The NFL’s inability to come up with a workable definition of what is and what is not a catch reared its ugly head again on Sunday, when former VP of Officiating Mike Pereira said on FOX that an apparent Green Bay interception should be overturned on replay — just before referee Terry McAulay upheld the play.
Now Pereira has weighed in on the play again, saying that whether Packers defensive back Sam Shields had possession of the ball or not was a judgment call that could have gone either way.
“I’m surprised that Terry McAulay did not reverse this. I felt the ball came loose after touching the ground,” Pereira writes at FOXSports.com. “This proves that replay is still one person’s judgment against another. While I think it should have been reversed, I can’t fault McAulay for feeling there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call that was made on the field.”
But that explanation is unsatisfactory: What was the point of delaying the game to review the play if replays are just one person’s judgment against another?
Until the NFL clarifies the rules about players going to the ground while they catch a pass, we’re going to keep seeing confusing rulings like the ones we saw on Sunday, both in the Packers-Bears game and in the Jets-Steelers game. Now we just need to hope the league clarifies the rule in the offseason. And that this confusing rule doesn’t affect the Super Bowl.