FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots’ dramatic victory over the Jets on Sunday didn’t come without some controversy.
With 26 seconds left at Gillette Stadium, rookie cornerback Marcus Jones broke a 3-3 tie by taking an 84-yard part return to the house. After New York’s failed kickoff return killed the final five seconds, New England walked off the field with a pivotal 10-3 victory.
However, many are wondering whether the Jets got screwed by a non-call during Jones’ return.
Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson appeared to commit an illegal block in the back on Jets cornerback Justin Hardee around the 15-yard line. If called, the penalty would’ve given New England the ball around New York’s 25-yard line with under 10 seconds remaining.
Here’s a replay and a couple of screenshots:
Wilson was asked about the controversial play after the game.
“I feel like I was in front of him and I feel like it was pretty clean,” Wilson said inside New England’s locked room. “I was gonna be super disappointed if they would’ve called it. I’m just happy they didn’t and we was able to get the win.”
Wilson added: “As I was running, I felt confident that I was in front of him. That’s why I blocked him the way I did. I feel like, if it was close, I probably would’ve just given him a (push).”
The Patriots likely would’ve sent out Nick Folk for about a 40-yard field goal try had the penalty been called. So, the non-call might not have mattered in the end.
“I tried to deliver that last-minute block,” Wilson said. “I don’t know if he would’ve caught him or not. I just wanted to catch him, just in case he was close enough to try to sweep (Jones’) ankles. Regardless, I feel like we would’ve had a chance to win the game.”
As for Hardee, he took the high road while speaking with reporters.
“I tried to track (Jones) down, and I got hit,” the Jets cornerback said. “Whether it was on the side or in the back it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t up to my standards, it wasn’t up to the Jets’ standards. I put it on me. I’ll go and work harder, go in the film room more. To do whatever I can to make this team better. To make the special teams group better.
“It’s not all on me, it’s eleven guys on the field. But me being the captain, I’m always going to point the finger at me first.”
The Patriots now are 6-4 and still hold a playoff spot in the AFC. They’ll look to make it three wins in a row this Thursday night when they visit the Minnesota Vikings.