Monday, October 22, 2012
Did Pats get an extra second on clock?
By Rich Cimini
It may have been the longest second of the season -- literally.
Patriots' KR Devin McCourty caught Nick Folk's kickoff at the goal line with 2:06 remaining in the fourth quarter Sunday. A close examination of the TV replay shows that McCourty was at the 5-yard line when the game clock turned to 2:05. In fact, he had taken four full strides before the clock changed. In a case like that, the clock is supposed to start when the returner catches the ball.
It was an important second because the Jets recovered McCourty's fumble with 2:01 remaining, giving the Patriots the benefit of the two-minute warning. That allowed them to preserve a timeout for their ensuing, game-tying possession.
The NFL reviewed the sequence and determined there was no clock-operator error, a league spokesman said Monday. In case you're wondering, that type of play isn't reviewable at the game, the spokesman said.
There was also some question as to whether Patriots coach Bill Belichick threw a challenge flag on an Aaron Hernandez fumble in the third quarter. He didn't, according to the league.
There was no need to challenge the play, of course, because all turnovers are reviewed by the booth. It was ruled a fumble on the field, but the booth reversed the call. If Belichick had challenged, it would've been a violation.