Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater checked in with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday afternoon to discuss Monday’s 24-20 loss to the Panthers that ended in controversy.

Upon landing back in New England early Tuesday morning, the Patriots coaching staff immediately turned their focus to the Denver Broncos. And for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, that means finding ways to deal with a player they know a lot about.

Wes Welker is in his first year with the Broncos after accepting a two-year, $12 million offer to play with Peyton Manning.

Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday, following Monday night’s controversial loss to the Panthers, and voiced his opinion on the non-call that ended the game.

Rob Gronkowski was impeded by Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly in the end zone and a flag was thrown, but the officials determined the ball was not catchable and called off the penalty, giving Carolina a 24-20 victory.

Bill Belichick said Tuesday morning he wasn’t going to be talking anymore about the play at the end of the game in Monday’s loss to the Panthers, a sequence where the officials appeared to call a penalty on a Patriots’ pass play for the end zone, but ended up picking up the flag instead and saying the game was over.

There were opportunities. Oh, how there were opportunities.



Yep, the Patriots got screwed Monday night.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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Below is a transcript of the pool report with referee Clete Blakeman from the game between the Panthers and Patriots at Bank of America Stadium regarding the final play of the game. Pool reporters in attendance were Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

A bewildered and frustrated Bill Belichick was asked about his reaction to the final play of the game on Monday night, a play in which the back judge threw a flag in the end zone for apparent pass interference as Luke Kuechly held Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone.

Belichick he was never told by the officiating crew why the flag was picked up and the game ended with the Patriots losing, 24-20.

The Patriots saw a late lead slip away, as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton led a touchdown drive with just under a minute left in the fourth quarter en route to Carolina’s 24-20 win over the Patriots on Monday night. The Patriots’ effort to respond with a drive of their own stalled out when Tom Brady‘s attempt from the 18-yard-line to find Rob Gronkowski in the end zone was intercepted as time expired.

The following players have been listed as inactive by the Patriots for Monday’s game against the Panthers: linebacker Steve Beauharnais, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, safety Steve Gregory, offensive lineman Chris Barker, running back Brandon Bolden, defensive lineman Jake Bequette and running back/returner Leon Washington.

Here’s how the decisions will impact what happens on the field: