Myles Jack Probably Got Robbed Of A Game-Changing Touchdown Due To An Issue That Existed Well Before Yesterday
As is normally the case when the team that nearly everyone wants to lose goes ahead and wins in come-from-behind fashion, I see a lot of scapegoating being done on behalf of the Jaguars.
And hey, why not? The Patriots first touchdown drive was aided heavily by Brandin Cooks innate ability to look like a helpless little boy every single time he's battling against someone better than him...
New England was also deemed guilty of no more than one penalty on an afternoon in which two or three untimely flags may have thwarted their seemingly inevitable come back victory. As if that weren't enough reason to blindly question officiating that (mostly accurately) felt lop-sided then the fact that the refs appeared ready to shed their tops and pop bottles with Brady certainly didn't do much to silence suspicion...
If there's one thing that Patriots' haters (myself included) shouldn't be doing, however, it's acting as if a premature whistle was part of some sort of conspiracy. I don't care how many points it was worth (to be clear, it was worth seven), because erring on the side of a play stoppage isn't some new phenomenon. Myles Jack and the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't fall victim to bad officiating in the moment, they fell victim to stupid officiating protocol, but that's been plaguing the NFL for years. They aren't the first casualty of the overeager enforcement of 'down by contact', and - unless that rule costs Roger Goodell any sort of capital in the near future - they won't be the last.
It will never not make sense that potential changes of possession are instinctually blown dead when the result could have a lasting impact on the outcome of the biggest of games. That's not to say that I definitively knew what took place as I viewed what looked to be a destiny-defining sequence unravel in real time. Not even 20:20 vision through red and blue (or teal and black) tinted glasses could definitively tell you when Dion Lewis lost control of the ball on first viewing, but that's not even the point. The point is that the entire goddamn play should have been left to unfold prior to what was very likely to be a guaranteed second, and much slower viewing of what should have been a scoring play.
There's no bigger momentum swing than a turnover for a touchdown, yet - in a league that prides itself on point scoring and unpredictability - it's also the circumstance that is most often unjustly interfered with. It will get more attention now because it benefited the Patriots, but early whistles have long been a problem. They are basically built into the fabric of football as we know it, so they shouldn't be used to deter from the fact that Jacksonville remembered that they were Jacksonville when it mattered most. That said, this particularly one should be used as an example to show how detrimental they have been to the integrity of the sport well before Tom Brady's bandaged boo-boo was being covered like it resulted in a bloody sock or something.