Just When You Think Controversy Is Over, Someone Adds Fuel To Fire

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the story that just won’t go away.

A few days after New England was caught red-handed breaking an obscure rule in overtime, a maneuver that ultimately led to the Jets’ 30-27 victory, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick turned around and told reporters that his team was moving on … but that the Jets committed a similar pushing foul on an earlier field goal attempt, both basically in the same breath.

The Patriots were flagged 15 yards after one of their players attempted to push another into the defensive line as the Jets’ Nick Folk attempted a would-be 56-yard game-winning field goal midway through overtime.

Folk missed wide to the left, but the back judge immediately threw a flag on the Pats, a penalty that kept the Jets with possession. A few plays later Folk booted a 42-yard field goal, giving the Jets  (4-3) the win and moving them within one game of the first-place Patriots in the AFC East.

The call, correct as it was, started a controversy in a rivalry that is no stranger to controversies. It was reported the Jets had tipped the officiating crew off to the Patriots’ tendency to push on field goals thus creating an unfair advantage, a charge head coach Rex Ryan denied.

Then, following Belichick’s accusation that the Jets’ Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson worked together in tandem during Stephen Gostkowski’s 44-yard, game-tying field goal attempt at the end of regulation, Ryan fired back on Wednesday while on a conference call with reporters.

“That’s not true,” Ryan said. “He’s got to make up his mind. Was he aware of this thing? Was it second-level, all this kind of jazz? Or now what the story is … we did it? OK, I got you.

“The fact is we’re moving on, we earned that victory plain and simple, and we’re focused on Cincinnati now.”

Coples also chimed in, dismissing Belichick’s claim.

“[Special-teams coordinator] Ben [Kotwica] did a great job teaching us what we can do and can’t do and how to get a block on a field goal,” Coples said. “As far as [Belichick’s] comment, I’m past it. We won.”

Which way will this saga go from here? Tune in Thursday to find out.

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