Would have appeared a bit more strategic if the Jets weren't doing the same thing on the field goal the Pats kicked to tie it. Since they did, though, doesn't seem likely that Rex tipped off the refs, and then made the same rule violation first...
Forget who, but someone with a connection to the refs (in general, not the guys from this game) said that the league had decided to make it more of an emphasis this week, as it was a new rule and basically being ignored by the refs (it had been happening a lot without any flags). So they were looking for it, or it was on the top of their minds. To not say anything earlier in the game, and then toss it on the potential game-winner in OT is kinda questionable, though.
Yeah, makes the "Tuck Rule" and the call against the Raiders years ago look just that much worse and even more puzzling, doesn't it -- I mean using your assessment.
The Tuck Rule wasn't on anyone's mind that day, it had not been mentioned to the refs before the game, was ultra obscure, it was called in an extremely important game, and was called at the worst possible time in one of the most important games of the year. I'm not saying the Raiders didn't still a chance to win after the call was made, but the Raiders had the game won if that call doesn't get made.
And to top it all off, the Tuck Rule has now been repealed by the league. Not saying you or any other Pats fans posting here are bitching about the call, you guys seem to have it in proper perspective, but the ones who are - including Bellichik - can take the day off (so they'll have enough time) to kiss all of my ass.