Football Night in America crew chimes in on Lions call

Based on your response so far, it’s fair to say that Calvin Johnson’s near touchdown catch against the Bears will remain a hot topic this week.

So let’s see what the Football Night in America Crew had to say about it.

Take it away, Dan Patrick, Rodney Harrison, and Tony Dungy:

 

69 responses to “Football Night in America crew chimes in on Lions call

  1. Sweet. Dungy says it was a bad call. Clearly God will overrule and give the Lions the game.
    I feel for you Lions fans, you got jobbed. Don’t feel good, does it?

  2. Lions got robbed.
    You don’t expect to see the worst call of the year on the first weekend. At least I hope for the sake of the league and its fans, there won’t be one worse this year.

  3. Not that I disagree, but I sure wish tony dungee would just go away. I’m so sick of him thinking he sits on the right hand of God.

  4. Big time Bears fan here and just wanna say the Lions got robbed. I don’t think the rule was interpreted properly. The ball was caught, 2 feet down, goes to the ground, knee and butt hit the ground as he rolls over. He does not lose possession until he tried to get up.
    But whatever, I’ll take the win. And I don’t mind hearing Lions fans cry about the call. I would do the same.
    There was actually a play a year or 2 back where Hester caught the ball on the sidelines and was hit immediately. Nice catch got both feet down in bounds. Then he was forced out of bounds. He tried to stay on his feet but after 3 or 4 steps could not keep his balance and fell to the ground. he lost the ball after he hit the ground and started to roll over. By the time he lost the ball, he was probably 8 yards out of bounds and the ruling was incomplete.
    Some common sense should be used when making a call.

  5. I’ve seen several cases where this rule resulted in a result that defied common sense.
    When was the rule changed to be what it is today? What was the NFL attempting to address when they changed it?

  6. I know what the rule says but it’s a terrible call. Johnson did everything right and put the ball down to celebrate. the NFL needs to get these straight.

  7. Here is my problem with the call. A runner can come in, dive for the line, and as the ball hits the ground pops out, its a touchdown (happened with Hasslebeck in Seattle today). Or if a receiver only gets two feet in bounds, why is he down when johnson got two feet and held onto the ball just as long as many receivers do getting two feet down, is not down?

  8. The Lions got screwed and these nonsensical rules are one reason for all the controversies in the league. No two crews call plays like that exactly the same. It’s called one way in the Saints Super Bowl, another in the Lions game. And the league tries to tell us both calls were correct. How can they both be correct? The NFL needs to make a definitive decision on this that ALL it’s crews understand.
    AND HIRE REPLAY OFFICIALS!!!

  9. Here is my take on that call – if the ball has crossed the goal line and two feet come down the play is over – if not – then a running back that is stretching over a pile of body’s at the goal line and the ball makes “contact or breaks the plane” should not be called a touch down until he is on the ground – I have seen the defence slap the ball out of a runners hand while he was still driving to get into the end zone and they called the play dead because the ball crossed the plane, touchdown – this is BS then – he catches the ball two feet down with control, then a leg down with control, then the ball hits the turf and he lets go – incomplete, BS – the ball was across the goal line in his control – TOUCHDOWN

  10. How can nobody get this? The rule is very specific. You have to maintain control of the ball after contact with the ground. Johnson did not do that. Is the rule fair? Probably not, but it is the rule whether you like it or not. The real culprit here is Calvin Johnson, who was more worried about celebrating than actually making sure it was a TD. This is no different than DeSean Jackson’s premature celebration before going into the end zone a couple of years ago. The officials got it right. The bottom line: Johnson screwed up.

  11. As they said on NBC or NFLN (not sure which it was) but the call was correct, by the book. The problem is that the book is wrong.
    I understand the rule in the field of play, reduce confusion about run-after-catch, etc. However, in the end zone, once he comes down with the catch the play is over. The NFL really needs to review this rule, but if Calvin had just held the ball for another half-second, we wouldn’t be debating this.

  12. What catch in the Super Bowl is he talking about? Lance Moore? Difference is, he maintained control of the ball all the way through the catch. It wasn’t till it was kicked out that it touched the ground, which was of no fault to Moore. Had the ball not been kicked, it never touches the ground.
    I think the refs got it right. The rule says that no part of the ball can touch the ground until the action is completed. In this case, Johnson used the ball to brace his fall, with the ball touching the ground before he had complete body control. Crappy rule but its in the book and their gonna call it like that every time.

  13. The call was BS.
    He had both feet down, in the end zone, with control of the ball.
    TD – period.
    The rest is all BS.
    This would not have been called if it had been New Orleans or Peyton Manning or…

  14. Complete BS call.
    Two feet down in the endzone with control of the ball.
    TD – end of story.
    Anyone who thinks they would have called it that way if it had been New Orleans or Manning or… is full of it.

  15. You are very wrong . He did maintain control after he hit the ground. He lost the ball in the process of getting off the ground. It really isn’t that hard to understand. Contact with the ground did not jar the ball loose.
    From a Bears fan, I really feel for you Lions fans. I hate to see my team win like that.
    ———————————————————
    How can nobody get this? The rule is very specific. You have to maintain control of the ball after contact with the ground. Johnson did not do that. Is the rule fair? Probably not, but it is the rule whether you like it or not. The real culprit here is Calvin Johnson, who was more worried about celebrating than actually making sure it was a TD. This is no different than DeSean Jackson’s premature celebration before going into the end zone a couple of years ago. The officials got it right. The bottom line: Johnson screwed up.

  16. WRONG! Bad call – on a bad rule
    Wonderlicker says:
    September 12, 2010 10:18 PM
    It was a good call – on a bad rule.

  17. You are very wrong . He did maintain control after he hit the ground. He lost the ball in the process of getting off the ground. It really isn’t that hard to understand. Contact with the ground did not jar the ball loose.
    From a Bears fan, I really feel for you Lions fans. I hate to see my team win like that.
    —————————————————
    #1 How do you determine when exactly he stops falling to the ground and when he’s getting up?
    #2 I still maintain this is on Johnson. If he’s not in such a hurry to get up and celebrate, this whole discussion is moot. Hang onto the ball UNTIL you’ve confirmed you actually scored a TD, then celebrate.

  18. This is completely different than what DeSean Jackson did. DeSean never even made it into the end zone. He threw the ball before even broke the plane.
    Are you telling me Calvin Johnson never landed in the endzone? I’m guessing his butt was hovering over the grass right, then he turned over to celebrate then lost the ball right?

  19. I bet you don’t even use your turn signal when you drive. Wait…. You do understand that it is a rule, was a rule and all players in the NFL should know the rules. So what is the problem. Follow the rules.

  20. This is completely different than what DeSean Jackson did. DeSean never even made it into the end zone. He threw the ball before even broke the plane.
    Are you telling me Calvin Johnson never landed in the endzone? I’m guessing his butt was hovering over the grass right, then he turned over to celebrate then lost the ball right?
    —————————————————-
    Its exactly the same in that they both started to celebrate before they technically scored the TD. In both instances, if the players had made sure they truly had scored they would have been no problems. But they were so worried about the celebration they forgot to ACTUALLY SCORE THE TD.
    This isn’t an opinion, its a fact. A fact according to the rulebook, according to the game officials, according to the former head of officials Mike Pereira and according to the current head of officials Carl Johnson.
    Do I agree with the rule? Absolutely not. Do I agree with the call? Absolutely. The game officials are not allowed to amend or to make up rules as they see fit. Their job is to follow those rules to the letter, which they did.

  21. If Calvin Johnson though that they were going to do that, he clearly looked like he had control and could have cradled it. But, you know, “if you put yourself in a position to lose, sometimes you lose…unfortunately.”
    Wicked burn by Rodney Harrison: “That call costs them on of the four games they’re going to win all year!”

  22. The Raiders had the same exact thing happen to them in Game 1 last year when Louis Murphy caught a TD at the end of the first half, had posession after catching the ball with two feet, two knees, and elbow and then dropped the ball when he was getting up to celebrate and it was overruled.
    So this call isn’t unheard of, it’s just a terrible rule that is interpreted so inconsistently by the refs and really defies what a catch is and should be.

  23. SAME EXACT THING happened on opening day last year with Louis Murphy against the Chargers. Two feet, butt, knee, lets go when he’s getting up and they call incomplete. They need to fix this rule.

  24. Wa Wa Wa is all i hear from everybody and the call. Calvin Johnson is a WR and he should know the rules for his position. He was to busy trying to celebrate a game a would winning touchdown that he let the ball go.

  25. first stafford gets hurt and then this…
    lions can’t catch a break…i feel bad for them and their fans…team was looking pretty solid today too.

  26. LOL @ Harrison saying “If i am the Lions i would be mad because the refs just cost us 1 of the 4 wins for the season….”
    Funny Stuff Rodney
    P.S. The Lions got screwed…..

  27. I’m a Steeler fan and don’t play fantasy, so the result of this game is meaningless to me.. With that said, that was one of the worst calls I have ever seen.. He had possession with both hands when his feet hit the ground.. He then controlled the ball with one hand as he hit the ground.. He used the hand with the ball to get up off the ground, which is when the ball came out.. Absolutely horrible call.. And it figures that it happens to the Lions

  28. a bad rule PURPOSELY written to allow refs to decide who wins and who will lose depending on what they are ordered to do. they were forced to lose the down by contact whistle bs so they invent a new one they can use. raiders last year too were robbed of a win that way.
    nfl owners built this league on gambling. mara, rooney, bidwell etc were bookmakers.

  29. I think every fan that isn’t a Bears fan can see it’s a TD. I think even half of the Bears fans can see it.
    It’s rediculous, but at the end of the day, Detroit got much more respect from this game than Chicago ever did because the public knows it was Detroits win and it was stolen from them.

  30. Stupid rule. You can have a player have possession of the ball while getting three feet, a butt cheek, a thigh, a hand, anda shoulder all down, but when he loses the ball after that, it’s incomplete.

  31. He was down COMPLETELY the rolled over to get up(secondary move?) when the ball came out. Total BS. NFL is going the way of the NBA and will start losing fans if they correct the horrendous officiating. Total screw job and I have no dog in fight.

  32. If it looks like a catch and feels like a catch well it should be a catch. That was a very bad call, or stupid rule that gives this great league a black eye….
    I am not a fan of any NFC north team…

  33. The problem with the rule is that “the process of making a catch” has no clear end to it, according to the rule Florio posted in another article.
    When does “the process” end? When the guy finally gets back to his bench? Does a receiver have to stand up still holding the ball? If so, why?
    Johnson clearly lost control of the ball, NOT in the process of making the catch, but in the process of standing up AFTER making the catch.
    Horrible interpretation of a badly written rule.

  34. Disband the Competition Committee before they screw the game up any more. The only bigger threat to the future of the game is Duh Maurice.

  35. Happened to the Raiders last year on Monday night. At home against the Chargers. Louis Murphys TD was taken away and cost us the game. Its A BS rule! But oh well life goes on.

  36. #2 I still maintain this is on Johnson. If he’s not in such a hurry to get up and celebrate, this whole discussion is moot. Hang onto the ball UNTIL you’ve confirmed you actually scored a TD, then celebrate.
    _______________________________
    Receiver catches the ball with both hands on the ball, the ball is not bobbled, the defender does not get a hand on the ball, when the receiver comes down, both feet make contact with the ground in-bounds, his butt hits the ground, his hip hits the ground, his elbow hits the ground, and one hand hits the ground. throughout all of this, receiver has uncontested possession of the ball throughout. THEN the ball hits the ground with the receivers hand gripping the ball on top of the ball. At that point, the referee is three feet from Johnson with his arms in the air signalling touchdown. So Johnson did have all the information he needed to believe that it was a catch and that he could proceed to celebrate his great catch. How much more does Johnson need to do? You really need to drop making this about Johnson. He did everything right — if a rule caused this to be overruled, then the rule caused a severe injustice to the Lions. Bears lost that game IMHO.

  37. By the letter of the law, this might be the correct call. However the letter of the law is horrible, leaving too much to interpretation. “Process of the catch”??? Sports rules written by lawyers now? I’m sure Florio might like that, but it seems ridiculous to me. With the love of offense, why are there so many rules that get in the way of it? This was a TD by any application of common sense. It is only the NFL’s love of red tape that made it not a TD. This league needs less rules, not more.

  38. @nflpuppetmaster
    i dont know whats worse the call or the people that say it was the correct call on a bad rule the ball did not move at all when he hit the ground he let the ball when he got up, how long should he hold on to the ball ?

  39. We went through all of this last year with the Raiders/Chargers game in week one. The Raiders got robbed by this very same rule. I think a week or two later it also happened to another team.
    I hate to to say it. In every case, the teams were screwed over by a very bad rule, but in each case, the rule was called as it’s spelled out in the rule book. The league decided not to address the rule this off-season, and now we’re back to square one. Teams getting screwed over by a dumb rule that needs to be tweaked.

  40. I understand the rule.
    Rushing … cross the plane for a nanosecond … fumble and the ball bounces to Kingdom Come … TD.
    Receiving and stay on your feet … cross the plane for a nanosecond … instantly toss into back of end zone (which happened in another game) … TD.
    Receiving and fall … cross the plane … get both feet down in bounds … maintain control to the ground … hang on as you roll around the ground … hang on as you get back up … hang on throughout the game … hang on in the locker room … take it home and sleep with it …
    MAYBE the next day it will be ruled a TD.
    I get it.
    The rule is INSANE. It is one reason for all the officiating controversies. It’s RIDICULOUS to wait until the season ends to FIX IT.

  41. NFL=No fun league. That was a catch, period. The spirit of the game is gone. It is so ridiculous to see an excellent and an exciting catch being over turned but I would suggest that receivwer use two hands next time !!

  42. Good Call on a Bad Rule. I am not a fan of either of these teams, and I feel bad for the Lions losing on that call. The play I compared this to was the Steelers vs. Colts in the playoffs the year the of Super Bowl XL.
    Polamalu intercepted the ball across the middle, rolled over, and on his way to get up and make a play, the ball hit his knee and he dropped the ball. So since Troy is a play-maker and tried to extend the play, the call was an incomplete pass.
    I know it is not completely the same situation since it was in the endzone, this rule definately needs looked at and re-evaluated.

  43. Sweetness34 says:
    September 12, 2010 10:14 PM
    Some common sense should be used when making a call.

    Whose common sense? That’s just a terrible idea. Sorry, but it’s true. One man’s common sense is not the same as anothers. Unless you actually WANT the NFL to have calls like strike zones in MLB. One crew it’s a hold, another it’s a non-call, another it’s a personal foul…
    mborz says:
    September 12, 2010 10:16 PM
    When was the rule changed to be what it is today? What was the NFL attempting to address when they changed it?

    See the Bert Emanuel rule. In the play in question, Emanuel held onto the ball the entire time throughout making the catch, but the nose of the ball touched the ground (but he never lost possession). At the time, the rule stated if the ball touched the ground at all, no catch. The rule was then modified to state that the ball can touch the ground so long as the receiver maintains possession – that’s why the rule reads how it does today.
    Dolfan34 says:
    September 12, 2010 10:17 PM
    I know what the rule says but it’s a terrible call. Johnson did everything right and put the ball down to celebrate. the NFL needs to get these straight.

    I say he dropped the ball because of the impact with the ground. Because there is room for interpretation, the fault lies entirely with Calvin Johnson himself.
    VASeahawk says:
    September 13, 2010 6:21 AM
    He was down COMPLETELY the rolled over to get up(secondary move?) when the ball came out. Total BS. NFL is going the way of the NBA and will start losing fans if they correct the horrendous officiating. Total screw job and I have no dog in fight.

    He rolled because he was falling backwords and his momentum carried him that way, not because of a conscious effort to turn around.
    Turk says:
    September 13, 2010 10:03 AM
    At that point, the referee is three feet from Johnson with his arms in the air signalling touchdown. So Johnson did have all the information he needed to believe that it was a catch and that he could proceed to celebrate his great catch. How much more does Johnson need to do?

    Watch the play again. Johnson wasn’t even looking at the ref when he made the signal. The point is, do not ever leave any doubt in the minds of the refs, because they can and will overturn the call – if not on the field, then in the booth. I’ve said this in several places: the simple fact that there is even room for debate about whether he consciously let the ball go or the ground forced it out of his hands (if you watch his fingers closely, they squeeze together as the ball hits the ground as though he was still applying pressure and trying to hold onto the ball – meaning losing the ball was against his will), then it’s the receiver’s fault. This is not up for debate. If the receiver holds on until after he hits the ground and regains control of his body, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind about whether or not he purposely dropped the ball. You may not like it, but it’s completely true.

  44. Castro95 doesn’t know jack sh*t about football. Also, anyone notice how Jay Clit-ler was strutting around after the game like his team just beat an elite team?

  45. I think we all know that SHOULD have been a TD. HOwever, it was NOT a blown call by the Refs. They simply enforced a BS NFL rule about catches in the end zone that has plagued us for years.
    The same thing happened to Greg Jennings when we played GB at home last year. It is an awful rule, but as a receiver Calvin Johnson is supposed to know it. Referees come to each training camp to explain it. That’s what our coaches and his coaches said about the play, and I’m sure he’d admit it himself.
    One of two things happened at the end of that play
    1) He dropped that ball at the end of the catch and the rule worked the way it was supposed to. (unlikely)
    2) He got up to celebrate and made the mental error of releasing the football in the process. Like DeSean Jackson dropping the ball at the 1 yard line last season, Calvin Johnson cost his team the game.
    PFT, you make a good point about the “2nd act” move of rolling over and putting the ball down, but caught the ball while falling, the momentum of his fall rolled him over, and he ended the rolling motion with the football hitting the ground which is probably why it squirted out.
    One fluid motion that should be called a catch but isn’t according to the rule. One stupid move by an elite receiver who is paid millions to know better.

  46. @Codebeard …
    If you think he dropped that ball, you must be a Bears fan. I’m an AFC fan–no ax to grind here. He didn’t drop anything. He pushed off on the ball to get up. It looked like he was going to spin it to celebrate but instead just stood up. He could just as easily have stood up WITH the ball, but he thought the play was over–as any rational person would–and jumped up to celebrate.
    The play should end once the player hits the ground with control of the ball. Enough already. He shouldn’t have to adopt the thing and put it through college for it to be a catch.

  47. An admittedly biased Bears fan’s take on it:
    1. Johnson should’ve never been in 1:1 coverage with the game on the line–more genius from the Bears coaches.
    2. Johnson did push off on that play
    3. Everyone is analyzing this play in slo-mo;
    but in REAL TIME, his loss of control at the end is more evident
    (and if you watch REAL close, back in slo-mo, when the ball hits the ground and bouces out, you can see his hand do a little double-clutch, an indication he did not WANT the ball out of his hand yet–i.e. lost control!–but once it WAS, he said, in effect, “hell with it, game’s over–now I get up and celebrate!!”)
    4. Regardless of what happened prior, Johnson lost control of the ball when it hit the ground (he didn’t drop it INTENTIONALLY, it got knocked out by the ground as his momentum swung his hand and the ball into it), and therefore he did not complete the catch–INCOMPLETE.
    The WR’s body is mostly irrelevant (the feet/knees/butt hitting the ground)–it’s the demonstration of CONTROL OF THE BALL that counts, all the way through to the end.
    Like everyone else, I think it’s a dumb, over-technical rule that flies in the face of common sense.
    And yet, I think the call was *technically* correct.
    5. Bears had crappy o-line play, and crappy coaching (only putting 1:1 coverage on CJ with the game on the line?)–combined, those factors prohibited them from capitalizing on dominant field position and scoring.
    But they otherwise moved the ball well and dominated on defense (Briggs’ play before the goal-line goof was a thing of beauty, as was Peppers’ strip-sack).
    Much respect for the scrappy Lions (who have also been cheated out of victories over the Biqueens, too)–but Schwartz is right: dwelling on this won’t do the team or franchise any good.
    Finally, willl everyone who keeps comparing a runner’s possession in the endzone to a WR’s please just STFU?
    You’re comparing oranges & orangutangs here:
    A runner has possession PRIOR to breaking the plane of the endzone (so the issue of control/possession is already decided);
    A WR must establish and KEEP possession (that means PROVING/demonstrating it through to the end, even after hitting the ground).

  48. Deb says:
    The Lions got screwed and these nonsensical rules are one reason for all the controversies in the league…
    ____________
    Of course we all know the Lions got screwed. However, a Steelers fan complaining about poor officiating is far more of a travesty. You should LOVE poor/corrupt officiating. Where would you be without it? And most of all… Why would you disrespect your own franchise that way?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!