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Jim Schwartz wins a challenge on Calvin Johnson rule

Last week the Detroit Lions were deprived of a game-winning touchdown when an apparent Calvin Johnson catch was ruled incomplete because he put the ball on the ground when he went down. This week the Lions benefited from the same rule — but only after a replay challenge.

In the first quarter of the Lions’ game against the Eagles, Michael Vick threw a deep pass to DeSean Jackson, who leaped for the ball, grabbed it, fell to the ground and had it pop loose.

The officials on the field ruled it a complete pass, and Lions coach Jim Schwartz went crazy on the sideline, wondering how Jackson could get a catch when he didn’t hold onto the ball while going to the ground.

Schwartz threw his challenge flag, and after a lengthy instant replay delay, the referee overturned the ruling and said it was an incomplete pass.

But the NFL’s rules on what constitutes a complete pass when a receiver goes to the ground still don’t seem to make much sense, and this play showed how absurd it is that the NFL is claiming there’s no gray area on this rule. If there’s no gray area, why didn’t the official on the field get it right? And if there’s no gray area, why did former head of officiating Mike Pereira, who commented on the play in his role as a FOX analyst, seem unsure whether it would be upheld or overturned?

The answer is that there is gray area. But at least Schwartz and the Lions can feel like the convoluted rule that hurt them last week helped them this week.

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6 Responses to “Jim Schwartz wins a challenge on Calvin Johnson rule”
  1. homie jones says: Sep 19, 2010 2:18 PM

    Tim Ryan is the color guy on this game and he is awful. He didn’t understand the call on this play and most plays.

  2. LionsPlayoffs2011 says: Sep 19, 2010 2:26 PM

    Sweet justice. As long as we win.

  3. Flipadelphia says: Sep 19, 2010 8:23 PM

    And if there’s no gray area, why did former head of officiating Mike Pereira, who commented on the play in his role as a FOX analyst, seem unsure whether it would be upheld or overturned?
    Because he’s a useless douche and he’ll do whatever Goodell and the league tell him to. He clearly hadnt gotten the call from Goodell that the pass was incomplete so he flip flopped on it so he couldnt be wrong.

  4. chris57 says: Sep 19, 2010 9:51 PM

    Here’s the next “frontier”: was he going to the ground, or was he tackled? You could make a case for both on Jackson’s catch. If he caught it and the ball came out when he was tackled, it’s a catch. More room for the officials to screw this up….

  5. Route36West says: Sep 20, 2010 3:23 AM

    Where are all the Detriot fans complaining that Jackson should of had a 50 yard completion on that play?
    O no where. You guys are hypocrites if your going to complain when it happens to your team you should be doing the same thing in this case. If you dont it really just proves that you dont have a problem with the rule you just have a problem when its your team not getting away with breaking the rule.
    Johnson didnt catch that td and Jackson didnt catch that pass. That has always been the rule. You cant change a rule just because it didnt help your team win. This just shows you how fair this rule is. So all you Detriot conspiracy theorist out there that said they only called it not a catch bc the refs or whoever hate Detriot can go back in your holes.

  6. TANNER says: Sep 21, 2010 8:35 AM

    we already got screwed by the rule so why would we complain when another team did. what did you expect, all detroit fans to want them to rule that a catch. pull your head out of your a**

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