- The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC title game after blowing a 20-10 fourth-quarter lead.
- The Jaguars had a shot to extend their lead with a fumble recovery, but the play was called dead by what appeared to be an inadvertent whistle.
- If the whistle had not blown, the Jaguars most likely would have taken a 27-10 lead with under 14 minutes to play.
The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game in heartbreaking fashion, with the Pats overcoming a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit before pulling out a 24-20 win.
For Jacksonville, the loss came after the Jaguars had a shot to extend their lead that was derailed by what appeared to be an inadvertent whistle.
The play came early in the fourth quarter, just after the Jags had kicked a field goal that gave them a 20-10 lead. The Patriots attempted a trick play, with a double pass resulting in running back Dion Lewis’ racing down the sideline for a big gain. Lewis, however, was caught from behind by Myles Jack, who stripped the ball, recovered it, and then jumped up and headed toward what might have been a game-clinching touchdown.
Then things got complicated.
The ruling on the field was that the Jags had recovered the fumble and that Jack was down where he recovered the ball. Officials reviewed the play and upheld the call.
Unacknowledged was that it appeared Jack was never down.
After the recovery, Jack immediately jumped up and appeared to have a clear path to the end zone that would have made the game 27-10. Instead, the Jags went on to punt the ball back to the Patriots three plays later.
Here is the replay. It is close, but Jack seemed to be untouched once he recovered the ball.
What makes this play especially tough for the Jags is that officials typically let a close play like this play out just in case the player wasn’t down. A touchdown can be overturned and returned to the spot of the recovery.
Unfortunately for the Jags, a blown whistle cannot be overturned. Now the Jags and their fans can only imagine now how the game might have turned out if the official had held his whistle a tad longer.