The New England Patriots won the whistle game in their 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC crown, getting penalized just once for 10 yards. The Jaguars were hit with six penalties for 98 yards, 32 of which came on a single borderline play that proved instrumental to the Pats’ first touchdown on the comeback trail.
That, combined with those non-Patriots corners of the NFL internet’s deeply held belief that the league and its refs favor the fellows from New England, is why it didn’t look great that Tom Brady’s team and the refs appeared to be great chums during and after the game.
A ref was one of the first people to congratulate Brady after his earning the Super Bowl berth.
First guy to congratulate Brady? Number 34. What a teammate! pic.twitter.com/azXq3qgN43
— OurState_CSU (@OurStateCSU) January 21, 2018
After the aforementioned controversial defensive pass interference penalty helped Brady’s offense to their first touchdown of the day, an official was caught yucking it up in the middle of the Patriots’ celebration.
— Art Project (@ArtAntram) January 21, 2018
Though the video doesn’t look nearly as bad.
— Nick Tennant (@nick10ant) January 21, 2018
Early in the fourth quarter, New England again appeared to benefit from a crucial call. Myles Jack stripped Dion Lewis, then gained possession after the two hit the ground. Jack sprinted toward the end zone, to which he had a clear path, but officials drew the play dead.
It’s difficult to tell whether Lewis’ toe tapped Jack once the linebacker gained possession of the rock.
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) January 21, 2018
A touchdown there might have put the game out of reach.