JACKSONVILLE - With 4:06 remaining and the Jaguars on the Patriots 1-yard line facing third-and-1, they made the kind of mistake that two-win teams make in December.
Tight end Zach Potter jumped offsides. The penalty pushed the Jags back into a third-and-5. From there, a Donta Hightower sack and a hurry by Chandler Jones led to a pick in the end zone and the Jags got nothing.
After the game, Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey alleged that the Patriots shifted and used a verbal cadence that drew Potter offsides. That, Mularkey said is against the rules and should have been flagged, per a conversation he had with officials before the game.
According to Mularkey, the shift was fine. The cadence he alleged the Patriots used, was not.
"That was disappointing because that was brought up to the officials before the game that they were going to do that," said Mularkey. "They were going to shift illegally - not illegally - but line up and shift with the intent to draw the offense offsides and blurt out a cadence as they're doing it. ... That was addressed. We practiced it. We practiced it the whole week, those guys shifting with the cadence. They were informed it was coming. Obviously, (the officials) didn't call it and we jumped. But we practiced that. Very frustrating. I will not bring those things up with the officials anymore. We are going to get a time check and who the captains are and move on."
Asked if what the Patriots did was illegal, Mularkey said, "It's only illegal if they throw a flag. It's illegal in the book if they blurt out a cadence.
Mularkey said the officials told him they "couldn't hear the cadence."