Then Brady and Co. broke off an 85-yard touchdown drive to cut the lead to 14-10; 32 of those yards came on a controversial pass interference call against Jacksonville corner A.J. Buoye, covering Brandin Cooks, to set New England up in the red zone.
This coverage was so dominant that they basically threw a pity flag for Cooks. Crushed off the field pic.twitter.com/SC3PbW3hco
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) January 21, 2018
The call had Twitter debating the call’s cromulence—with some arguing the ball wasn’t catchable and others claiming both players had a part in locking arms downfield.
Bad PI call on Bouye…but should’ve been PI on the pass to Gronk the play before.
— Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek) January 21, 2018
Yeah this wasn’t PI. Lockdown coverage from Bouye. https://t.co/wEYsEdhZgg
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) January 21, 2018
That’s DPI, but Cooks’ push off was worse than anything Bouye did. That’s why I hate PI.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) January 21, 2018
You can’t hold a receiver when the ball is in the air. That’s pass interference on A.J. Bouye on Cooks.
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) January 21, 2018
Bouye got flagged because Cooks ran an awful route and got herded out of bounds
— Harry Montana (@AlfieBCC) January 21, 2018
Not sure about that PI on Bouye. Was that catchable?
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) January 21, 2018
It looked like helmet to helmet on Church – but Bouye! Cooks was out of bounds
— Brent Martineau (@BrentASJax) January 21, 2018
“I’m not sure about the one on the sideline there,” Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone said en route to the locker room to end the half.
Two plays later, James White punched in New England’s first touchdown of the day.
Regardless, Brady was summarily outplayed by Blake Bortles in the first half. The often-questioned Jags quarterback connected on 13 of 15 passes for 155 yards, a touchdown, and no turnovers. The Patriots signal caller went 12-of-17 for 124 yards.
At halftime, Jacksonville leads 14-10.