FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s been some time since the Patriots were accused of “cheating,” so it’s only fitting that an opponent called New England into question right from the get-go of the 2018 NFL season.
The Pats kicked off the campaign on a high note, hanging on for a 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday. But after the Week 1 contest at Gillette Stadium, one Texans player strongly hinted at some sketchy behavior on behalf of the home team.
Houston cornerback Aaron Colvin was on the losing end of one of the game’s top highlights which saw Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski split double coverage for a 28-yard catch as the first half entered its final minute. Given a bit of juggling on Gronk’s part, New England quickly rushed to the line and ran a play, preventing the Texans from challenging No. 87’s grab. Four players later, quarterback Tom Brady connected on a four-yard touchdown to Phillip Dorsett, which boosted the Patriots’ lead to 21-6.
After the game, Colvin was of the mindset that the setting of the contest played a part in the handling of Gronkowski’s controversial catch.
For those wondering why the play wasn’t reviewed, referee Tony Corrente provided a bit of clarity following the game.
“It is New York,” Corrente said when asked who would have been responsible for initiating that particular review. “And the situation was that New York did get back to us. However, unfortunately, they didn’t get to the game officials on the field until after the play had already started.”
We have a feeling Corrente’s response won’t make the Texans feel any better about the situation.
All told, there’s seemingly at least one questionable call in every NFL game, and it’s tough to pinpoint one play as the deciding factor in an entire game. Houston certainly has the grounds to be frustrated about Gronkowski’s catch, but its primary focus likely is centered around its overall mediocre play in Week 1.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports