Patriots’ Hunter Henry arguments overturned TD in loss to Vikings

MINNESOTA– New England Patriots tight end henry hunterThe 6-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was nullified by instant replay Thursday night, a decision that left him perplexed after a 33-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium.

“I think I caught it,” Henry said late Thursday night in the Patriots locker room. “He said he hit the ground. But I believe my hand was under the ball. The hand was under the ball, hitting the ground, that’s what popped it.

“They made the call. I just have to live with it.”

On the play of third and base from the 6-yard line, the quarterback McJones fired a pass near the goal line to Henry, who was covered by the Vikings defensive back Chandon Sullivan. Henry had both hands on the ball as he raced towards the goal line.

Officials initially ruled it a touchdown, before overturning the call as an incomplete pass after a lengthy review.

A touchdown would have given the Patriots a 30-23 lead midway through the third quarter, assuming a successful point attempt after. Instead, they settled for a 25-yard field goal in Nick Folk. The Vikings then scored the final 10 points of the game.

NFL Vice President of Umpires Walt Anderson explained the overturned call in a pool report, saying, “He was going to the ground, the ball ended up hitting the ground, then he lost control of the ball. ball in his hands.”

When asked to explain why Henry didn’t get possession before the ball hit the ground, Anderson said: “Because he’s going to the ground, he has to keep control of the ball when he’s hits the ground Commonly used term is “survive” the ground “…he has the elements of both feet and control, but because he’s going to the ground he has to maintain control of the ball.”

As the replay process unfolded, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said he thought it would either be a catch just short of the goal line or an incomplete pass.

“I think it’s one of those things that could have happened in different ways. I was very happy that it happened like that,” he said.

Henry had two hands on the ball, but Anderson said that wasn’t enough.

“If he had kept control of the ball with both hands, even if the ball were to hit the ground, it would still be a snag,” he said.

Henry, in his seventh season in the NFL, had only seen the replay by watching it on the scoreboard at US Bank Stadium. In the aftermath of Thursday’s game, he planned to ‘really watch it in the cinema, and just try to be better and control the ball throughout so there’s not even a question’ .

The Patriots still had chances after the decision, but were doomed by self-inflicted injuries, such as a penalty for hitting the kicker in the fourth quarter that turned a punt into an eventual Vikings touchdown.

“We have to move on [overturned] play and play the rest of the game. There was plenty of time left,” Jones said. “There were other times when we could have hit him and it wouldn’t have been a problem. A call cannot determine the outcome. We have to be able to do better, so it’s not even close.”

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