Riveron explains Jesse James ruling (again), doesn’t mention replay standard (again)

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Thursday’s NFL media briefing included a cameo appearance from senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron, who addressed a couple of current hot topics — the catch rule and the rule against using foreign objects to measure first downs. Along the way, he explained the decision to overturn the Jesse James touchdown in the Patriots-Steelers game, unwittingly confirming that the NFL doesn’t simply have a catch rule problem. It also has a replay standard problem.

“In this situation, it was not necessarily a football move,” Riveron said regarding James’ catch and lunge at the goal line, according to a transcript provided by the league. “It was going to the ground. Any time you’re going to the ground, whether it’s on your own, whether you’re contacted by an opponent, or whether you’re contacted by a teammate, you must survive the ground. What does that mean? That means once you make initial contact with the ground, you must have control of the football before it touched the ground. In this situation, yes, his knee goes down. But we know Sunday football, the knee going down, you are still live and can do whatever you want with the football as opposed to college football. So, yes, the knee was down, he does make another move where he’s reaching for pay dirt. Once he reaches for pay dirt, he loses control of the football. Before he regains control of the football, it touches the ground. Therefore, it was an incomplete pass. This is not so much about a football move, it’s about going to the ground. In the process of going to the ground, you must survive the ground via having control of the football upon the initial contact with the ground.”

At no point does Riveron say what he should have said: The ruling on the field was that the pass was complete. To overturn the ruling, there had to be clear and obvious evidence that the ruling on the field was incorrect. It was clear and obvious that the player did not have the ball long enough to clearly become a runner.

Maybe Riveron didn’t say it that way because, for whatever reason, he doesn’t apply it that way. Maybe he simply applies his own judgment to what he sees, regardless of the ruling made by the officials on the field at the site of the game.

For example, Riveron at one point admits that James “does make another move where he’s reaching for pay dirt.” But the question isn’t whether that move means James had the ball long enough to clearly become a runner. The question is whether the ruling on the field that he had the ball long enough to clearly become a runner was clearly and obviously wrong.

That same dynamic applies to Riveron’s assessment that James’ lunge to the goal line was “not necessarily a football move.” That’s fine, but was it clearly and obviously not a football move? Unless the answer to that question is a clear and obvious yes, the ruling on the field should stand.

That’s the standard. That’s the test. And that’s what the NFL desperately needs to get right as soon as possible, especially with the postseason looming.

76 responses to “Riveron explains Jesse James ruling (again), doesn’t mention replay standard (again)

  1. Did he address why he always rules in favor of the Patriots in these instances, when they’re about to lose a game, & he just blatantly hands it to them, like the games against the Jets, Texans, & Steelers? I’m curious as to what his answer to that is.

  2. I think changing things now would only make it worse. We are all aware that to complete a catch the ball can never hit the ground as the player goes down. That makes sense to me, and because Jesse James didn’t do that it obviously was not a catch.

  3. Except it didn’t matter whether he made a football move, as he was already going to the ground during the process of making the catch and reaching over the goal line. I agree that it appeared to be a TD, but the “going to the ground, must maintain possession” rule is what they applied, so he could not establish himself as a runner, nor could he technically make a football move, as “going to the ground” trumps those things. You can’t be going to the ground AND be making a football move, which the NFL has demonstrated time and again with their rulings.

    That said, it’s a bad rule and needs tweaking if they can find a way to improve it and remove so much complication and ambiguity.

  4. Read the rules about going to the ground. If a player is considered to be going to the ground, nothing else matters if he doesn’t survive the ground. Making a football move is irrelevant when going to the ground. That is what Riveron is saying.

    Rule 3-2-7 Note #1: “A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the
    field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, it is a catch, interception, or recovery.
    A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner.”

    There is nothing about a ‘football move’ in that rule. He must survive the ground in order for it to be a completed pass.

  5. Now if he only applied his same standards to the Brandin Cooks catch replay. Riveron, 3-0 this season in ruling for the Patriots in late game deciding reviews, basically awarding the Patriots at least 2 games in the standings.

  6. I’m as big a Steelers fan as there is, but the game is over. Give it a rest. Personally, I have seen many catches stand that looked more like they should have been overturned than the JJ catch, and that is the problem with the rule. What is a football move? I get if a guy makes a leaping grab, and as he goes to the ground, the ball pops out…no catch. I do think the rule will be tweaked in the off-season. However, the long and short of it is, the Steelers didn’t take care of business when they had the chance.

  7. If he already had possession then, as a runner the knee being down would be significant. But in this example, he doesn’t gain possession until he “survives the ground”. The same as Bert Emanuel in 1999. This isn’t something that just started happening in the NFL. Had James been able to keep his left hand from folding backwards and letting the ball slip onto the ground, then it would have remained a TD.

    Live action broadcast appeared to be a TD but all we could see at home was his back. The first replay shown from the opposite angle proved the ball moved (Romo was right on it.). I know it would be overturned immediately as soon as I /we saw his left hand fold back towards his body and the ball touching the ground.

    If that was ruled a catch, then I wouldn’t know what is and isn’t a catch going forward.

  8. No we can’t stop talking about this because it has massive implications for the AFC playoff picture, it was clearly wrong, and it exacerbates the problem of the refs and the replay office deciding the outcomes of games. That shouldn’t be acceptable to any football fan and talking about it with outrage might be the only way for someone to get some changes made. That game was another nail in my NFL coffin – as uncompetitive as this league already is my viewership has waned. Now I may end it.

  9. Making a football move has nothing to do with it if the player is going to the ground. He must survive the ground. You are both making this more confusing than it is.

  10. I equate it this way. It’s like a math problem.

    What is the answer to 2(3+2)? By order of operations you add the numbers inside the parenthesis and then multiply them by the number outside, so (3+2) = 5, 2(5) = 10.

    The constraints that the league set up regarding the Replay rule, specifically clear and obvious within a short period of time have to be evaluated as over-riding whether the Replay team can “get the call right”. The NFL set the rule up that way on purpose to prevent the kind of scrutiny these calls can engender. Sure it will never satisfy everyone, but at least that method is consistent. The one applied to this ruling was not. The evidence for this is how long it took before the ruling was made, as well as Riverton’s own words where he indicated that he consulted with someone else to deciding to change the call.

    Interestingly, there is an image that appeared today from another angle that seems to indicate that the reversal may have been incorrect on the actual “going to the ground” rule, as it gives credence to the interpretation that, though the ball moved, the receiver had regained control of it before it touched the ground.

  11. Change the stupid rule. If a receiver possesses (doesn’t matter if he’s bobbling it or not) the ball and it doesn’t touch the ground. It’s a catch. If a runner or receiver breaks the goal line with the ball it’s a TD. Just that simple.

  12. reddzen says:
    December 22, 2017 at 10:34 am
    No we can’t stop talking about this because it has massive implications for the AFC playoff picture, it was clearly wrong, and it exacerbates the problem of the refs and the replay office deciding the outcomes of games. That shouldn’t be acceptable to any football fan and talking about it with outrage might be the only way for someone to get some changes made. That game was another nail in my NFL coffin – as uncompetitive as this league already is my viewership has waned. Now I may end it.
    __________________________________

    Wow buddy, take a deep breath….now exhale. There are plenty of things in the world to be outraged about, but this isn’t one of them. It happened, it’s over and it’s boring to continue to talk about it. Please go find a hobby.

  13. It’s Friday and that game is long in the books. The NFL and various media outlets have rehashed and explained the rule – and how it applied in this case – over and over again all week. Testimony that fans/casual observers STILL don’t get it.

    I don’t think the rule needs tweaking as much as fans need more educating…..or maybe a switch baseball instead.

  14. LOL at some of the Steelers fans here. Riveron has gotten it wrong on SO many more games than the Patriots. Give it a rest already. It was a bad call. But any good team will tell you that if you have another opportunity to ice the game after a bad call you take advantage of it. If you have three opportunities you really need to start pointing the blame somewhere other than a bad replay decision.

    It should have been a fumble recovered by James. That said, suck it up and put it in the end zone on the defense that couldn’t stop you for 3/4 of the game.

  15. The ball hit the ground. It was clear and obvious.
    What difference does it make how Riverron says it.?

    If you don’t like the catch rule, change it. At least it was applied the same as other situations.

    Unlike suspensions and fines.

  16. Correct call of lousy rule.

    Its that simple. Don’t hate the refs for correctly calling the rule as its written. And don’t hate the Patriots because the refs made the call.

  17. We go back and forth all day about these types of calls. For me it comes down to this. I think by and large the officials do a good job…on the field. But their handling of instant replay and using it beyond the scope of what it was originally intended is starting to hurt the officials and the league’s credibility. They should quietly remove Riveron and try to restore some order to the process.

  18. The NFL basically wants only 2 outcomes possible if a ball comes loose. They want it to be a fumble or an incomplete pass. They want it that way to try and eliminate the referees subjectivity as much as possible. They no longer have to judge if the receiver held onto the ball long enough to constitute it as a catch. If a receiver is going to the ground, he must maintain control all the way to the ground and a fumble is not possible in that situation. If he isn’t going to the ground and he is considered a runner, then it will be a fumble unless he has already gotten past the goal line. There is still subjectivity involved as the referee has to judge whether or not the receiver should be considered a runner or a receiver by the time the ball comes loose. Which can cause problems in of itself. The NFL wants to make these calls consistent by making them as objective as possible but the problem is, there is always going to be some gray area. You’re left with people complaining no matter what you do, so I think it is better to leave the subjectivity in and allow plays like this to be a
    catch like it was in the good old days. Especially since they now have all replays go through New York and the same person is making the final call. That should make calls consistent, unless there is bias involved.

  19. Now if he only applied his same standards to the Brandin Cooks catch replay. Riveron, 3-0 this season in ruling for the Patriots in late game deciding reviews, basically awarding the Patriots at least 2 games in the standings.
    ____

    Oh look, a conspiracy theorist.

    This was the correct call. So was the Houston call. The Jets game, probably not.

    They are getting the calls right for the most part, you are just butt hurt because the Pats win

  20. 345snarkavenue says:
    December 22, 2017 at 10:26 am

    ” Note #1: “A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether ….
    ——————————————————
    I get what your trying to say, but that isn’t all that’s in the rule book….

    “A catch is made when a player inbounds secures possession of a pass, kick, or fumble that is in flight (See 8-1-3).

    Note 1: It is a catch if, in the process of attempting to catch the ball, a player secures control of the ball prior to it touching the ground, and that control is maintained during and after the ball has touched the ground.” Further “Item 1. Player Going to the Ground. A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete. Further, “Note: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.”

    But, JJ did “maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone.” Nowhere in the “rule” does it say you have to be lying prone on the ground, it says initial contact. BTW, just pointing out, that IMO, the rule is convoluted and needs looked at …

  21. cashindubz says:
    December 22, 2017 at 10:31 am

    As a Ravens fan, I would even say, there was never conclusive evidence the ball hit the ground because James’ right hand was always under the ball.
    ————————–

    It’s pretty conclusive if you actually watch the replays.

  22. What is bull crap is the first statement Riveron made Sunday night begins with: “The Steelers completed the pass to James…’ then spends the rest of his statement saying why it wasn’t a catch…WTF?

    if he completed it Al, then why wasn’t it a fumble? I hate that there are two different ways TD’s can be score, if you are a straight runner or if you are a receiver… Terrible.

    I would like to get back to the initial purpose of replay… to right the egregious wrongs… this was not egregious.

  23. If a receiver possesses (doesn’t matter if he’s bobbling it or not) the ball and it doesn’t touch the ground. It’s a catch

    _____

    So, if a player is going out of bounds and he is bobbling the ball it should be a catch? Or are you saying the rule should be different when a player is going into the end zone vs the sideline?

    If you have one set of rules for sideline vs endzone I think you’ll end up with even more confusion. At least this way they are consistent.

  24. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    December 22, 2017 at 10:55 am
    The ball hit the ground. It was clear and obvious.
    What difference does it make how Riverron says it.?

    ———–

    It is neither clear nor obvious. There is not a single video still that shows the ball in contact with the ground. While it is certainly possible (and very likely) that the ball hit the ground, it’s also possible that his hand remained underneath it. We will never know until there is video evidence of the ball actually in contact with the ground. Therefore the point of this article is correct — it is not clear and obvious and therefore the call should have stood as called. On the other hand, if it had been called an incomplete pass on the field by the refs then it should have stood as an incomplete pass, for the same reasons.

  25. the most ludicrous argument is that frame by frame replay shouldn’t be used to get calls right (as stated by Dan Patrick and others). As if the networks would stop showing the replays in critical situations when that’s exactly what viewers want to see. So everyone sees that the ball clearly moved or that the receiver was in bounds by an inch, but let’s not use the information we have to get the call right.

  26. It’s clear by now that Riveron flat-out doesn’t believe in the “clear and obvious” standard–and that’s going to create a gigantic scandal when he makes some stuff up on the fly in a huge game like the playoffs or Super Bowl. Astounding that nobody would have went over the standards with him when he was hired and made him agree to follow them, but Goodell’s NFL does all kinds of crazy stuff.

  27. joker65 says:
    December 22, 2017 at 11:15 am
    If a receiver possesses (doesn’t matter if he’s bobbling it or not) the ball and it doesn’t touch the ground. It’s a catch

    _____

    So, if a player is going out of bounds and he is bobbling the ball it should be a catch? Or are you saying the rule should be different when a player is going into the end zone vs the sideline?

    If you have one set of rules for sideline vs endzone I think you’ll end up with even more confusion. At least this way they are consistent.
    ***************
    Going out of bounds, on the field or in the end zone. It doesn’t matter. If the ball doesn’t hit the ground it’s a completion. Simple.

  28. Wow I can’t believe this is controversial. Under the rules we all know it was clearly incomplete. This is Tuck Rule all over again. In both cases the reply got it right under the rules. You can make anything “not clear and obvious” if you want too. It was clear and obvious that the ball hit the ground and he lost his grip on it moving the ball. Clearly and obviously incomplete!

  29. I think the question here isn’t about whether it was a catch or not… The question is, what does a receiver have to do to become a runner? 2 steps? 3 steps? What if the player catches? the ball and stumbles 4 steps while going to the ground? He has traveled 5yds but while going to the ground. Incomplete?

    Its irrelevent at this point, but I think you’d find it hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the catch rule that would say James (or Dez) didn’t catch the ball.

    Riveron says “a football move doesn’t matter” but isn’t a football move what makes a receiver a runner?

  30. There’s a litmus test for calls like this one: What if the situation was reversed and a Patriots player was the receiver?

    For the people saying that the James “catch” should be a TD, would you be saying the same thing if it was Gronkowski lunging for the end zone, losing control of the ball and letting it hit the ground? Would Steelers fans be saying “Good call, doesn’t matter if the ball hit the ground”?

    If the officials called it incomplete on review and took a TD away from New England, would people be screaming for a rule change? No, the common response would be you have to have control of the ball the entire time and not let it hit the ground.

  31. What it all boils down to is that if the Steelers had any mental fortitude, they likely would have won the game. They don’t, so they didn’t.

  32. fsstnotch says:
    December 22, 2017 at 11:34 am

    What if the player catches? the ball and stumbles 4 steps while going to the ground? He has traveled 5yds but while going to the ground. Incomplete?
    ———————-

    They already had that situation this season. Ruled not a catch.

  33. I laugh when I see commenters say the Steeler fans are whining about this call. The reality is it cost them the game. Steeler fans have moved on as long as they quit posting about it. Wait till it happens to the patriots, the board will light up with whiny NE fans.

  34. What it all boils down to is that if the Steelers had any mental fortitude, they likely would have won the game. They don’t, so they didn’t.

    What it boils down to is you know but are very clueless on mental fortitude. As I stated earlier in the week and finally Florio agrees there was no presentation of undisputable evidence to overnturn the call on the field.

    Steeler fans have moved on but Patriot trolls like this commentor can’t get enough to support their whining ways….deflate sound familiar….snowflakes.

  35. So according to Riveron Jesse James stretching for the goal line after bringing the ball in towards his chest, not a football move. Brandin Cooks hopping and then the ball bobbles, rolls
    as it hits the ground, ok because it’s a football move.

  36. Nofoolnodrool says:
    December 22, 2017 at 11:59 am

    What it boils down to is you know but are very clueless on mental fortitude. As I stated earlier in the week and finally Florio agrees there was no presentation of undisputable evidence to overnturn the call on the field.

    Steeler fans have moved on but Patriot trolls like this commentor can’t get enough to support their whining ways….deflate sound familiar….snowflakes.
    ———————-

    What it boils down to is if the Steelers had any mental fortitude, the outcome of that play wouldn’t have affected the rest of the game. They also would have had the confidence to go to overtime and not force a throw when the rest of the offense didn’t even know a play was going to be run.

  37. 3 0 Rate This
    Chunk Life says:
    December 22, 2017 at 11:18 am
    screamingyellowzonkers says:
    December 22, 2017 at 10:55 am
    The ball hit the ground. It was clear and obvious.
    What difference does it make how Riverron says it.?

    ———–

    It is neither clear nor obvious. There is not a single video still that shows the ball in contact with the ground.
    ——————-
    I watched the game and saw the replay. I was screaming at Romo and Nantz when they were besides themselves as to why it was taking so long. The ball touches the ground. Plain as day.
    If you can honestly say the ball never touches the ground, I don’t know what to tell you. Other than get your eyes checked.

  38. I get what your trying to say, but that isn’t all that’s in the rule book….

    “A catch is made when a player inbounds secures possession of a pass, kick, or fumble that is in flight (See 8-1-3).

    Note 1: It is a catch if, in the process of attempting to catch the ball, a player secures control of the ball prior to it touching the ground, and that control is maintained during and after the ball has touched the ground.” Further “Item 1. Player Going to the Ground. A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete. Further, “Note: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.”

    HE DIDNT LOSE CONTROL OF THE BALL AFTER HIS INITIAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND

    his initial contact with the ground was his knee hitting the ground, at that point and when he reaches over the goal line, he has 100% control of the ball, it is only when his arms hit the ground, (not his INITIAL contact with the ground) does the ball quarter rotate and one hand leaves the ball.

    Riveron says in this quote that he lost control of the ball when he reaches out, there is absolutely no evidence to support this statement. He only loses control of the ball after a subsequent contact with the ground, a contact with the ground that comes after his knee hit the ground (initial contact)

  39. “Did he address why he always rules in favor of the Patriots in these instances, when they’re about to lose a game, & he just blatantly hands it to them, like the games against the Jets, Texans, & Steelers? I’m curious as to what his answer to that is.”

    It would be helpful for you to address your lack of understanding of straightforward NFL rules and drop the poor me conspiracy theories. Thanks.

  40. It was clear and obvious. If you don’t think so maybe you need to go back and review all of the angles especially the one from the endzone. No catch. Suck it up buttercup!

  41. This play is done – let it be. There is still a lot of football left, but I guess the NE faithful feel it is their divine right to just collect the Lombardi trophy now, so lets just give it to them & cancel the rest of the gms. Oh and by the way, I guess the NE faithful are guessing they’ll have absolutely no injuries between now and Jan. Good luck w/ that as well.

  42. December 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm
    Just watched it again.
    The ball is moving and the tip of the ball is on the ground.

    Anybody claiming that the ball never touches to ground is either drunk or a pittsburgh homer. Sorry.

    SORRY THE RULE SAYS CONTROL AFTER INITIAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND- HIS KNEE TOUCHING THE GROUND IS THE INITIAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND and WHEN HIS KNEE HITS THE GROUND THE BALL IS FIRMLY IN THE PLAYERS CONTROL

    By the way, no where in the rule book do the words “survive the ground” exist.

    The league has intentionally made this rule confusing and vague so they can steer games to their desired outcome without appearing to be doing so.

  43. Read the rules about going to the ground. If a player is considered to be going to the ground, nothing else matters if he doesn’t survive the ground. Making a football move is irrelevant when going to the ground. That is what Riveron is saying.

    Rule 3-2-7 Note #1: “A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the
    field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, it is a catch, interception, or recovery.
    A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner.”

    There is nothing about a ‘football move’ in that rule. He must survive the ground in order for it to be a completed pass.

    **If the rules states that he must maintain possession of the ball until initial contact with the ground, then they got the call wrong. His knee hit the ground first and then he lunged towards the goal line for a TD. His right hand is under the ball the entire process and you can’t see exactly where his left arm is at. Horrible call as there was inconclusive video evidence to overturn the call. Also, if that rule is correct, then the call Riveron made against Sevarius Jenkins for the Jets/Patriots was also not upheld. The ball NEVER hit the ground at all. Jenkins did lose control but regained it prior to being tackled and Riveron ruled it to be a fumble and a touchback. The guy is a complete Patriots homer!

  44. mogogo1 says:
    December 22, 2017 at 11:26 am
    It’s clear by now that Riveron flat-out doesn’t believe in the “clear and obvious” standard–and that’s going to create a gigantic scandal when he makes some stuff up on the fly in a huge game like the playoffs or Super Bowl. Astounding that nobody would have went over the standards with him when he was hired and made him agree to follow them, but Goodell’s NFL does all kinds of crazy stuff.
    ==================
    Standards? the next time will literally be the first. His predecessors were just as bad they have the benefit of no longer being employed by the NFL to get scrutinized just as harshly.

  45. I’m a Steelers fan, and actually agree that it probably shouldn’t have been ruled a TD based on the rules as written. However, when he says this -“So, yes, the knee was down, he does make another move where he’s reaching for pay dirt.” He just admitted he made a football move. IF that’s the case, it should have been ruled a TD.

  46. keiselsbeard says:

    December 22, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Did he address why he always rules in favor of the Patriots in these instances, when they’re about to lose a game, & he just blatantly hands it to them, like the games against the Jets, Texans, & Steelers? I’m curious as to what his answer to that is.

    ======================

    Too bad Gronk got interfered with multiple times in the Steelers game and too bad how Steelers had a blatant illegal man downfield during their first TD and the refs threw the flag and then picked it up with ZERO explanation.

  47. steelcurtainn says:

    December 22, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I laugh when I see commenters say the Steeler fans are whining about this call. The reality is it cost them the game. Steeler fans have moved on as long as they quit posting about it. Wait till it happens to the patriots, the board will light up with whiny NE fans.

    =================================

    Uh, you do realize there were plays after the Jesse James play right? I would say it was one of those plays that “cost them the game”.

    Great teams overcome adversity, like when the Pats had to fight through all the PI’s against Gronk that weren’t called or the picked up flag for illegal man downfield on the Steelers first TD that was an obvious penalty.

  48. steelcurtainn says:
    December 22, 2017 at 11:57 am
    I laugh when I see commenters say the Steeler fans are whining about this call. The reality is it cost them the game. Steeler fans have moved on as long as they quit posting about it. Wait till it happens to the patriots, the board will light up with whiny NE fans.
    =====================
    LOL – moved on but yet still falsely claiming it cost them the game. 🙂

    The interception cost them the game. Full stop. Even if everybody agreed the Steelers got screwed (which I do) they had multiple opportunities to win\tie the game. And didn’t. Nobody lost the game but them.

  49. The NFL is getting a lot like the federal government. A bureaucratic mess. “The book says…” is the excuse of every bureaucrat ever. What the NY replay thing does is give the NFL main office control over every game, and the on field refs less. IF the NFL decides who is going to win, they now have absolute power to enforce that.

    Ten drunks in a bar called it a catch and td. My wife even called it a catch. In their omnipotence, the NFL replay guru overturned it. I trust ten drunks in a bar more than I trust any NFL official.

  50. fireroger says:
    December 22, 2017 at 1:01 pm
    For the lovelies … feel free to watch the over turned TD by Gronkowski in the first quarter of the KC-NE game this year. Tissues are on order.

    I dont think its based on the Patriots, i think there are other $$ interests. They league doesnt want to favor one team or another, but by keeping the rule vague and confusing, it gives them a tool to swing the game, and the point spread, in the direction of their choosing.

    sometimes it benefits the patriots, sometimes it benefits the steelers

  51. There is a good point to be made in this case about what “going to the ground means”. In the images in the Riveron demo, I would say something like 75-80% of Jesse James body is on the ground before the ball moves including parts of his body that are considered down (the knee, elbow and side of the body). Consider. If a receiver catches a ball and falls to the ground and rolls, and rolls, and rolls for several yards then comes to a stop, when is he considered to have “survived the ground”

    The point is that they could have used the exact same language in the rule to uphold the catch and confirm it. “Rothlisberger completes a pass to Jesse James his knee, elbow and body are on the ground. This indicates he survived the ground and in the act of reaching out over the goal line, lost the ball briefly and recovered it for a touchdown.”

    And that is what happened, New England fans would be lighting up these boards with complaints of how they were robbed and they might have a point.

  52. Why are we still talking about this crystal clear non catch?

    If you go to the ground in the process of making a catch you have to maintain possession after hitting the ground. James clearly did not, the ball came loose and touched the ground.

    Incomplete pass based on a clear interpretation of a clear and fair rule.

  53. veddermn8 says:
    December 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm
    keiselsbeard says:

    December 22, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Did he address why he always rules in favor of the Patriots in these instances, when they’re about to lose a game, & he just blatantly hands it to them, like the games against the Jets, Texans, & Steelers? I’m curious as to what his answer to that is.

    ======================

    Too bad Gronk got interfered with multiple times in the Steelers game and too bad how Steelers had a blatant illegal man downfield during their first TD and the refs threw the flag and then picked it up with ZERO explanation.

    —————–

    Steelers receiver Rogers got held and grabbed on the last play. Quit complaining about penalties, Patriots only got flagged twice the whole game.

  54. Considering you could count 4 fingers and a thumb on James right hand, he must have a HUUUUGE hand to still have had his hand under the ball “the whole time”…

  55. steelercrazy says:
    December 22, 2017 at 1:35 pm
    Steelers receiver Rogers got held and grabbed on the last play. Quit complaining about penalties, Patriots only got flagged twice the whole game.
    =====================
    Fiction. Steelers were extremely lucky they didn’t get more laundry.

  56. Are there any photos or video of the ball on the ground without his hands under it? I’m talking 100% definitely touching the ground with no fingers or hands under it. There are photos and video with his hands under it. Even with the stupid rule, it should have been complete. (again, unless there is video or photos of the ball on the ground without his hands or fingers under it)

  57. Steelers fans, please stop whining about this. You are officially the poorest sports in NFL history. It is not a catch when the ground helps you secure the ball.

  58. The NFLreviews all scoring plays. Are they supposed to ignore the ball hitting the ground just because the officials missed it? You can see on NFL Sound FX, the head official telling Tomlin that if the ball comes loose as the player goes down that the touchdown will be reversed. They were clear about that. You need to take Nantz and Romo’s initial reactions out of this, along with the initial look. The game footage that was fed to tv viewers gave a horrible look on tv. They showed the play from behind. The actual rule is pretty simple, which is the requirement to maitain control after going to the ground. Once you know that, the rule is simple.

  59. “which is the requirement to maitain control after going to the ground.”

    “Which the receiver did when his knee and foot hit the ground, maintained control. In fact he maintained control even up to the second impact when his elbow hit. So that’s two contacts where he had control.

  60. Not only was it not clear and obvious that he didn’t make a football move, it wasn’t clear and obvious that his right hand wasn’t under the ball the whole time. That’s two clear and obvious standards that were blown. Couple that with the Kelvin Benjamin call and the NFL is finally starting to lose me as a fan.

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