Everyone thinks officials celebrated with Patriots, handed them AFC championship

The New England Patriots played in their seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game on Sunday and advanced to their third Super Bowl in the past five seasons with a 24-20 come-from-behind win over the Jaguars

Everyone in New England was very excited about the W, but there were quite a few people who questioned the job done by the officials. Put another way: People think the Jags got a raw deal. 

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via NFL

A single penalty in an AFC Championship Game is really impressive. In fact, it's historically impressive -- it hasn't happened since 2011 when, well, the Patriots did it.

And one play in particular stood out to people, as the Jags might have been robbed of a touchdown thanks to an early whistle after Myles Jack robbed Dion Lewis of the ball following a wild Patriots offensive play.

If Jack isn't ruled down, he's probably headed the other way and scoring a touchdown. Instead, the officials blew the whistle -- it was admittedly a difficult call to really break down because of the speed with which Jack made the play -- on a situation where they ruled that Lewis fumbled the ball and Jack recovered. If you rule a fumble and a recovery, you shouldn't blow the whistle to stop the play. 

Not helping matters? The officials were seen kind of being enthusiastic with the Patriots following the New England victory. This legitimately set some people off on social media.

Many people also had other questions for the officials. Specifically, how did they get so many yards in penalties on the final drive of the first half -- New England got a 15-yard penalty on a helmet-to-helmet hit against Rob Gronkowski (it was a good call) and then a 32-yard pass interference penalty for driving Brandin Cooks out of bounds (it was a less good call).

What I thought was curious was the officials not calling ANY pass interference penalties against the Patriots' defensive backs, especially on two key plays where Marcedes Lewis was open, tried to make a play and got mugged. There was also a holding call completely missed on the Patriots' final first-down play of the game. 

Even Hardees thinks it was suspicious.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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