If you watched the AFC Championship game on Sunday, you may have noticed that most of the flags in the game were thrown on the Jaguars.
Of the seven penalties called during the Patriots' 24-20 win, six of them ended up going against the Jaguars for a total of 98 yards, while just one penalty was called on the Patriots. Although the Jags didn't try to pin their loss on the officiating, they were definitely unhappy about what transpired on the field at Gillette Stadium with referee Clete Blakeman and his crew.
The penalty discrepancy marked the first time since 2011 that a team was called for only one penalty in a playoff game, and coincidentally -- or not, depending on your point of view -- the Patriots were the last team to only get hit with one penalty in a postseason game.
After the game, several players were asked about the penalty discrepancy, and although most of them kept their answers short and sweet, they didn't try to hide their feelings.
"The stats speak for themselves," defensive tackle Malik Jackson said, via ESPN.com.
Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack, who was involved in one of the wildest plays of the game, echoed Jackson's sentiment when asked about the penalty discrepancy.
"I'll just say that's self-explanatory," Jack said, via ESPN.com. "Interesting. That's all I'm going to say."
Jack's play didn't involve a penalty, but it did involve a potential gaffe by the officiating crew. On a play early in the fourth quarter, Jack stripped Dion Lewis of the ball and likely would have scored a touchdown, but the play was blown dead after he gained possession of the ball.
WOWWWWW.— NFL (@NFL) January 21, 2018
The @Jaguars force the fumble and RECOVER after the Pats pull off a little trickery.
This game 😱😱😱 #JAXvsNE #NFLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/vNibIMPmkJ
Another penalty that the Jags were unhappy about came right before halftime when A.J. Bouye was called for a 32-yard pass interference penalty. Bouye said he's basically going to have to re-teach himself what constitutes interference after being called for the penalty while covering Brandin Cooks.
"I just got to watch the tape," Bouye said. "I need to go look at the rulebook on [pass interference penalties], because you're telling me the receiver can have his hands on me the whole way down the field, but if I look for the ball and try to protect myself from being pushed, it's a flag?"
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone was also baffled by the interference call. In a halftime interview with CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson, Marrone agreed that the officials made the correct call on the hit that knocked Rob Gronkowski out of the game, but he disagreed with the PI call.
"I thought it was a good call here, the helmet-to-helmet was a good call," Marrone said. "I'm not sure about the [interference] on the sideline there."
The Jaguars were called for pass interference twice against the Patriots after only being hit with two PI penalties in 16 games during the regular season.
As for Bouye, he said he was upset about multiple plays in the game. The Jaguars corner said Stephon Gilmore should've been called for interference on the the Jaguars' final offensive play of the game, and he also said that Danny Amendola should've been flagged for a head-butt on Jags safety Tashaun Gipson.
"I was pissed because I seen Amendola head-butt the hell out of Gip in front of the ref and you all don't call nothing?" Bouye said. "It don't make no sense, man; it's a lot of stuff that don't make no sense. I have a lot of respect for these people in this locker room. They kept fighting; we all kept fighting. We knew there was stuff we couldn't control, and we kept it close."
The alleged head-butt from Amendola seemed to perturb Bouye the most.
"I'm going to defend my teammates," Bouye said. "You all see it on TV, the one where Amendola head-butted Gip. Right after the whistle was blown. Right in front of them. I'm just asking how you going to let them do that?"
Bouye also said that multiple NFL players were texting him after the game about how the Patriots got all the calls during their win.
"You all see it," Bouye said. "I got players hitting me up in the NFL saying the same thing. But at the end of the day, we can't put the blame on them. We didn't execute good enough. They executed good enough."
Not helping things was the fact that referee Blakeman was one of the first people to congratulate Tom Brady after the Patriots' win.
January 22, 2018
For more on the officiating from Sunday's game, you can click here and check out this piece that Will Brinson wrote after the Patriots' win.