Let’s just get this out of the way: The New England Patriots didn’t lose Sunday because of poor officiating.
There was a case to be made that missed calls cost the Patriots their Week 12 matchup with the Denver Broncos, but injuries, poor decision-making and play-calling were to blame for Sunday’s 35-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
That being said, Pete Morelli’s crew, which reportedly was demoted from the Monday night game to officiate Patriots-Eagles, didn’t seem to be paying attention to false starts.
Morelli’s crew missed eight Eagles false-start penalties, of varying degrees, on passing plays and called Philadelphia for jumping early only once.
Let’s go through the missed false starts:
1. Left tackle Jason Peters clearly starts moving before center Jason Kelce snaps the ball.
2. Peters begins moving backward before the snap, though he steps back at the snap.
3. This is one of the the closest calls, but Peters begins rising before the snap.
4. Peters begins stepping back before the snap again.
5. This time, right tackle Lane Johnson clearly starts stepping backward before Kelce’s snap.
6. Tight end Zach Ertz begins moving before Kelce’s snap.
7. This is the most obvious missed false-start penalty. Peters takes a massive step back before Kelce snaps the ball.
8. Johnson begins stepping backward before the snap. This missed call came on the Eagles’ third-down conversion late in the fourth quarter. If it had been called, the Eagles would have faced third-and-16, and the Patriots likely would have got the ball back before the two-minute warning.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images