With a minute left in the second quarter and the Patriots at the Redskins' 23-yard line, New England quarterback Tom Brady scrambled for a 3-yard gain and attempted to slide to the ground. He collided with Washington linebacker London Fletcher, who then was flagged for delivering a forearm to Brady's head. The Patriots were awarded a first down, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski converted a chip-shot field goal to tie the score at halftime.
But Fletcher protested the call as soon as it was made, saying the hit was clean and to Brady's chest. Even Brady said Monday he didn't believe there was a foul on the play.
"I thought it was a really clean play by him," Brady said on WEEI-AM (via ESPN Boston). "I think we're pretty fortunate we got the call."
Shanahan also stood by Fletcher, his defensive co-captain.
"It wasn't very clear exactly what the foul was," said Shanahan, who called the penalty "horrible" on Sunday. "My understanding was London's shoulder went into his chest. Sounds OK to me, but, like I said, just one person has to see it differently. One official saw it differently, and I think the other two guys were talking and I think they came up to him and didn't see it that way. One person felt he saw it that way, and that's what the call was, and you can see obviously that wasn't the case."
Fletcher said Monday that he maintained he was in the right, but there was nothing to be done about the call.
"When guys are in a leadership role, I think you understand that you have to keep your cool, regardless, if you like a call or don't like a call," Shanahan said. "That's your job to handle yourself in a professional manner, more importantly, to not put your team in a hole by getting a 15-yard penalty. So those are things that I've talked about with our football team. If you make too many of those mistakes, eventually you're not with us."