After the “Monday Night Football” game between the New England Patriots and the Chicago Bears, there has been controversy over a pass from Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and whether it hit the “Skycam” cable that carries a camera over the field of play.
But after videos of the pass made the rounds on social media and some fans said that there was interference on the play, ESPN issued a statement on Twitter declaring that Jones’ pass did not hit the wire.
“This pass from Mac Jones did not hit ESPN’s SkyCam wiring. This video creates a false impression, but in reality the SkyCam wire was more than 15 feet above the ball and our SkyCam system followed all NFL protocols,” ESPN’s announced in the Wednesday statement.
ESPN statement: “This pass from Mac Jones did not hit ESPN’s SkyCam wiring. This video creates a false impression, but in reality the SkyCam wire was more than 15 feet above the ball and our SkyCam system followed all NFL protocols.” https://t.co/vKMpQp4xOz
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 26, 2022
The video of the wire’s possible interference with the ball started circulation with a Buffalo Bills fan, according to Doug Kyed, an NFL reporter for the analytics company Pro Football Focus.
“A Bills fan here found that Mac Jones’ interception might have hit the SkyCam wire. I slowed the video down as much as possible. Also not sure how much it actually affected things if it did hit the wire, but it’s interesting,” Kyed tweeted.
A Bills fan here found that Mac Jones’ interception might have hit the SkyCam wire. I slowed the video down as much as possible. Also not sure how much it actually affected things if it did hit the wire, but it’s interesting. https://t.co/4MMgfftt6m pic.twitter.com/OLMpgnsmLg
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) October 25, 2022
Jones was taken out of the game after the ball was intercepted by Jaquan Brisker, a defensive back for the Bears, NBC Sports reported.
The Patriots coach Bill Belichick later said that the decision to pull Jones off the field was part of a plan, not just the result of Jones’ intercepted pass, CBS News reported.
What a grab by @JaquanBrisker! 🤫
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 25, 2022
The second-quarter interception ended the Patriots third offensive drive of the game. The first two possessions ended in punts with no first downs, according to CBS.
At the time of the interception, the Patriots were down 10-0 and went on to lose 33-14.
The pass and possible interference with the wire became widely debated because, if there had indeed been contact with the Skycam cable, it may have given the Patriots an extra chance, CBS noted.
According to the NFL rule book, “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.”
The rulebook also allows for review and even a challenge from the sidelines if interference on the ball is noticed.
But none of that happened since no one on or off the field during the game noticed ball interference with the cable.
It was not until videos circulated later that a possible interference was called into question.
However, in the midst of the speculation and controversy over the pass, Sports Illustrated noted that even if there had been interference and then a replay, it probably still would not have altered the ultimate outcome of the game.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.