Super Bowl XLIX officials made a controversial call on the opening drive of the game, potentially ending the Patriots' first possession prematurely.
On 4th-and-6 from New England's 35-yard-line, the Patriots punted after failing to convert a first down. A Seattle Seahawks player made contact with Patriots punter Ryan Allen, but referees called running into the kicker rather than roughing the kicker.
If roughing would have been called, the Patriots would have received 15 yards and an automatic first down. Instead, they declined the five-yard penalty.
The call prompted second-guessing from color analyst Cris Collinsworth on NBC's broadcast as well as criticism on Twitter, including from former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira.
Just went back on my non-Tivo TV. It should have been roughing. There was contact on the knee. It was enough.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) February 1, 2015
Hitting the plant foot of the kicker is a 15 yard penalty....should have been 15!— Jim Daopoulos (@RefereeJimD) February 1, 2015
Boomer Esiason on the radio broadcast suggests unequivocally that the play should have been roughing the punter.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 1, 2015
Should have been roughing the kicker and a first down. It's OK, Bill Vinovich. It's not like this is the Super Bowl or anything.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) February 1, 2015
- Stanley Kay