The New England Patriots were on the wrong end of an inadvertent whistle during their game against the Buffalo Bills Monday night, and it may have cost them a huge play.
Tom Brady scrambled out of the pocket to keep a play alive early in the third quarter when, for no apparent reason, a member of the officiating crew blew his whistle. Brady never stepped out of bounds and completed a pass to Danny Amendola, who had nothing but open space ahead of him and might have even be able to score a touchdown.
After gathering to discuss the play, the officials ruled that an inadvertent whistle was blown and awarded the Patriots the catch. Since play stopped because of the whistle, the ball was downed at the spot where Amendola caught it.
Rex Ryan, who was furious on the play, was assessed a 15-yard penalty for coming onto the field. ESPN rules analyst Gerry Austin noted that the play should not have counted, as the whistle blew before Amendola caught the ball. When that happens, the play is supposed to be nullified and done over. Only when the whistle blows after a player catches the ball should the play count.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski ended up missing a field goal on the drive, and the Patriots came away with no points.
If Tom Brady was angry before that inexplicable play, he had to have been seeing red afterword. That was a major blunder that cost the Patriots a huge play at least and possibly a touchdown.