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'Illegal batting' call benefits Patriots, one week after bizarre pushing call

The Miami Dolphins' coaching staff reacts to the 'illegal batting' penalty which cost Miami late in the game. The Miami Dolphins' coaching staff reacts to the 'illegal batting' penalty that cost Miami late in the game. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It's just not a Patriots game anymore without an unusual penalty call. Last week, New England lost in overtime after being the first team flagged for "pushing" while defending a field goal. Sunday, an illegal batting penalty on the Dolphins helped the Patriots sustain a drive that eventually ended with a key touchdown in a 27-17 win.

After trailing 17-3 at halftime, the Patriots ripped off 17 consecutive points and were driving for another score when Tom Brady was sacked by Jimmy Wilson and fumbled. Amid the ensuing scramble, Miami's Olivier Vernon drew the batting penalty when he knocked the ball from tackle Marcus Cannon.

New England's Nate Solder recovered the football, back at the Miami 45. Without the penalty, the Patriots would have faced a 3rd-and-29; with it, they were given a first down at the 13. Stevan Ridley scored four plays later to bump the lead to 10.

But was the call correct? Or did Vernon simply misfire on an attempt to recover the fumble? You be the judge:

[si-nfl-player id="23c590ea252b451581f6bab769af05f6"]

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