Patriots fans cried that a great injustice was committed when the rare critical call went against them at the end of the loss to the Panthers a month ago, but it didn’t take long for the officials to repay the Patriots in a even more critical game, given that it would have been a conference loss.
After a converted onside kick by the Patriots gave them the ball back at midfield with 38 seconds left, Tom Brady went deep for Josh Boyce. The pass went through Boyce’s hands, but the refs dutifully gave the Patriots a flag in the end zone for pass interference, even though Boyce initiated the contact and whatever contact a Browns defender committed occurred well outside the end zone.
To their credit, the Browns tried to rally with what limited time they had left. They moved the ball far enough to give Billy Cundiff a shot at a game-winning 58-yard field goal at the end of regulation. But that kick well short, because it’s Billy Cundiff at Gillette Stadium.