Monday Night Football pitted the New England Patriots against the Carolina Panthers in a showdown worthy of the national stage. New England was coming off a bye week, looking to pull away in the AFC East; Carolina, in the midst of a five-game winning streak, was looking to prove itself against one of the league’s perennial powers.
The game did not disappoint, from Cam Newton‘s video game-esque scramble to Aqib Talib and Steve Smith‘s physical matchup. To top things off? Tom Brady got the chance to lead the Patriots down the field against the NFL’s best defense, down four with less than a minute to go. And drive the Pats down the field is exactly what Brady did, culminating in one last pass to the end zone with no time remaining.
Initially, referees threw a flag in the direction of Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, who was draped all over Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in the end zone. Defensive pass interference? Defensive holding? Patriots awarded one last shot from the Carolina 1-yard line to score the game-winning touchdown?
Not Monday night. After conferencing on the field, the refs picked up the flag, ending the game and sealing the win for the Panthers.
So what happened on the final play? SiriusXM NFL Radio caught up with Kuechly after the game:
I didn’t know where the ball went. I didn’t know what really happened. It happened so fast. The flag was down. They made a quick decision and it ended up being good for us.
SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Bob Papa and former NFL wide receiver Amani Toomer broke down the play Monday, with Toomer taking the side of the refs:
Former VP of Officiating Mike Pereira joined The SiriusXM Blitz to discuss the play:
Mad Dog Sports Radio’s Adam Schein says the refs blew it!