New Rule Costs Patriots, Jets Top Pats With FG In Overtime
A new unnecessary roughness penalty added to the NFL rulebook this offseason cost the New England Patriots at the worst possible time in their 30-27 overtime loss to the Jets on Sunday.
Chris Jones was charged with the 15 yard penalty on Nick Folk's first attempt at a game winner in the overtime - a 56-yard-try that was pulled left - keeping the Jets drive alive with a first down and moved the ball well inside Folk's range.
The penalty explained by NFL.com's Bill Bradley in a preseason article:
What the rule changes: During a field-goal attempt or a try kick: (1) No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap; Penalty: For illegal formation by the defense, loss of 5 yards from the previous spot. (2) Team B players not on the line of scrimmage at the snap cannot push players on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation. Penalty: For unnecessary roughness, loss of 15 yards from the previous spot.
But, three plays later, Folk connected from 42-yards away to snap the Jets five-game losing streak to Bill Belichick and company. The win moves Gang Green (4-3) to within a game of New England (5-2) in the AFC East.
The rule change, and many others, are a result of the league's ongoing effort to reduce injury
Bradley's article says NFL officials determined the formation - or in this case, pushing a teammate into another player - was causing injury.