Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Sunday, December 27, 2009
On statement drive, Maroney fumbles line

By Tim Graham

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots opened Sunday's game with a strong statement. They just failed to punctuate it.

The Patriots were methodical in taking their first possession down the field for what should have been an 83-yard touchdown drive on the Jacksonville Jaguars, but running back Laurence Maroney fumbled away the ball on the goal line.

Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson stripped Maroney, and linebacker Daryl Smith recovered. Maroney has fumbled three times inside the 5-yard line this year.

Another Patriots trend held up when Bill Belichick challenged the call. The ruling stood, making Belichick successful only once on seven challenges. He went into the weekend ranked 29th among all NFL coaches when it came to overturning calls.