Jets right guard Willie Colon said he overheard the referees say Sunday that they had warned the Patriots on a previous field-goal attempt about pushing. But the game -- a stunning 30-27 Jets' win -- wasn’t the first time New England's employed the tactic.
During the Patriots' dramatic come-from-behind win over the Saints last week, defensive tackle Chris Jones pushed teammate Will Svitek forward during a fourth-quarter field goal try by the Saints. (You can see a screen shot here)
The Patriots, however, weren’t so lucky in overtime against the Jets. On a missed 56-yard field-goal attempt by Nick Folk, the refs flagged Jones for pushing Svitek into Jets long snapper Tanner Purdum. The 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty earned the Jets a first down and a 42-yard try for Folk – who nailed the game-winner.
When asked the penalty after the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said: “You can't push from the second level, but I don't think we did that.” But when asked why he thought second-level pushing was illegal but line of scrimmage pushing after the snap was OK, Belichick said: “Because obviously we are wrong. What else is there to say? We’re wrong.”
He also absolved Jones of any blame.
“We have to coach him better,” said the prickly head coach. “What he did was basically what he was being told to do. We just have to coach it better. That’s not Chris Jones’ fault.”