The New England Patriots miraculous second half comeback in Super Bowl LI required a second two-point conversion to tie the game at 28, and they relied on Tom Brady.
The Patriots went empty backfield and Brady threw a screen to receiver Danny Amendola, who forced his way into the end zone for the successful two-point conversion. Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney was flagged for offsides, but according to NFL rules, the Patriots should’ve been flagged for illegal blocking.
Before Amendola caught the ball, receivers Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan engaged Falcons’ defenders, which is illegal. Here are the NFL rules on offensive pass interference:
Actions that constitute offensive pass interference include but are not limited to:
(a) Blocking downfield by an offensive player prior to the ball being touched.
(b) Initiating contact with a defender by shoving or pushing off thus creating a separation in an attempt to catch a pass.
(c) Driving through a defender who has established a position on the field.
Here’s a closer look at the play:
If it had been called properly, the penalties would have offset, and the Patriots would have been forced to try the conversion attempt again. It might not have changed the outcome, and it’s a tough call for officials to make in the moment, but Falcons fans have a right to be upset about this missed call.