Tom Brady penalty raises eyebrows; ref defends call


One call, good or bad, can alter the outcome of any game. And that's exactly what happened when the Atlanta Falcons visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their Week 5 contest on Sunday afternoon.

Falcons defensive lineman Grady Jarrett sacked Bucs quarterback Tom Brady in the fourth quarter and got flagged for roughing the passer in the 21-15 loss. The flag resulted in an automatic first down for the Buccaneers, who extended the final drive and ran out the clock. This took away a possible game-winning drive from the Falcons, leading to the disappointing loss.  Fans immediately took to social media to discuss the questionable call. 

It's not the first time that the referee in question, Jerome Boger, made a late call in a game that didn’t seem to deserve a flag to some. Last week, Boger's flag helped the Buffalo Bills on a drive that ended with Tyler Bass kicking a 21-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20.

While many felt that the call was the wrong choice, Boger defended the decision. 

“What I had was the defender grabbed the quarterback while he was still in the pocket, and unnecessarily throwing him to the ground,” Boger told a pool reporter after the game. “That is what I was making my decision based upon.”

Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles, also defended the call. 

“I saw that one being called. I saw it against Tua when he got hit, and in the London game this morning,” Bowles said. “I think they are starting to crack down on some of the things, slinging backs. I don’t know. Right now, the way they are calling (it), I think a lot of people would’ve gotten that call.”

Does Tom Brady get favoritism from NFL referees?

The 45-year-old Brady ranks 41st with .14 roughing calls per game since the 2009 NFL season, and this was the first time he was the beneficiary of a roughing penalty this season despite the fact it appeared the 29-year-old Jarrett was playing solid defense.

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