Should The Patriots Have Been Called For A Penalty On Their Game-Tying Score?

02.06.17 10 months ago 4 Comments

The Patriots 25-point second comeback against the Falcons was punctuated by a game-tying two-point conversion from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola on a quick screen to the outside. While Madden 17 was able to predict the comeback, and Dez Bryant called the Falcons’ conservative play leaving room for Brady’s heroics, nobody could draw up exactly what would happen on Sunday.

It was an extremely clever play design from Josh McDaniels, putting Tom Brady under center with an empty backfield to force the Falcons to cover over the center in case of a long quarterback sneak attempt from Brady, who is one of the NFL’s best at the QB sneak. With the defense spread wide in single coverage, it was a numbers game for Brady to toss the ball out to the left quickly where Amendola punched it in.

On the play, Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney was flagged for offsides, which was declined as the Pats took the points. However, that isn’t the only penalty that should have been assessed on the play.

Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman both engage their defenders prior to Amendola receiving the pass (especially Hogan, as he initiated contact with his defender, while the inside defender jumped into Edelman). You can see in video that the Falcons defenders point in the Patriots direction once they saw the flag, assuming that this would be called.

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