Sixteen hours later and it still doesn't feel real that the New England Patriots lost to the Las Vegas Raiders on the final play of the game in the stupidest manner imaginable. You can watch football every week for the rest of your life and not see a play like that again. The fact that it happened to the Patriots, a team who built their mystique on the coaching prowess of Bill Belichick, is wildly funny for most of you and deeply infuriating for those like me, paying for years of great fortune by watching the franchise slide into utter ineptitude.
However, in the case of last night's game, the Patriots were aided in their self-destruction by a horrible decision by the refs. A mistake of epic proportions that could have been easily avoided with the utilization of a simple piece of technology that CBS and NBC apparently own exclusive rights to: the pylon cam.
Let's set the scene. The Raiders were down by seven points and were in desperation mode. Derek Carr was hurling deep pass after deep pass to little success. With under a minute to go, Las Vegas faced third-and-10. Carr heaved one up to the end zone to Keelan Cole, of all people. And Cole, improbably, came down with an incredible catch.
The refs ruled it a touchdown and the play went to review. Replay after replay showed Cole had a toe out of bounds. But there were no good angles and the officials were forced to use an above shot that still showed Cole was out of bounds. But it wasn't definitive.
Any sensible person would think he stepped out of bounds. But the rules of common sense do not apply to the NFL.
And if there had been a pylon cam, we wouldn't have had this problem! Look at this shot from last week's Jags-Titans game.
This angle would have exonerated the Patriots. It would have overturned the Cole touchdown and forced the Raiders into a fourth-and-10.
The Patriots did not get screwed out of a win. Far from it. But it is aggravating that they ended up in a tie game because the multibillion dollar industry doesn't have enough cameras to make the right call on the field.