Refs badly miss a delay of game penalty on Patriots, who throw a TD pass on the play

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Refs badly miss a delay of game penalty on Patriots, who throw a TD pass on the play

It wasn't like CBS had to stop the replay of the ' third-quarter touchdown pass exactly as the play clock expired to show that delay of game should have been called.

The play clock hit zero, a couple more seconds went on and then the Patriots snapped the ball. No penalty was called. A New England threw a touchdown pass on the play.

It wasn't just a missed call. It was missed by at least two seconds. That's hard for the to stomach.

It's not the first time this season, and it won't be the last, teams have snapped the ball after the play clock expired, with no penalty called. It has happened last season, perhaps most famously last season when a on the , who ended up kicking a 66-yard field goal to beat the a few seconds later.

Basketball has a shot clock and monitors it by tenths of a second. The NFL just wings it. There's no real reason the league doesn't use a more exact measurement of the play clock, but it definitely doesn't.

That this missed call favored the Patriots will bring about plenty of conspiracy theories on Twitter. Patriots third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe threw a touchdown to on the play to give the Patriots a 17-14 lead.

But it wasn't a call just to favor the Patriots. NFL officials routinely miss the play clock expiring. It makes no sense why they don't seem to want to enforce one of their most basic rules.