Several Key Penalties By The Patriots Should Have Been Called Late in Super Bowl LI (Video)

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The same can be said for every single game that has ever been played, but when it’s done in the Super Bowl, it’s makes it that much worse when you look back on key plays that weren’t called by referees.

Just like any victory that involves the New England Patriots, there were a bunch of calls during Super Bowl 51 that could have easily put the game away for the Atlanta Falcons, but instead contributed to their epic collapse.

CBS Sports looked at the footage and pointed out those calls in detail:

“For starters, the Patriots should have been flagged for offensive pass interference on their second two-point conversion that tied the game up. Trailing 28-26, the Pats had Tom Brady throw what looks like a quick screen to Danny Amendola.

As noted by CBS Sports colleague Pete Prisco on Twitter, the Patriots got away with a violation of Rule 8, Section 5, Article 4, which makes it illegal for offensive players to block defensive players while a pass is in the air.

You can clearly see two players blocking “in the vicinity of the player to whom the pass is thrown” when the ball is in the air:”


Here’s the video of that play:

Here’s the rule in full:

“ARTICLE 4. OTHER PROHIBITED ACTS BY THE OFFENSE. Blocking more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage by an offensive player prior to a pass being thrown is offensive pass interference. See 8-3-1-Item 1 for exception for an ineligible offensive player.

Note: It is also pass interference by the offense to block a defender beyond the line while the pass is in the air, if the block occurs in the vicinity of the player to whom the pass is thrown. See 8-3-1-Note for exception for ineligible players.”

Important as well: Because the Falcons were offsides on this play, the Pats wouldn’t have been accessed a 10-yard penalty because both penalties would have off-set and New England would have to re-do the 2-point conversion.

CBS went on:

“Also big was the chop block that should have been called in overtime against Patriots lineman Shaq Mason. On a play from the Falcons’ 25-yard line, the screen pass to James White picked up 10 yards.

This was clearly the case with Mason when he pulled and dove at the knees of rookie Deion Jones, who was having a breakout game on a very big stage.”


“The Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that Mason wasn’t necessarily behaving in any nefarious manner, at least on purpose. He was attempting to throw a cut block, which is legal, but because Patriots center David Andrewsalso shoved Jones at the same time, then the high-low factor is created.

If the play is called, the Patriots are moved back 15 yards and have first-and-25 from the Falcons’ 40-yard line.”

All in all, the Falcons were still up 25 points in the 2nd half and choked it away with bad play combined with terrible play-calling.  And the Patriots capitalized on every opportunity.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots,