Good morning, Patriots fans. Wow…I’m at a loss for words. I strongly feel the New England Patriots were robbed of a win tonight in North Carolina over the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers started the game with a quick 3 and out and the Patriots did the same thing. However, things got interesting on the Panthers’ second possession. After Steve Smith burned Aqib Talib (who just came back along with running back Shane Vereen) on a 42 yard catch, things got heated between the two. After another catch from Smith, the sparring and animosity between both players escalated. Seems like the New England defense got distracted by that and Carolina took advantage, with Cam Newton finding Brandon LaFell in the endzone for the score. The Patriots were trying to respond with a pretty long and nice drive, but it was shattered when Stevan Ridley fumbled in their endzone. The Pats defense only held the Panthers offense to a field goal from Graham Gano. At least the Patriots got on the board with a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
The Patriots started with the ball and this possession was terrific. They had some great running plays that helped them drive down the field. But to change things up, the Pats thought of ending the drive with a pass. And that’s what they did. Tom Brady found Rob Gronkowski open who, even though being mauled by 3 defenders, still dove for the touchdown. Carolina did respond with a great drive with Cam Newton finding tight end Greg Olson in the endzone. But the highlight of that drive was definitely Newton’s big 3rd down run, where he probably juked 6-7 Patriots defenders. Much respect to him. To start the 4th quarter, Brady found Kenbrell Thompkins, who nearly scored but was just shy. It didn’t matter because Ridley found his way to the endzone on the very next play. I guess that’s a good way to make up for the fumble. New England had another promising drive where in my opinion, they should have went for it on 4th and 1, but instead elected for a Gotskowski field goal. While he did make it, the bad hold by Ryan Allen almost made the ball go wide left after the kick.
And then the collapse. The Panthers drove all the way down the field eating up some massive clock (with the help of a couple defensive penalties too). Newton found Ted Ginn Jr. who sprinted into the endzone, giving Carolina the lead with 0:59 seconds to go. But hey, the Patriots still had 3 timeouts! With the help of those timeouts and some Panther penalties, the Patriots were 18 yards away from the win. Brady’s pass was intercepted (game over…) but hold on! The ref threw a flag! Linebacker Luke Kuechly (it’s late I really don’t care if I spelled that wrong at this point) literally hugged Gronkowski, thus not allowing Gronk to make a fair attempt to catch the ball. But the ref just picked up his flag and said “There is no foul for pass interference, the game is over”. Which obviously prompted Brady to throw the F-bomb. But he’s right, that was pure bull right there. That ref needs to be fired. Why? Because that was the same exact play in the Browns/Lions game when Calvin Johnson was tackled in the endzone. They called that a pass interference there. So given that, I can’t see why Kuechly wasn’t called for the pass interference. Pretty unclassy of the ref to just pick up that flag. Your final score, New England 20 Carolina 24.
All of Patriots Nation is very pissed, and we have every right to be. But let us all look forward to our biggest game of the season, which is next week against the Denver Broncos. It’s Sunday Night Football too! I expect the Patriots to prove the haters wrong and deliver a great performance. I’m also making the trip from New Jersey to see the game live. So for anyone going to the game, I hope to see you there! Tweet me @vaidyeah33 if you will be going. Let’s go Patriots!