It’s 24 hours later and the Jets still don’t understand why a touchdown was taken away and there’s nothing that can be done about it.
After the Jets lost to the Patriots, 24-17, on Sunday, one major call overshadowed any other.
Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to four. After a replay review, it was determined he fumbled the ball and therefore, based on the rules, a touchback is the call when a player fumbles out of the end zone.
It was a controversial decision because Seferian-Jenkins regained control of the ball after he was stripped before landing in the end zone. But the fumble came as he crossed the goal line. So instead of being down one score, the Jets’ defense needed to hold off the Patriots, who got the ball back on the overturned call. Eventually the Jets got three points back, but the Seferian-Jenkins score, which was taken away, loomed big.
What made the call more painful is that the league confirmed it again on Monday.
“No doubt about it. It was clear and obvious,” Al Riveron, the NFL’s VP of officiating said in a Monday afternoon conference call. “Unless it’s clear and obvious to us, we will not change the ruling on the field.”
The Jets, even after watching the play again, on Monday, still couldn’t understand it.
“No, I don’t,” Josh McCown said of his understanding of the call. “It’s really the same response as [Sunday]. I don’t know. It’s not my call and those guys make it, we’re all excited, we thought it was good. The league has put a ton of resources into trying to get these things right and so ultimately when you bring in the replay and send it to the league office, and everybody is looking, you hope all those eyes on it makes the best decision and fairest thing in evaluating the rules as best they can.”
Jets coach Todd Bowles probably said it best on Monday: “It doesn’t matter today, we got to move on to Miami. It’s not going to change so it really doesn’t matter, it’s not worth talking about it for me.”