In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:
Obviously, the day after such a creepy end to a very good game, is becoming more and more the norm in the Goodell NFL. What I find disturbing is a ref like Jerry Austin or any of these blatantly obvious Pats haters, saying "the ball was not catchable" or "Gronk did not sell it enough".
It's not a receiver's job to sell anything. It's the refs' job to get the call right and no legit football analyst fan can say that was the right call. There is no argument. The flag was thrown because it was so egregious and then the ref's explanation as to why the flag was picked up doesn't support Holding or Illegal Contact, either a serviceable call for that play.
So, all these anti-Pats morons like Carter, Polian, Merriroid, etc, can all turn in their badges for being unprofessional analysts and liars who don't know the rules.
This is one day after SF got jobbed with a LB simply tackling Brees with a normal, textbook football hit. Why do the refs involve themselves so egrgiously in these games now?
Why? Are they on the take? Are they told to create a call to favor one team if they need to when they can, for the team Vegas wants to win? I am dead serious. We see this in the NBA, frankly, because with how that sport works, it's easy to shift games with foul or non foul calls.
Facts: That was either holding by Kuechly has he rode Gronk all the way into the end zone or illegal contact on the impedement of Gronk trying to come back for the ball.
It does not have to be just a PI play. Regardless, the ball was clearly catchable if he wasn't blocked by Kuechly and if he dove to try to catch it. Once I saw Kuechly do that, I realized why Gronk had a quiet game. He was being mugged like that all game long in man coverage. Makes sense. A team that plays zone, plays man and mugs Gronk as the gameplan. I think that is what Carlolina did. I only saw a few off play situations where Gronk was not targeted, but it appeared to be man coverages, most of the night. Give Carolina credit for doing that because Brady would have shredded their zone.
If this is the only way teams can beat us, at their home stadium, with the refs changing rules during the game or on the last plays, I sure like our odds in the future and for karma to come back around. This cannot continue with Goodell because it will look more and more obvious with how he has this league set up and his obsession trying to promote teams that have not been successful in the past.
I thought the team played a good road game overall. That was a SB for Carolina, not having a night game there in like 5 or 6 years, the media hype around them, etc, and I liked how NE kept it close in the first half and then took the game over in the second half. Overall, good, solid road game with a very disturbing ending that will be talked about all week if not longer.
The Run D was outstanding. I believe Williams had a total of 17 yards. Nice job there and not allowing any big, gamechanging plays to Newton. He had that 1 scramble, yes. Nice play, but overall they didn't use their run game to control the game, especially in the second half where NE took momentum.
The offense was balanced and they continued to run it. I would have preferred a bit more running in a game like that, but overall good job spreading the ball around and keeping the balance. By far and away, Brady's best road game and maybe game of the season.
Carolina's D is supposed to be so great, but if Ridley does not fumble, you could be looking at a runaway based on how the offense was dictating in certain parts of the game. No panic, no forced throws, take the sack when you need to, etc.
Amendola was clutch again as was Thompkins in limited duty. Good job by Blount as well after Ridley needed to be pulled. It's amazing how dynamic Vereen is. The offense has another level with him out there. Cannon, Wendell, Connolly, etc, also had nice games overall.
On D, excellent work by Sopoanga anchoring the run D. You didn't hear his name called a lot, but it makes the other young D Linemen better. They missed some sacks and a couple contain plays on Newton, but that is the athlete Newton is. Overall, they took away their best stuff and that is their overall run game.
Harmon, a nice game as a starter.
Ridley. I have been saying to turn to Bolden for a while now and this is why. In the game thread, I turned to AvvyBoston and said "that fumble might be the game", and it turned out as being so because the Pats could not create a turnover of their own, which is the first time in 36 straight games. That's an amazing stat that will probably be an NFL record for years to come. Turn to Bolden as the lead/power back or Vereen, please. Ridley needs to be scaled back and used less to reduce the risk of the fumble. Love his skill set his energy, etc, but we turned it over, Carolina didn't. Ball game.
Mankins. I officially hate this hayseed. Get him out of here. Every freaking game he does something stupid with a penalty or is one step away from starting a fight. I cannot stand this guy. Get him out of town in the offseason. I have had it with him getting worse and worse every year and acting like he is some Pro Bowler.
Injuries. Hate to say it, but Talib and Arrington were nursing their issues by the end of the game, which is something we just can't have going on next Sunday night.
Overall, it's an NFC loss, so it's not as bad as losing next week to Denver. I cannot imagine the Pats will be in a very good mood next week when Denver shows up here with their entitled selves.
Would also like to see more of 1-2-3 punch with Blount/Bolden/Ridley.