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The New England Patriots seemed to fix one issue Thursday night but developed another. Mac Jones and the struggling offense came to life, but New England’s tenacious defense saw quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings march up and down the field all night.

Jones and the Patriots hung with the Vikings offensively, but a controversial overturn of a Hunter Henry touchdown seized momentum and triggered flashbacks of a famous non-catch by Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

An overruling of Hunter Henry’s touchdown spelled doom for the New England Patriots

Hunter Henry of the New England Patriots carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 24, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. | David Berding/Getty Images.

The Patriots finally had some rhythm going on offense Thursday. After Cousins and the Vikings took the opening kickoff and marched right down the field for a touchdown, New England’s much-maligned offense responded.

Held without an offensive touchdown last week in an ugly 10-3 win over the New York Jets, the Patriots had no problem moving the ball against the Vikings. Jones completed 28 of 39 passes for 382 yards and two touchdowns. It looked like he might have had a third.

With the game tied 23-23, the Patriots had third-and-goal from the Minnesota 6-yard line. Jones connected with Henry, who had two hands on the ball and broke the plane as he lunged for the end zone. Ruled a touchdown on the field, it was revered after a lengthy review.

“I believe I caught it,” Henry said, per ESPN. “He said it hit the ground. But I believe my hand was under the ball. The hand was under the ball, with hitting the ground, that’s what kind of caused it to jump up. They made the call. Just got to live with it.”

Walt Anderson, the league’s VP of officiating, explained.

“He was going to the ground, the ball ended up touching the ground, and then he lost control of the ball in his hands,” explained in a pool report.

The non-touchdown brought back flashbacks of a Dez Bryant non-catch


NFL Fans are About to Get a Heavy Dose of the New England Patriots, Whether They Like It or Not

The call was a hot topic of conversation during and after the game. New England settled for a field goal to take a 26-23 lead, but the Vikings closed the scoring with 10 unanswered points in a 33-26 win.

Whenever there’s a controversial touchdown catch like that, it brings back memories of Bryant’s non-catch in the playoffs against the Green Bay Packers in January 2015. With Green Bay holding a 26-21 lead, Dallas had fourth-and-2 on the Green Bay 32 in the waning minutes. Quarterback Tony Romo lofted a pass down the left sideline, and Bryant leaped over Packers defender Sam Shields.

Bryant caught the ball, and as he lunged across the goal line, the ball popped up and fell back in Bryant’s hands, seemingly without touching the ground. Initially called a catch, the Packers challenged the call, and it was reversed. The Packers went on to win the game.

It’s a controversy that lives on forever. It carried over into Thursday’s game when officials reversed Hunter’s apparent touchdown.

Bryant chimed in with several comments on Twitter.

“It’s no way you can call that incomplete,” he wrote.

He wasn’t done.

“The guy who said that’s incomplete need to shut the hell up!” he added.

Then he finished by saying, “I’m turning this game off SMFH.”

Just like it was back when #dezcaughtit in 2015, Hunter’s replay reversal was a game-changer.