Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Despite Flacco fumble that wasn’t, Belichick says refs did good job

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 12: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on December 12, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Patriots lost what could have been a big turnover on Monday night when the officials ruled that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s forward progress had stopped before he lost the ball. But after the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick had no problems with the officiating.

Belichick said on WEEI that he thought defensive end Trey Flowers stripped the ball from Flacco before the play was blown dead, but it was close enough that he’s not going to complain about referee Ed Hochuli blowing the play dead.

“He made the call that the forward progress was stopped when Trey tackled him, and so that was the end of the play. Whether he fumbled or didn’t fumble, it didn’t make any difference at that point. It was a quick whistle. Look, it’s a bang-bang play. Those guys do a great job. I thought this crew did a good job. There was a lot of competitive spirit in this game, and I thought they did a good job of keeping it under control. There wasn’t a lot of stuff after the play. There was just a lot of hard-playing football,” Belichick said. “But that’s a tough call. If you go back there, slow it down and let the whole play out, I don’t think there was any question it was a fumble. But if it was his determination that the play was over when he saw Trey wrap him up and, if you will, make the tackle, then there is no fumble. So that’s like a lot of plays in the NFL that can go either way, but Ed was decisive on it, he made the call. I have no issue with it at all.”

Although Belichick has been known to work the refs during the game, as coaches often do, he rarely complains about the refs afterward. And he’s not going to complain now.