- New England Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs, but the referees ruled he stepped out of bounds before he got to the end zone.
- Replays showed Harry did not step out of bounds, but the play could not be reviewed because the Patriots were out of challenges and the referees had not ruled it a scoring play, which are automatically reviewed.
- The Patriots were out of challenges because they had used their challenges on the previous possession to get a fumble call overturned, prompting criticism of the referees.
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The New England Patriots missed out on a crucial touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
On first-and-10 from the Chiefs’ 15-yard line, trailing 23-13, Tom Brady threw a short pass to rookie receiver N’Keal Harry. Harry broke a tackle and stumbled along the sideline and dove into the end zone, appearing to break the line with the ball.
However, referees ruled that Harry had stepped out of bounds and spotted the ball at the Chiefs’ three-yard line.
Replays showed the Harry had not stepped out of bounds and did score.
The problem was the Patriots were out of challenges. They used one the previous Chiefs drive to challenge a Chiefs’ third-down conversion, which they lost. A few plays later on the same drive, they challenged a fumble on Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce that the referees blew dead. The Patriots won the challenge and got the ball.
Here is one angle of Harry’s apparent score:
—CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) December 9, 2019
The Patriots ended up having to settle for a field goal which cut the Chiefs lead to seven.
Several in the NFL world criticized the referees, whose calls had led the Patriots to challenge two other plays. Then, because the referees ruled that Harry didn’t score, the play could not be reviewed, like all scoring plays are.
—Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 9, 2019
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—Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 9, 2019
—Ben Volin (@BenVolin) December 9, 2019
While the Patriots defense would stop the Chiefs on the ensuing possession, the Patriots were not able to score in the red zone again on their final possession. The Chiefs won, 23-16.
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