As great as the Thanksgiving slate proved to be for football fans, it wasn’t ideal for the officiating crews. The Patriots learned this the hard way.
The New England Patriots lost by just one score against the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving. It was a tough defeat for Mac Jones and Co., who had their best offensive output in quite some time just a week after struggling mightily against the New York Jets.
Minnesota’s defense stepped up late, finally finding an answer for Jones and the New England offense. It wasn’t without some help from the officiating crew, however, which missed a critical facemask on Jones. It didn’t help that it was third down.
Jones’ entire helmet turned, and frankly he was lucky he didn’t end up injured on the play. It wasn’t the only questionable decision.
Patriots: Officials miss obvious facemask on Mac Jones
With the loss, New England falls to 6-5 and failed to maintain the distance between themselves, the Jets and other teams in the middle of the AFC Playoff race.
A positive for the Pats has to be the play of Jones, who is starting to show more confidence just a few weeks after returning from injury. The previous quarterback controversy with Bailey Zappe appears to be a thing of the past, for now. Jones has put plenty of distance between himself and Zappe, and Bill Belichick’s leash ought to be a long one.
Officials will make bad calls, or miss obvious ones from time to time. It’s part of the trade, and surely not something Belichick or Jones will comment on postgame if they enjoy having fat wallets. It’s a little disappointing, however, given the caliber of the refs who consistently work primetime and holiday games.
Hopefully next year will provide the same level of entertainment, without the officiating controversies.