After the Jets fell into a 10-point hole, their offense woke up. A little.
Fueled by a 27-yard pass to Santonio Holmes plus another 15 from an illegal hit on quarterback Geno Smith (actually, there appeared to be two of them) and some hard-nosed running from Chris Ivory, the Jets got into position to score.
On one snap, Smith (as pointed out by NFL Network’s Mike Mayock) didn’t see receiver Stephen Hill wide open down the seam. On the next, Smith say receiver Clyde Gates and delivered the ball.
It was called a touchdown on the field. Automatic replay review resulted in a reversal of the ruling on the field, based on evidence that Gates didn’t keep control over the ball as he dove forward in the end zone to catch it.
And it appeared to be the right call, under the (a), (b), and (c) formula that applies to determining when a catch is a catch. While Gates caught the ball and had both feet on the ground, he didn’t maintain possession once he hit the ground, and he didn’t have enough time after making the catch to complete a move common to the game of football before hitting the ground.
It could be argued that there can never be truly indisputable visual evidence to overturn the judgment call regarding whether there is sufficient time after completing the catch and getting both feet down to commit “any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).” In this case, however, Gates went straight down after making the catch. The reversal means that his indisputably didn’t have time to commit a “football move,” and thus he had to keep possession upon going to the ground.
And so the Jets settled for a field goal. They currently trail, 10-3.