 from the 33, culminating in a 19-yard punt.
  • Clear holding on Ryan Griffin as he tried to stay on his block while Bell danced around in the backfield. New England accepted this penalty instead of making it fourth down. The Jets punted one play later anyway.

Penalties warranting further discussion or explanation

  • Blindside block on Matthias Farley. After the Patriots chewed up like nine minutes to take a 7-0 lead, Ty Montgomery returned the ensuing kickoff out past the 30. However, the Jets had to start at their eight because of this call, no doubt contributing to Darnold's first interception as he felt the pressure near his own goal line. Here's the play:


Since Farley is moving towards his own end line, this meets one of as criteria for an illegal blindside block. However, to break the rules, the definition states that the blocker must make forcible contact with his helmet, shoulder or forearm. This appears to be nothing more than a two-handed shove and, if that's the case, it's not a penalty. This proved to be an unfortunate tone-setter.

  • Defensive holding on Jackson. Obvious call here, but actually Jackson also interfered with Thomas as the ball was on the way, pulling his arm downwards. It's a small point, but that would have given the Jets a first down at the 41 instead of the 34.
  • Tom Brady intentional grounding. For the second Jets game in row, Brady threw a tantrum after being called for an obvious grounding penalty despite it being late in a game they were winning in blowout fashion. "He was right there!" wailed Brady, whose fadeaway pass with Leonard Williams all over him fell incomplete at the 33-yard line while the running back was actually running away from that area and was beyond the 40. Had Brady actually thrown the ball to where the back was it would have been a walk-in pick-six for Blake Cashman. What a spoiled crybaby.
  • Holding called on Brandon Shell. This was actually holding on Ryan Griffin - and the NFL did make that correction in the gamebook. Shell was bull rushed on the play and driven back, but never got a grip on his man. Griffin held the edge rusher as he was beaten around the left edge.

Notable no-calls

In a 33-0 game, it's pretty pointless to get all caught up in no-calls, although how New England's offensive line didn't have a single penalty is anyone's guess. The pass interference flag (again Jackson on Thomas) that was picked up because the pass was uncatchable was a reasonable no-call though.

There was one key play worth highlighting though. The Jets would have been better off if they got called for delay of game here, as they probably should have.


For what it's worth, the replay booth correctly upheld Jamison Crowder's juggling catch and reversed the Kyle Van Noy touchdown because he was clearly kicked in the foot as he was down having recovered the fumble.