In a postseason that’s already seen its fair share of bad calls, it didn’t take the officials long to add to the litany of highly-questionable calls.
Early in the first quarter, with the Patriots facing a 2nd and 14 Rams defender Nickell Robey-Coleman tackled Patriots running back Rex Burkhead. The hit was immediate, but looked clean.
Wow. Nickell Robey-Coleman head-to-head contact. Never seen that before. pic.twitter.com/0kkiNO5KjG
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) February 3, 2019
The hit left the Patriots with a 4-yard loss and would have given New England a 3rd and 18. However, the defenseless receiver call gave New England 15 yards and a first down.
The explanation given by CBS rues analyst Gene Steratore, is that Robey-Coleman didn’t give Burkhead enough time to catch the ball and make a football move. A courtesy that would likely never be afforded a defender who intercepted a pass. If anything, the play should have been flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
The Patriots missed a field goal at the end of the drive.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn