Bill Belichick would like to see equal protection for Patriots players

There were many reasons why the Patriots lost to the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami, but imbalanced officiating did seem to play a factor in the game.

One missed call came with 6:26 left in the third quarter on second-and-10 when Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker was hit helmet-to-helmet by Dolphins safety DeShonn Elliott, jarring the ball loose on an incompletion. Elliott made helmet-to-helmet contact with Parker again when they landed on the turf. Officials did not throw a flag on the play. Parker left the game and was quickly ruled out with a head injury.

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The Patriots trailed 24-10 at the time and punted after an incompletion on third-and-10. A penalty would have put the Patriots in Dolphins territory with a new set of downs.

“I’d like to feel like our players are getting protected like anyone else’s,” Belichick said Monday morning on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.” “The tripping on Ezekiel Elliott. That’s another dangerous pay. Stuff like that. There shouldn’t be a place for that in football.”

Patriots captain Matthew Slater said after the game that he believed Elliott would get fined for the hit despite not being flagged on the play. Quarterback Mac Jones took responsibility after the game for putting Parker in the position to take that hit.

It appeared that Elliott was tripped when Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins kicked his legs up on a play early in the second quarter.

Just starting review, but wondering if this is the play Bill Belichick is referencing on the tripping of Ezekiel Elliott (2Q/14:31).

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 30, 2023

Patriots wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster later laid out Dolphins safety Brandon Jones to break up an interception. A flag was thrown on the play, but officials wound up penalizing Smith-Schuster for unsportsmanlike conduct, not unnecessary roughness.

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