What Bill Belichick said about Hunter Henry’s TD catch being overturned

Bill Belichick said it's hard to find consensus with plays that close.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Bill Belichick used two quarterbacks Monday night, but neither could keep them in the game vs. Chicago.

Hunter Henry thought he caught his second touchdown of the game and had given the Patriots the lead in Thursday night’s eventual 33-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

At first, the refs did too, when they initially ruled the play a touchdown. Eventually, the play was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass.

It’s the kind of controversial play that coaches and officials look at in the offseason and have a hard time agreeing on, Belichick said Monday morning on WEEI’s Greg Hill Show.

“We look at plays in the offseason,” said Belichick. “Officials might bring in 20 plays and say, ‘OK, these are catches and these 10 aren’t. I think we all kind of sit in the room and I don’t think there is a consensus on, ‘Oh yeah, I see that’. They are close plays and it’s hard to reach a consensus on a lot of plays.”


On Thursday night, NFL VP of Officiating Walt Anderson explained that Henry had to maintain control of the ball as he went to the ground.

“The term that’s commonly used is ‘surviving the ground’” Anderson said. “A lot of people refer to that. So, as he’s going to the ground, he has the elements of two feet and control, but because he’s going to the ground, he has to maintain control of the ball when he does go to the ground.”

It appeared that Henry had both hands underneath the ball before he hit the ground, but the refs ruled that the ball did not survive the ground and the catch was overturned.

“What the rule is, and what you actually see on the video that they show, sometimes it’s not clear to everybody what exactly it is we’re seeing,” Belichick said. “Did this happen? Was his foot down? Did he have possession? Did he not? There are a lot of those close plays. We’re looking ahead. We’re moving on. There’s nothing we can do about that. Those calls are out of our control.”

Belichick said that a pool reporter spoke with officials after the game.


“It doesn’t matter what you think or what I think,” Belichick said. “The only thing that matters is what they think and what they saw. What they saw, that’s what we all have to live by.”


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