For what seems like the first time in forever, the New England Patriots actually had calls go against them that were extremely controversial. During Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, a huge call in the second half came when refs ruled that wide receiver N’Keal Harry stepped out of bounds before scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game.
Replay showed he had not stepped out, but the Patriots didn’t have any more challenges and they would go on to kick a field goal.
That missed call ended up being the difference in the game as the Pats lost 23-16.
After the game, referee Jerome Boger explained why Harry was ruled short to pool reporter Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.
“What led to it was the covering official on the wing was blocked out by defenders,” Boger said. “The downfield official who was on the goal line and looking back toward the field of play had that he stepped out at the three-yard line. So, they got together and conferred on that. The final ruling was that he was out of bounds at the three-yard line.”
He was then asked if they thought about ruling it a touchdown, just so it could be reviewed.
“Not really. Those two officials who were covering it, they look at it in real time,” Boger said. “This case was unique in that the guy who would have ruled touchdown had him short. So maybe if that ruling official on the goal line had a touchdown, we could have gotten into that, but he thought that that guy stepped out of bounds. The goal line wasn’t in the play.”
That call put the Patriots in a 2-game losing streak as they head to face the Cincinnati Bengals next week.