MINNESOTA — New England Patriots tight finish Hunter Henry’s 6-yard landing reception within the third quarter was overturned by instantaneous replay Thursday evening, a call that left him perplexed following a 33-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Financial institution Stadium.
“I imagine I caught it,” Henry mentioned late Thursday evening within the Patriots’ locker room. “He mentioned it hit the bottom. However I imagine my hand was underneath the ball. The hand was underneath the ball, with hitting the bottom, that is what sort of triggered it to leap up.
“They made the decision. Simply bought to reside with it.”
On the third-and-goal play from the 6-yard line, quarterback Mac Jones fired a go close to the purpose line to Henry, who was lined by Vikings defensive again Chandon Sullivan. Henry had each fingers on the ball as he lunged towards the purpose line.
Officers initially dominated it a landing, earlier than overturning the decision to an incomplete go following a prolonged evaluate.
A landing would have given the Patriots a 30-23 lead halfway by way of the third quarter, assuming a profitable point-after try. As a substitute, they settled for a 25-yard area purpose by Nick Folks. The Vikings then scored the sport’s last 10 factors.
NFL vp of officiating Walt Anderson defined the overturned name in a pool report, saying: “He was going to the bottom, the ball ended up touching the bottom, after which he misplaced management of the ball in his fingers.”
Requested to elucidate why Henry wasn’t granted possession earlier than the ball hit the bottom, Anderson mentioned: “As a result of as he will the bottom, he has to take care of management of the ball upon contacting the bottom. The time period that is generally used is ‘surviving the bottom’ … he has the weather of two ft and management, however as a result of he will the bottom, he has to take care of management of the ball.”
Because the replay course of was unfolding, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell mentioned he thought it could both be dominated a catch simply wanting the purpose line or an incomplete go.
“I feel it is a type of issues that might have gone a variety of alternative ways. I used to be very completely happy that it went the best way it did,” he mentioned.
Henry had two fingers on the ball, however Anderson mentioned that alone wasn’t sufficient.
“If he had maintained management of the ball with two fingers, even when the ball had been to the touch the bottom, that might nonetheless be a catch,” he mentioned.
Henry, in his seventh NFL season, had solely seen the replay whereas watching it on the scoreboard at U.S. Financial institution Stadium. Within the aftermath of Thursday’s sport, he deliberate to “actually take a look at it within the movie room, and simply attempt to be higher and management the ball throughout so there’s not even a query.”
The Patriots nonetheless had possibilities after the ruling, however had been doomed by self-inflicted wounds, reminiscent of a running-into-the-kicker penalty within the fourth quarter that turned a punt into an eventual Vikings landing.
“We have now to maneuver on from that [overturned] play and play the remainder of the sport. There was loads of time left,” Jones mentioned. “There have been different occasions we might have punched it in and that would not have been a problem. One name cannot decide the result. We have now to have the ability to do higher, so it is not even shut.”