Last night I saw something in football I’ve never seen before. With a fourth quarter lead on Kansas City in the AFC Divisional playoff, the New England Patriots forced an interception to take the game in a stranglehold. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith launched a desperation long ball on fourth and 10 from his own 49 yard line to keep his team alive. Instead, New England’s Duron Harmon appeared to make a spectacular grab at the sideline for his first career playoff interception. It almost worked out well for Kansas City in a way because the Patriots actually lost out by catching that ball. Harmon made the catch at his own 22, costing New England 29 precious yards of field position.
As a turnover the play was automatically reviewed by the booth, and that created the odd part. There were the Patriots hoping to hear the call being overturned. There was big Bill hoping one of his players had failed. There was Harmon stretching out to make a wide receiver calibre grab for a personal milestone, and then crossing his fingers the official would walk across the field and take it all away. In a stroke of what appears to be exclusively Patriots luck, that’s exactly what happened. Even when they lose, they win.