The New England Patriots continued making big strides towards securing one of the top seeds in the AFC in Week 10 with a win against the Denver Broncos, but the officials in that game actually helped them out more than they should have on one certain play.
The Patriots came away from Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday night with a 41-16 win over the Broncos, keeping them in the second seed spot in the AFC playoff picture.
Quarterback Tom Brady had a good game for New England, as he completed 25 of his 34 passing attempts for 266 yards and three touchdowns. This helped them get the ground game going with Dion Lewis being their best rusher on the night with 55 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
However, it was Lewis that committed the ultimate special teams crime on a certain kickoff during the game which the Patriots special teams coach was probably scolding him for on the sidelines after the play was over. Lucky for the running back though, an official helped him out.
During a kickoff which New England was receiving, Lewis caught the ball near the back of the endzone, but did not take a knee to give himself up on the play. Instead, as soon as he had caught the ball, as you see in the video below, he tossed it referee Walt Coleman, who caught the ball.
That's right. The official had caught a live ball since Lewis never took a knee while he was still in possession of the ball. Realising his mistake almost immediately, the Patriots star took the ball from Coleman, took a knee, and then gave the ball back to Coleman before heading off to the sidelines.
It’s not as if this bizarre first-half play would have made a difference to the outcome of the game, but it's still an official helping a player out. Obviously, Lewis simply forgot to take a knee before giving the ball to Coleman, but then again, it's drilled into every kick returner to do this when in this situation.
The Patriots are now preparing for their Week 11 game against the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. Hopefully this week, the referees won't be helping them out as much as they did in this play against the Broncos.