Belichick disagrees with controversial penalty

Updated: October 20, 2013, 6:54 PM ET


By
Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he didn’t believe his team committed a penalty on a pivotal missed field goal attempt in Sunday’s 30-27 overtime loss to the New York Jets.

Nick Folk‘s missed 56-yard field goal try was nullified due to an unsportsmanlike penalty call on defensive tackle Chris Jones for pushing a teammate in an attempt to block the kick.

The officials ruled that Jones was a second-level defender that pushed teammate Will Svitek from behind, a violation of Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 that states: “Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.”

Though Jones did appear to push Svitek, he was originally lined up on the line of scrimmage. The violation is said to occur only when the pushing player starts at the second level of the defense, which is what Belichick took exception to.

“You can’t push on the second level,” he said. “I didn’t think we did that.”

New York, given new life, ran the ball three times to set up Folk’s game-winning 42-yard field goal.

Referee Jerome Boger explained his decision after the game.

“The call was that No. 94 [Jones] on the defense pushed his teammate into the formation,” he said. “That is a rule change for 2013 that a teammate cannot push a teammate into the opponents’ formation.”

The league confirmed that it’s the first time the penalty has been called this year.

Jones, who said after the game that he was previously aware of the rule, took responsibility for the penalty.

“Yeah, it was something we talked about probably during camp and stuff, and it just slipped out of my mind,” he said. “So I just, it was just my mistake, nobody else’s. I’ve just got to man up and fix it next time.”

Information from ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss was used in this report.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston’s Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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