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Patriots lose to Dolphins on lateral play that was overturned


Mike Gesicki passed the ball to Cole Strange on a fourth down. It was initially decided that Strange was awarded the first down, but a review of the replay determined that he was unsuccessful.

Cole Strange attempted to pick up the first down after catching a lateral from Mike Gesicki on fourth down. Matthew J. Lee/Globe team

The Patriots were so close to pulling away again in the fourth quarter.

Trailing by a score with the ball in the opponent’s territory in the final minutes for the second straight week, New England faced a fourth-and-4 at the Dolphins 33-yard line, needing to pick up a first down to extend the lead. match. game while trailing, 24-17.

Mac Jones faced pressure relatively quickly on the play, forcing him to dump the ball before Mike Gesicki headed toward the first-down marker. Gesicki made the catch, but couldn’t move forward to get a first down.

Gesicki recognized that he was either going to be tackled before getting a first down or the play was going to be destroyed. So, he lateralized the ball to keep Cole Strange, who ran a few meters from Gesicki.

Strange collected Gesicki’s lateral and dove, falling just on first down with Jevon Holland and Andrew Van Ginkel tackling him. The referees initially gave Strange the first down on the field, but almost immediately called for a review.

The brief feeling of euphoria over the unusual play ended after a few minutes’ review determined that Strange’s placement of the ball was a bit short, effectively ending the play.

New England’s loss triggered a similar outcome to its Week 1 loss to Philadelphia. The Patriots had the ball at the Eagles’ 20-yard line, trailing by five, but had to pick up a first down on a fourth down in the final 30 seconds.

Kayshon Boutte caught a pass from Jones that would have given the Patriots a first down in this game, but he was unable to get his second foot inbounds, rendering the catch incomplete and ending the game.


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