The Patriots’ odd successful first quarter challenge, explained

Larry W. Smith/EPA

The Patriots scored their first touchdown of the day thanks to a bit of an unordinary overturned call.

With the ball in their own territory, Peyton Manning ran a screen pass to Ronnie Hillman, who dropped it. The ball was picked up by Patriots defender Jonathan Freeny, but the play was then whistled dead and ruled an incomplete pass.

Bill Belichick challenged the play, arguing that the throw was a backwards pass and should be ruled a fumble. After reviewing the play, the referees overturned the call, awarding the Patriots the ball at the spot of Freeny’s recovery, and not charging them with a timeout.

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