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Bill Belichick, Patriots annoyed by replay reversal that nullified third-quarter touchdown


Hunter Henry was judged on the field for getting a tough hold on the goal line for what would have been a third-quarter touchdown to give the New England Patriots the lead late in the third quarter at Minnesota.

After a lengthy replay, the call was called off in an incomplete pass. The Patriots had to settle for a basket and did not score again in the 33-26 loss against the Vikings.

“They called what they called,” Henry said. “I think I caught it, but they made a call. I just have to live with it.”

The officials, with referee Alex Kemp leading the group, spoke with the NFL during the review. The determination was that the ball hit the ground and Henry lost control.

“As he goes to the ground, he has to keep control of the ball when he hits the ground,” NFL senior vice president of umpiring Walt Anderson told a poolside reporter. “The commonly used term is ‘survive the ground’ – a lot of people refer to that. So because he goes to the ground he has the elements of two feet and control, but because he goes to the ground he has to keep control of the ball when it goes down.”

Henry appeared to have one hand under the ball when it hit the turf. The ball broke away, but he held on and retained possession. It was the temporary loss of control that led to the reversal.

“Well, if he had kept control of the ball with both hands, even if the ball touched the ground, if you didn’t lose control of the ball after it touched the ground, it would still be a snag,” Anderson said.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was in no mood to discuss the knockdown during his postgame press conference.

“Why don’t you go see the officials with your pool reporter and ask them about the game, and let them explain it to you,” Belichick said.

Henry was more open about what the officials had told him.

“They said he hit the ground, but my hand was under it,” said Henry, who had scored a touchdown earlier in the third quarter. “I believe my hand was under the ball. The hand was under the ball hitting the ground. That kind of blew it up. I just have to live with it. They made the call.”

Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said: “I thought most of the time we would either have quarter and inches or it was incomplete. They did a great job communicating with me throughout. long of this storyline, and it just ended being knocked down. I think it’s one of those things that could have gone different ways, but I was very happy that it happened that way.

Henry’s no-take ended an effective attacking night for New England as the two teams traded blows on Thanksgiving night. After the knockdown, the Patriots struggled to regain the same success moving the ball.

New England went three times in their next two practices, while Kirk Cousins ​​and Justin Jefferson helped the Vikings to another second-half comeback victory.

“We have to move on from this game and play the rest of the game,” Patriots quarterback Mac Jones said. “There was plenty of time left, and there were other times when we could have hit him and that wouldn’t even have been a problem.”

Nick Folk had four field goals, another sign of continuing problems in the red zone. In three trips inside Minnesota’s 20, the Patriots have never crossed the goal line. New England started the week scoring 42.9% touchdowns in the red zone, the league’s second-worst mark.

“We’ve done good things better than we’ve been,” Henry said. “We just made crucial mistakes again at the end, losing yards, negative plays. You have to keep improving.”

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