Sports

Controversial penalty puts Patriots right back into game

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In the opening game of the NFL’s conference championship Sunday, it didn’t take long for a controversy to emerge.

The Jacksonville Jaguars went into Foxborough to face the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, and were playing very much like a team with nothing to lose.

The Jaguars jumped out to a 14-3 lead on the Patriots on the backs of star running back Leonard Fournette and the red hot Blake Bortles.

The Patriots scored first on a field goal, but from there the Jaguars dominated.

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The first touchdown came on a well executed play-action touchdown pass from Bortles to tight end Marcedes Lewis.

Fournette then showed the world why he was the fourth overall pick of the NFL Draft, with a touchdown run where he shrugged off a linebacker like he was nothing.

In between those touchdown drives, the Jacksonville defense lived up to its nickname of “Sacksonville.”

The defense also lived up to its fearsome reputation with some ferocious hits, including one penalized hit that ultimately sent star tight end Rob Gronkowski into the concussion protocol.

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Jacksonville was dominating the champions, but the Patriots were able to cut the lead to 14-10 before the half.

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But that touchdown didn’t come without significant controversy.

The aforementioned hit that knocked out Gronkowski was a debatable penalty, with Jacksonville safety Barry Church seeming to make contact with his shoulder pad before the helmet-to-helmet contact.

But more so than that Church hit, a highly controversial pass interference set the Patriots up for a much-needed touchdown.

Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye played physical defense on Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, and drew a pass interference call.

First, the hand-fighting seemed to be mutual. Second, it was debatable if the ball should ever have been considered “catchable.”

In the end, despite numerous outcries on social media, the Patriots find themselves down 14-10 at the half.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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