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Instant Recap: Refs Screw Over Browns in 27-26 Loss to Patriots

"Don't worry, Tom, we've got you covered."
"Don't worry, Tom, we've got you covered."
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns took a 26-14 lead over the New England Patriots with 2:39 to go in the game. In a season of misery for Browns fans again, Cleveland was ready to pull off the stunner of the week and a classic upset of the Patriots, despite questionable calls from officials. What we didn't know? The officials were not finished.

Tom Brady drove down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman with 1:01 to play. Defensive back Jordan Poyer put a hit on Edelmen to try to jar the ball loose, and he was flagged for a defenseless hit for no good reason. That played big into the onside kick, which means the Patriots would have 15 yards less to travel if they recovered. New England did recover, and two plays later, the officials gave Brady and the Patriots another gift: pass interference, and the ball at the one yard line:

Brady then threw a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 0:31 to play, giving New England a 27-26 lead. Campbell drove the Browns down the field to get in range for a 58-yard field goal with 0:01 left on the clock, but Billy Cundiff's attempt fell short.

The Browns played an excellent game offensively and defensively -- they were the more physical team and executed in all phases of the game...except for the shoddy officiating that cost Cleveland what would have been one of the more uplifting wins this franchise has had in a long time.