Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who found himself at the epicenter of a controversial finish involving replacement officials in Sunday night’s 31-30 loss at Baltimore, said he did not see the controversial finish of Seattle’s 14-12 victory over Green Bay on “Monday Night Football,’’ and would not comment on it.
Replacement officials ruled an apparent game-ending interception in the end zone by Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings to be a game-winning touchdown catch for Seattle’s Golden Tate. The NFL reviewed the play Tuesday and said that while Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference on the play, it could not overturn the ruling on the field, making the result final.
“Honestly, I’ve just been focused here all morning on Buffalo and trying to get the game plan and improve on what we’re doing and get that all straightened out,’’ Belichick said during his weekly media teleconference Tuesday. “I don’t focus too much on any other games, any other teams, or any of that.
“I’ll just see if I can do a better job of coaching the Patriots; that would be a better place for me to start.’’
At the conclusion of Sunday night’s loss, Belichick chased after an official and grabbed at him, hoping to get a clarification on whether Justin Tucker’s winning 27-yard field goal, which appeared to sail directly over the right upright, was reviewable. It was an action that could result in a fine for Belichick.
Belichick declined to elaborate when asked Tuesday if he had approached the league to give his side of things.
“I think I’ll just keep all of that process private,” he said. “Whatever the league has to say in the announcements — or whatever they have to say — they can make those [comments] or not make them, if and when they decide to do it. I’ll just leave all that to them.’’
During his weekly appearance on WEEI, Tom Brady also said he had not seen the ending of the Seahawks-Packers game.
“I got a few text messages about it,’’ he said.
Despite all of the controversial calls over the weekend, Brady was diplomatic about the league’s use of replacement referees.
“I feel like these guys are doing the best they can do, to tell you the truth,’’ Brady said. “They’re going to miss calls and so forth, and really, part of my job is not to worry about the officials, so I hate spending time talking about them, and I never have talked about the officials. The reason why we lost our particular game was not because of the officials.
“I don’t know what happened last night, I didn’t see it. I feel bad if there were bad calls.”
No word on Edelman
Belichick said wide receiver Julian Edelman, who injured his left hand Sunday night, would be evaluated, and an update would be furnished Wednesday.
“We’ll see what he’s able to do out there in practice,’’ Belichick said. “They’re evaluating the hand, taking a look at it, and trying to determine what the nature of the injury is.”
Edelman played 38 snaps in the first half against the Ravens before having his left hand examined on the sideline during the third quarter. He retreated to the locker room for further examination and did not play the second half.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels expressed no regrets over the decision to go for an end-around reverse that resulted in a 13-yard loss with 7:48 left in the second quarter.
“When we practice things during the course of the year and the week, we practice them with all the right intentions and we feel like they have a chance to be successful,’’ McDaniels said.
On second and 6 from the Baltimore 49, McDaniels called a direct snap to running back Danny Woodhead, who handed off to Edelman on the reverse. He was tackled for a 13-yard loss.
Two plays later, the Patriots punted from their own 42, allowing the Ravens to take possession for a 10-play, 92-yard drive that resulted in Joe Flacco’s 20-yard TD pass to Dennis Pitta for a 14-13 lead with 1:53 left before intermission.
“It’s a play that I know we’ve run multiple times around here before and it has had some good success,” said McDaniels.
“There are times, whenever you call something like that, that a defensive player makes a good play on that particular play. You take the risk that that could happen.”
While it is not certain how long the Bills would be without injured running back C.J. Spiller, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia believes the complexion of Buffalo’s offense is likely to remain unchanged because of the depth at the position.
Spiller had stepped up to replace Fred Jackson, who sprained a knee ligament in the season opener, and Tashard Choice was summoned when Spiller injured his left shoulder in the first quarter against Cleveland Sunday. Choice rushed 20 times for 91 yards in a 24-14 victory.
“I think what they’ve done there is have an attitude in their backfield where one guy can come in and replace the next and they have still been very productive,’’ Patricia said. “Spiller obviously is a very, very fast player, quick, explosive. He and Jackson, and put Johnny White in that category and Choice also.
“Those are guys that come right in and do a good job filling in the offense,’’ Patricia said. “Obviously Spiller has had some great yardage here in the past couple weeks.
“Both of those guys are players — Spiller and Jackson — that they get the ball to in the run game but also in the pass game, and that the complexity of what they do really amplifies with those two players.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.