Jets Pace says officials got it wrong on fumble

By Marc A. Greenberg

Calvin Pace swears that the officials got it wrong yesterday.

The New York Jets LB insists that the New England Patriots TD on their first possession to start the second half shouldn’t have been.

With the score 10-7 Patriots, WR Deion Branch caught a Tom Brady pass inside the five. As Branch got up from the diving catch, Pace reached in and poked the ball away and the fumble was recovered by Jets defensive tackle Mike  DeVito.

Pats Coach Bill Belichick challenged the play saying Branch was down by contact.

The play was overturned when the officials ruled that when Pace touched Branch he was down by contact at the Jets’ 3-yard line.

Pace disagreed.

“It was a fumble,” Pace told The New York Post. “And again, the referees missed another one. You know what they’re going to do? They’re going to write us a  letter about how they missed another call and what does that do? Nothing.  I guess it’s human error, so what can you do? We got a call that just ain’t right. If it wasn’t a fumble [Branch] wouldn’t have gotten up and tried to run.”

“It’s very disheartening, man,” Pace said. “Guys were playing their hearts  out against a very talented team and when people [the referees] make mistakes it costs you. What can you do, man It’s terrible.  Did that cost us the game? I don’t know. Probably not. But there was a lot of questionable stuff that I thought wasn’t right.”

Pace referenced a few pass interference calls against Donald Strickland and Brodney Pool.

As for Branch, he he said the Pats caught a break.

“It was one of those bang-bang plays,” Branch said. “The thing that saved is  was the replay. If my knee wouldn’t have been down, it would have been a  fumble.”

One play later, the Pats went up 17-7, on a Brady TD pass to Branch; a play where Jets CB Antonio Cromartie was badly fooled in the endzone.