How the Patriots Won the AFC Championship

Photo Courtesy: @Patriots/Twitter

Author: Noa Rubnitz

Okay, now everyone knows the Patriots are going to win it all…again. It all starts with one man by the name of Tom Brady. It didn’t matter that he had a questionable hand or that tight end Rob Gronkowski was out in the first half of the game because of a head injury.

It was because the refs knew who won before the game started. Brady knows how to manipulate the refs to turn the win on the Pats. Whether its a tackle that didn’t make a first down, or a questionable fumble, the refs knew Brady was right.

For those who didn’t watch the game, the Jacksonville Jaguars were leading most of the game. Their incredible defense and their coverage on the Pats’ wideouts was impeccable. But a classic Patriot move was made, and that was their comeback in fourth quarter touchdowns. Belichick and his coaching staff pulled out their tricky plays for the end of the game. Being comfortable at 20 and 10 hurt the Jags.

On both ends of the offense the running back game was strong. First and foremost, Wisconsin alum, James White has to get credit, but Leonard Fournette, who is arguably the best running back in the NFL, could not rush the ball by the end of the game. The Patriots’ studying of his film was obviously crucial, as they knew how to stop his quick feet. It was interesting to see Blake Bortles play one of his best games of his career, despite a hard-to-take loss.

At the end of the day, I have to give a little bit of credit to the Patriots. Having one of their best players out with a concussion, was a bit worrisome. But again, the Patriots prospered and Brady threw for 85 yards on eight plays, with the help of Danny Amendola and his game-winning catch in the end zone.

But let me go back to my main point– the Refs. In the end, the Patriots were going to win. I knew they were going to win but it is because of the referees. In New York Times story “Tom Brady Always Wins, Even Against the Refs”, by Bill Pennington, he noted an offensive pass interference that was reversed. His ability to manipulate refs decisions is insane. Now, don’t get me wrong, Tom Brady is a great quarterback despite my backlash. But even the NFL tweeted last night that “The Patriots were called for one penalty against the Jaguars” which recorded the fewest penalties called on one team in a playoff game since the AFC Championship in 2011. Although Bill Belichick and his team are smart, it all goes back to what calls are made on the field.

Here are just a few examples of some issues with the refereeing that people have noted in the days following the game:

Whaddya know…the refs missed a holding call, helping the Patriots win. Shocking. #AFCChampionship pic.twitter.com/7iloxrISn8

— Kris (@Kris561_) January 21, 2018

 

Refs got your back @Patriots pic.twitter.com/NXw2K7CZu8

— Travis Sousa (@VonKiller58) January 21, 2018

 

 

Now….the most interesting part of this story.

On Sunday, a referee congratulated Tom Brady for his incredible comeback win. Making friends with the refs is understandable when you reverse calls, but not for a congratulations.

I would compare a referee to a good journalist. They are neutral coming into the game, no love or hate towards either team. But the refs that were on the field last night had a bias and had a reason to congratulate him. Maybe it was poor calls against the Jaguars.  Maybe it was the conversations they previously had, who knows. This gesture might have been acknowledging their only penalty in the game.

 

But this action was extremely inappropriate. Maybe, in Tom Brady’s career after football, he can look into reffing NFL games.  Hopefully February 4th brings the Eagles holding a Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history, but again the calls will probably be reversed for the one and only Tom Brady.