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Patriots owner defends officials: ‘They’re not robots’

Robert Kraft

An inadvertent whistle contributed to a 14-point swing in the Monday Night Football clash between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, but Pats owner Robert Kraft is taking the high road.

According to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal, Kraft admitted he’s frustrated but defended the officials, partly because of the outcome.

“Well, we won the game. I am very happy about that. I think some of us were frustrated but that’s part of the game. They are humans. They’re not robots. I’m just glad we won the game.”

The human referee’s mistake cost Danny Amendola a potential 69-yard touchdown that would have extended New England’s lead to 14 points.

However, the reception was blown dead after 14 yards. After the drive stalled a few plays later, Stephen Gostkowski missed a long field goal. Buffalo scored a touchdown and evened the game on the ensuing possession.

The Patriots ultimately earned a 20-13 victory, though they had a little help from the officials on the final play.

Bills receiver Sammy Watkins caught a pass near midfield at tried to roll out of bounds to stop the clock, but the referee on the sideline waved the clock, which ended the game before Buffalo could hoist a Hail Mary.

Monday wasn’t a banner night for the officials, but it was also a reminder to Kraft, the teams and fans that the human element remains a notable factor in the game.