Here’s why refs overturned the Jets’ touchdown and called it a fumble

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was controversially ruled to have fumbled on the play.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was ruled to have fumbled out of the end zone in a crucial fourth quarter play.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was ruled to have fumbled out of the end zone in a crucial fourth quarter play. –Via AP

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In one of the strangest calls made so far in the 2017 NFL season, what appeared to be a Jets touchdown was called back and ruled a fumble. The result of the play was a touchback, handing the ball back to the Patriots. It was a crucial moment in what was ultimately a 24-17 Patriots win.

With the score 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins scored what was initially ruled to be a five-yard touchdown. Had it stood, it would’ve narrowed New England’s lead to a field goal (had the extra point been converted). Yet after the review, it was announced as a fumble, despite replays showing Seferian-Jenkins ultimately retained possession when he landed:

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According to CBS announcer Ian Eagle, the ruling was made due to this explanation from the NFL:

It was a fumble because he landed out of bounds without complete control of the football.

Fellow CBS announcer Dan Fouts didn’t see it that way.

“Totally disagree with the call,” said Fouts. “One of the worst calls I’ve ever seen.”

NFL rules experts and former league vice president of officiating Mike Pereira also didn’t believe it was a fumble:

Here’s what referee Tony Corrente had to say after the game: