MINNESOTA — New England Patriots tight finish Hunter Henry’s 6-yard landing reception in the third quarter was overturned by immediate replay Thursday night time, a choice that left him perplexed following a 33-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium.
“I imagine I caught it,” Henry mentioned late Thursday night time in the Patriots’ locker room. “He mentioned it hit the bottom. But I imagine my hand was beneath the ball. The hand was beneath the ball, with hitting the bottom, that is what sort of prompted it to leap up.
“They made the decision. Just obtained to dwell with it.”
On the third-and-goal play from the 6-yard line, quarterback Mac Jones fired a cross close to the aim line to Henry, who was coated by Vikings defensive again Chandon Sullivan. Henry had each arms on the ball as he lunged in direction of the aim line.
Officials initially dominated it a landing, earlier than overturning the decision to an incomplete cross following a prolonged evaluation.
A landing would have given the Patriots a 30-23 lead halfway via the third quarter, assuming a profitable point-after try. Instead, they settled for a 25-yard discipline aim by Nick Folk. The Vikings then scored the sport’s ultimate 10 factors.
NFL vp of officiating Walt Anderson defined the overturned name in a pool report, saying: “He was going to the bottom, the ball ended up touching the bottom, after which he misplaced management of the ball in his arms.”
Asked to clarify why Henry wasn’t granted possession earlier than the ball hit the bottom, Anderson mentioned: “Because as he is going to the bottom, he has to preserve management of the ball upon contacting the bottom. The time period that is generally used is ‘surviving’ the bottom’ … he has the weather of two ft and management, however as a result of he is going to the bottom, he has to preserve management of the ball.”
As the replay course of was unfolding, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell mentioned he thought it might both be dominated a catch simply wanting the aim line or an incomplete cross.
“I feel it is a type of issues that would have gone a whole lot of other ways. I used to be very blissful that it went the way in which it did,” he mentioned.
Henry had two arms on the ball, however Anderson mentioned that alone was not sufficient.
“If he had maintained management of the ball with two arms, even when the ball have been to contact the bottom, that may nonetheless be a catch,” he mentioned.
Henry, in his seventh NFL season, had solely seen the replay whereas watching it on the scoreboard at US Bank Stadium. In the aftermath of Thursday’s recreation, he deliberate to “actually have a look at it in the movie room, and simply attempt to be higher and management the ball all through so there’s not even a query.”
The Patriots nonetheless had probabilities after the ruling, however have been doomed by self-inflicted wounds, similar to a running-into-the-kicker penalty in the fourth quarter that turned a punt into an eventual Vikings landing.
“We have to transfer on from that [overturned] play and play the remainder of the sport. There was loads of time left,” Jones mentioned. “There have been different occasions we may have punched it in and that would not have been a difficulty. One name cannot decide the end result. We have to have the opportunity to do higher, so it is not even shut.”