CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It was long after Tom Brady had screamed at the referees about reversing a pass interference call on the final play of the game, and long after Bill Belichick had mumbled off his passive-aggressive displeasure ("you saw what I saw").
Everyone was looking for answers on Monday night, and so Rob Gronkowski stood at his locker and kept shrugging, while down the hall Luke Kuechly stood in front of his and just smiled.
It was Gronkowski and Kuechly who wound up in the back of the end zone, clock reading all zeros, Tom Brady's would-be game-winning pass zipping through the air toward them. Kuechly, Carolina's great linebacker, hugged his arms around Gronkowski, New England's great tight end.
The ball went short and wound up in the arms of safety Robert Lester, but the jubilation was short-lived as back judge Terrence Miles dropped a yellow flag down. Pass interference was the call, leaving New England with one more play, at the Carolina 1-yard line for all the marbles.
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