Patriots score TD after refs fail to review a questionable Gronk catch in seven-point win

The last thing the New England Patriots need is help from anyone, but they managed to potentially get some help from the officials on Sunday against the Texans that led to the Patriots picking up a touchdown late in the first half. 

With 1:05 left in the second quarter and the Patriots holding the ball on their own 40-yard line, Tom Brady looked down the field for Rob Gronkowski, who was streaking up the seam. Brady threw it to his favorite weapon and, despite Gronk being double-teamed, Brady found his man

One problem: it appeared as if Gronk might not have actually caught the ball.

There was no challenge involved here, as the Patriots sprinted up to the line of scrimmage and got the next play off before the refs could jump in and try to stop things.

Which is probably frustrating for Bill O'Brien. Because the play in question was after the two-minute warning, O'Brien could not challenge the play. It would be up to the NFL to buzz the officials on the field and begin the replay review process.

The officials chose not to do so and the result was the Patriots sprinting up to the line of scrimmage, in extremely efficient fashion, and running another play. 

The consensus on the play in question certainly seems to be that Gronk's catch would have stood the test of replay. It certainly would have been close.

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via NFL Broadcast

It ended up being irrelevant though, because the Patriots would run a play. And then they would get into the red zone and then Brady would find Philip Dorsett for a touchdown (his first of two, hello fantasy sleeper coming alive during the first week).

Normally you would expect the officials to pause the game and make sure they got the situation correct, but the Patriots simply moved way too fast for the refs to get anything done before the next play was called. 

As you would expect, with the Patriots being involved here, everyone is taking things perfectly fine and no one is upset at all. 

It is highly unlikely the NFL or the NFL officials are purposely favoring the Patriots (perhaps you recall Deflategate?), but it should not be surprising at all that the Pats are well-oiled enough to get some calls to go their way because of how quickly and efficiently they operate. 

The Patriots ended up winning by seven points, so fans and the Texans have reason for being upset, although there's nothing much anyone can do about the Pats just being more prepared than everyone else. 

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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