There was a lot of bitter back-and-forth between the Jets and Patriots about last week's controversial overtime pushing penalty. At first, Bill Belichick didn't seem to know what the penalty was. (He made a big deal about the "second level" in the pushing penalty—"We weren't on the second level when we pushed him, no. You can't push from the second level"—which wasn't a correct interpretation.) By Tuesday, Belichick conceded that the Pats were penalized correctly but said the Jets should have been called for it too. ("Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves, I don't even know about all that.") And then Rex Ryan started to lose patience—"That's not true! He's got to make up his mind. Was he aware of this thing? Was it second-level, all this kind of jazz?"—and then Calvin Pace tried to give Belichick instructions on how to "lose graciously." Turns out, though, that Belichik was right about the Jets.
In the GIF above, you'll see Quinton Coples maybe-possibly pushing Mo Wilkerson into the Patriots line. From a side angle we showed you earlier this week, it doesn't look as if Coples is purposely pushing Wilkerson into the line, certainly not in the explicit way that the Pats' Chris Jones was pushing teammate Will Svitek in the overtime play.
But if there's anything we learned last night, it's this: Sports rules turn a blind eye to intent pretty easily. It turns out that, yes, Belichick was correct that the Jets should've been flagged, too. Adam Schefter reports this morning that the NFL sent out a video to each NFL head coach, "warning" that this call would be coming a lot more. In the video? The NFL said that the Jets should have been flagged too.
A weeklong bitchfest over a rule none of us knew about last Sunday; a game determined by guys who actually read the office memos—in all, it was a very Roger Goodell moment.