Mac Jones tossed an ill-advised interception on his final snap Monday night. But replays revealed his pass might have been impeded en route to its target.
One day after the New England Patriots’ 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium, Twitter user @BillsFilm noted Jones’ throw to tight end Jonnu Smith — which was intercepted by safety Jaquan Brisker — appeared to make contact with one of the wires carrying ESPN’s SkyCam.
Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus shared a slowed-down clip of the same play. The video does not conclusively show the ball making contact with the wire, but its trajectory does appear to shift in midair.
Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 of the NFL rulebook states “if a loose ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam, or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately, and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.” Those plays also are reviewable, either by initiation from the replay official or through a coach’s challenge. Conclusive video evidence is required to overturn any on-field call, however, and this might not have met that threshold.
Jones’ pass also might have been picked off regardless, as he threw off his back foot and didn’t account for Brisker, who was lurking over the top of Smith. Either way, it was a bad decision from a player who has made too many of those this season. But Brisker had to make an acrobatic one-handed catch, so perhaps the ball would have been out of its reach had its path not been (potentially) diverted.