The New England Patriots suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday Night Football this weekend, falling to the Denver Broncos in a snowy mile-high showdown on national television. The Pats ultimately fell to the Broncos 30-24 in an overtime thriller that saw Peyton Manning’s replacement — Denver QB Brock Osweiler — do what Peyton always seemed to have trouble doing: out-gun and take down Tom Brady’s Patriots.
The Patriots certainly didn’t play their best game, and — even then — they did have plenty of chances to put the game away after taking a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter. Their high-powered offense — missing injured key pieces such as Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and, later, Rob Gronkowski — seemed to be thwarted by Denver’s heralded defense late in the game when it mattered.
But, in addition to the inclement weather and key injuries, New England also had to battle some very questionable officiating as they tried desperately to hold onto their lead late in the game. Now, let’s be honest…officiating has been pretty rough around the NFL all season this year, and usually every team has to overcome some poor officiating if they want to win in today’s NFL. More often than not, it seems like the Patriots tend to find themselves on the beneficial side of shaky officiating.
For whatever reason, that was far from the case on Sunday night. Seemingly all of the game’s big controversial calls went against New England, and a lot of them seemed to come at pivotal points in the game.