One Last Look Back at the Patriots: A Mixed Bag of Emotions


Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

I came out of Sunday’s loss against the New England Patriots with a lot of anxiety and some very mixed emotions.

First, I was sad over the loss.  It was another contest where we were competitive—perhaps even dominant—for the majority of the game.  But in the end, we just couldn’t hold onto the win.

I was angry over the pass interference call at the end of the game against Leon McFadden.    I mean, who wasn’t, right?  How many times have we seen a call like that go against the Browns?  I’ve re-watched that play a number of times, and I still don’t see a penalty in the way McFadden defended Josh Boyce.

I live in an area outside of Cleveland, where there are more Bengals fans.  Even they are telling me, “The Browns got hosed on that one!”

Mike Pereira of Fox Sports wrote an entire article on that one play.  He wrote,

"Do I think that was DPI? No, I do not.  Do I like the pass interference rule in the NFL? Absolutely not.  That ball getting placed at the 1-yard line on that call is an injustice."

Yes, pass interference is a tough call for an official to make.  But there was not enough contact between McFadden and Boyce to make that call.  It cost us the game.

It’s almost like the referees couldn’t bring themselves to believe that the 4-8 Browns might beat the mighty, 9-3 New England Patriots.  I mean c’mon, it’s Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, right?  Things like that are not supposed to happen.  It can’t be possible.

Could it be that out of that disbelief in the Browns, the official saw what he wanted to see?

Despite the reasons behind the call, it happened, and it made me angry.

But I was also relieved.  With the way this season has turned, I was not looking forward to Sunday’s game.  Part of me did not want to watch.  But my Brownies came out and fought hard.  I was glad to see that.

As the week went on, I began to feel pretty proud of this Browns team.  They went into New England knowing that it would probably be the toughest challenge that they’ve faced this year, and they took it to the Patriots!

Jason Campbell and the offense looked great.  I was happy for Jordan Cameron.  What a performance!  Gary Barnidge, great job!  Josh Gordon was right in there, as well.

The defense also performed beyond my expectations.  They held the Patriots scoreless for much of the game and stymied Brady.

I was proud of the way they played in this game.  It made me believe that we’re seeing positive signs this year, of how well this young team will play in the coming years.  I hate to wait, too.  It’s been so long since the Browns were relevant.  But with ten draft picks for 2014, things could really turnaround for them next year.

As far as the New England game goes, we should’ve won, but we didn’t.  In the end, the Browns, the Patriots, the fans and the league know that it took a lousy call by a referee to beat us.