For every awesome Patriots comeback this year, there’s been a team on the other end that has to swallow the loss.
Chudzinski and Cleveland, however, have a bit more to talk about than Ryan and Manning did when Tom Brady turned on the jets and led the Patriots back with just enough time in those two victories. Chudzinski’s Browns had the Patriots on the ropes for much of Sunday’s game until New England scored late in the game and improbably recovered an onside kick to set up the final scoring drive.
What’s really sticking in Chudzinski’s craw, though, is a pass interference call on the last drive that even Patriots supporters are calling dubious (no matter what happened against Carolina). Leon McFadden was called for pass interference for appearing to touch Josh Boyce’s back as Boyce chased a Brady throw into the end zone, and the Patriots were moved right up to the goal line thanks to the penalty flag. They scored on the next play.
While New England was clipping along enough that the Patriots could have easily scored without the helpful yellow flag (they scored the go-ahead touchdown with half a minute remaining in the game), it was still a bad call and a raw way to end the contest.
Chudzinski admitted as much afterward, saying he was “sick about the outcome of the game” and unhappy with the officials’ call, according to Pro Football Talk. He knew his opinion didn’t matter much at that point, though.
“I felt like those two were both jostling for the ball, and obviously, the penalty was called,” Chudzinski said in his postgame press conference. “So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what I think.”
If that play was a makeup call for the end of the New England-Carolina game, the Browns now have three opportunities remaining for a makeup call of their own. They play the Bears, Jets and Steelers to finish the season.