NFL to once again revisit catch rule

Getty Images

The perpetually unresolved question of what is and isn’t a catch in the NFL lingers. So will it be considered again this offseason?

“Has it ever not been?” Falcons president/CEO and Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay recently said on PFT Live.

“Will it be talked about?” McKay added. “Absolutely, because again every year we’re going to have six to eight plays as replay becomes more and more a part of our lives because, quite frankly, technology just gets better and better. Then all of a sudden the scrutiny applied to a play like that gets even higher. Yes, you need to go back and you need to make sure — our rules forever have been written for on-field officiating and trying to make sure that we put the officials in a place on the field where they can officiate and be consistent in their officiating.”

The problem arises in large part from the fact that the decisions made in real time by the officials on the field are now picked apart from multiple angles in super-slow motion.

“Sometimes, it gets a little inconsistent when you then begin to review them in replay at frame-by-frame in what looks like a simple decision by an on-field official,” McKay said. “It’s not quite so simple when it’s at full speed. I think we just need to make sure the way we look at it in replay and the way we’re telling the on-field official to officiate are consistent. Maybe that requires us to discuss the language, which we have many times before. I think Commissioner Goodell has done a great job in the last five years on this topic. I’ve been to New York twice where we’ve had a bunch of people including former receivers and former head coaches — just a bunch of different people that go in there and watch a series of plays and say, ‘OK, let’s talk ourselves through this rule and talk through do you want to change it do you like it do you not like it?’ We really haven’t done major changes to it. We’ve done a lot of tweaks to it. We’ll probably do that same process this year.”

When they do that same process this year, will they consider the PFT suggestion that the third element of the catch rule — whether the receiver had the ball long enough to clearly become a runner — should be exempt from replay review due to the subjective nature of the provision that kicks in after the player has the ball in his hands and gets two feet or another body part on the ground?

“I think it’s an interesting point,” McKay said, “and I think it’s one that merits discussion because what you’re saying is, ‘Let’s get out of replay in the quote ‘subjective element,’ because that’s a subjective element. We really didn’t design replay initially for subjective elements. It was designed for objective elements. It was designed for sidelines, end zone — it was lines of demarcation, objective elements not subjective. Your point’s a good one. I think we need to just look at it. Look at the plays and as you said earlier don’t overreact to it and tweak it in a way that is consistent realizing that the officials on the field do a really good job with this rule.”

Given that many of the issues with the catch rule this year came from the decision of the league office to use replay review to overturn rulings on the field based on the inherently subjective third element of the catch rule, maybe the right answer is simply to take replay review out of the portion of the catch/no catch decision that entails as much on-the-fly judgment as does other non-reviewable subjective rulings, like pass interference.

94 responses to “NFL to once again revisit catch rule

  1. If the ball touches the ground before a body part does (except a hand), it’s not a catch. KISS.

  2. As soon as they change the rule their will be scrutiny on what is a fumble. The receiver became a runner and he fumbled the ball (this is the part that was removed did he have it long enough).

  3. I’m not buying anything the NFL has to say about replay. Don’t tell me you have a system in place to make sure you get the call right, but then turn around and make certain types of plays exempt from review. Why? Further, if it takes more than one minute to make a determination, the call on the field should stand. Lastly, from week to week, it seems as though the standard changes.

  4. I agree that the transition from catch to run is subjective and excluding fumble after a catch AND run would clear a lot up.

    The othe suggestion is eliminate catches where the ball touches the ground. No part of the ball must ever touch the ground or it is not a catch.

    Is it restrictive? Yes! Is it easily reviewed? Yes!

  5. If it looks like a catch to officials and the majority of ” fandom “,and they are in bounds with what looks like clear possession …Then make it a Catch !!!

  6. I’ve watched NFL football for close to 50 years. For about the first 40 years the catch rule didn’t change. You had to possess the ball for a second or so, but they didn’t have replay so they sometimes got calls wrong. It seems like for the last 10 years or so they’ve changed the rule many times, and now it seems ridiculous. That whole going to the ground and maintaining control is a bad idea. But nowadays they do have replay, yet they’ve made the rule so stupid they still screw up. Just go back to the old rule, before replay, but add replay. Now you have a perfect catch rule. The NFL isn’t stupid, so it just seems like they’ve screwed it up on purpose so that they could decide the outcome instead of the players. That’s the part I don’t like about it.

  7. Its always amazed me how simple it is and how hard it’s been for people to grasp.

  8. jman967 says:
    January 28, 2018 at 7:38 am
    They’ll find a way to change the wording, making it more confusing and mess it up more. That’s what they are good at.
    —————
    Best that they do try again though. Maybe this time they catch lightning in a bottle.

  9. A catch is simple. If a QB passes the ball to a receiver and that receivers takes possession of the ball it’s a catch. It doesn’t matter if he makes a football move, doesn’t matter if it comes out of his hands when he hits the ground. If he takes possession of the ball for any amount of time the pass is complete.

    If receiver loses possession of the ball after the pass is compete then it’s a fumble….it’s that simple.

    Now if the NFL wants to make it any more complicated than that then we need officials with 20/20 vision. 20/20 vision should be a requirement for an official along with other cognitive testing.

  10. It’s simple. If the receiver falls to the ground at any point in the last two minutes of a game, it’s definitely not a catch.

  11. Give the replay official 30 seconds to make a decision. If you can’t find conclusive proof to overturn in 30 seconds, go with what the official in real time decided.

  12. The NFL still hasn’t resolved the football pressure issue. The NFL is still hiding the PSI information from football fans even though it was collected during football games played during the 2015 NFL season.

  13. Admittedly, this rule needs some tweaking. But it’s funny to me how as soon as something benefitted the Patriots, it’s up for review the next offseason. The Patriots weren’t the Patriots as we know them at the time of the Tuck Rule, but that got changed the next year. Recently they outlawed running and jumping over the line on PATs and FGs, after the Pats were doing that. And now, after countless gaffes with the Catch Rule, the Patriots beating the Steelers is the last straw. Not saying it’s a conspiracy, but it’s definitely an odd coincidence.

  14. I don’t see a problem as long as the coach can pick up the challenge flag when told the ruling on the field as to runner/no runner. You would not challenge a ruling of completed pass if you knew the receiver was a runner. By definition the pass is complete as soon as that determination is made.

  15. collinsj2015 says:
    January 28, 2018 at 9:23 am

    The yearly effort to change any rule that benefited the Patriots the season before.

    ————————————————————————-

    What do you expect from an organization that lied about science all in the name of league parity?

    That lie was successful in convincing so many dimwits that the laws of physics don’t apply to footballs when they are used in NFL football stadiums. The NFL then had to then hide the PSI report from the 2015 NFL season in order to conceal the lie.

  16. It’s mind-boggling sometimes to wonder how most of these owners got to be billionaires, when they can’t even decide on what a catch is in the football league that they own?!

  17. The NFL still hasn’t resolved the football pressure issue. The NFL is still hiding the PSI information from football fans even though it was collected during football games played during the 2015 NFL season.

    Embarrassing comment from a whiny little Patriot fanboy……yawn.

    Just enforce the rules consistently…like call more than one penalty on the Pats in a playoff game. When i can see holding from my recliner and head butts that are not called something is very fishy…..yet true.

  18. Who cares if the ball moves, such a ridiculous thing to waste time with. If you make an acrobatic catch and fall to the ground the ball is probably going to move.
    If it isn’t clearly rolling out of your hands it’s a catch

  19. The rule as it applies to goal line plays should be examined. It makes no sense that a running play can break the plane then fumble and it be ruled a score while a pass receiver doing the same is no catch if he is going to the ground.

  20. gregbeau says:
    January 28, 2018 at 10:12 am
    The rule as it applies to goal line plays should be examined. It makes no sense that a running play can break the plane then fumble and it be ruled a score while a pass receiver doing the same is no catch if he is going to the ground.

    ———————
    This is correct. The Patriots got the fair correct call, no cheating or fixes or anything like that. Everything followed the current rule. But should that have bern tne current rule.

    Besides, there have been several catch calls since then that went against the Patriots so Im sure everyone is concerned anout those too.

  21. The NFL added the survive the ground rule because it looks silly when a receiver is credited with a catch while fans are watching the football role or bounce away as soon as the receiver hits the ground. Instantaneous catches while the receiver is in the air were no longer allowed. Maybe the NFL thought that football is a contact sport and the player should be able to hang on to the football despite some contact with the ground.

    So you can’t have it both ways. Sometimes the ball is going to move or hit the ground and the catch won’t count. When it happens to a team that you want to win then you will want the rule to be changed. But if they start allowing temporary catches to be catches then its only a matter of time before the team that you root for will lose a game due to that rule.

  22. I don’t why there is a need to change it. It works fine for everybody that understands it. The problem is that the Patriots benefited from a couple of correct calls so the rest of the world wants to change it. Next year after they tweak the rule the Patriots will benefit from that a couple of times too because they execute better than anyone else and the rest of the world will want to change the rule again. The reason that people say excuses are for losers is because if you win you don’t need any.

  23. Nofoolnodrool says:
    January 28, 2018 at 9:53 am
    The NFL still hasn’t resolved the football pressure issue. The NFL is still hiding the PSI information from football fans even though it was collected during football games played during the 2015 NFL season.

    Embarrassing comment from a whiny little Patriot fanboy……yawn.

    Just enforce the rules consistently…like call more than one penalty on the Pats in a playoff game. When i can see holding from my recliner and head butts that are not called something is very fishy…..yet true.

    Agreed, I also saw many penalties committed by Jacksonville and Pittsburgh that went uncalled. Very fishy indeed. As far as consistency goes, I’d refer you to Emerson. But he’s spot on about the PSI thing, if we’re looking for the truth that is. Probably a few who hope it never see the light of day. Total narrative killer for the science deniers.

  24. I like it the way it is, and not because it favors one team or the other. The catch rule, if understood, is easy to apply, even from my living room couch.

  25. There’s no getting around the existence of modern HD frame by frame replay so design the catch rule around it.

    If the receiver has two feet down with possession, even for a frame, it’s a catch. If that happens in the end zone, it’s instantly a touchdown and what happens after doesn’t matter, similar to breaking the line as a runner. If outside the end zone, same thing. Two feet down with possession, even for a moment, is a catch, and if you then lose control of the ball, it’s a fumble.

  26. You would think that since the NFL rules mostly give the advantage to the offense they would make it easier for the catch to be completed by rule. I say simplify it as much as possible.

  27. Let’s just get rid of replay and go with the judgement of the refs like it was for dozens of years. Leave some mystery and margin for human error. Enough with the league of lawyers. This over-analysis sucks and is not fun to watch.

  28. Catch rule v973
    1. Get control of the ball
    2. Establish yourself inbounds
    3. You are now a runner, use existing rule for runner

    If every time a DB strips the ball from a receiver it’s a fumble, there are going to be a lot more fumbles.

  29. They lack the ability to think through their tweaks and judging by his attitude they don’t feel there is a need to change anything.

    There is an easy way to fix the controversy without causing an inordinate amount of called fumbles. Make the going to the ground part only applicable on the field of play between the end zones. If there is possession and 2 feet (1 knee, etc) down it is a catch regardless of whether the ball is lost upon contact with the ground while in the end zone or out of bounds. The rationale is that the instant the player/ball crosses the end zone or touches OB the play is dead…prior to the effect of the ball popping out. If a player in bounds has possession of the ball with 2 feet down and takes one more step while going to the ground it is a catch and if he loses it upon contact with the ground there are 2 possible outcomes. If he was touched by a defender on the way down then he is down by contact. If he is NOT touched by a defender and loses the ball at that point then it IS a fumble. That should get rid of the “football move” ambiguity completely. The bang-bang ball/hit plays are easily covered by this as well. All the drama is removed leaving the only potential contention would be if that third “step” happened prior to the ball coming loose.

  30. Instant replay by the officials should be reviewed at game speed, not slow-motion, because it’s PLAYED and OFFICIATED at game speed. That way only obvious misses are corrected and not as much time is wasted during review. Getting out the micrometer and slide rule using 15 high-def angles at super slow-mo to see the 1/100th of a millimeter difference is a waste of time and too often still has differing conclusions. The networks covering the game would still use teh super tech, and that’s fine/expected, but the NFL needs to simplify things. Either you automate all officiating or keep it simple; they’re imperfect humans limited by biology being overseen by high speed technology…kind of stupid, really.

  31. Basically what I gained from all of the above posts is that NOBODY has a true understanding of a catch as it currently exists & NOBODY has an actual solution that all can agree on EXCEPT that if the call would favor the Patriots it should automatically be a non catch no matter how the rule is to be interpreted or what evidence would contradict a completed catch…..

  32. askeddie11 says:

    Yes Dez, it was a catch…. It was like the last one you
    had since 2014.
    ===========================================================

    That was the moment that broke him. He’s never been the same since that call was overturned.

  33. One other rule change to consider. Currently, helmet-to-helmet and defenseless receiver hits are 15 yard penalties from the line of scrimmage. Instead, if the penalty occurrs beyond 15 yards, treat it like defensive pass interference and spot ball at point of infraction. Makes sense, especially if the hit dislodged the ball as receiver is in process of establishing possession.

  34. The epitome of human stupidity….football has been around 100+ years and we don’t know what a catch is? When I played backyard football we knew when someone caught the ball. Unreal!

  35. If it’s that difficult for NFL Execs to determine what IS and what ISN’T a catch, then just get RID OF IT !! This is SOOOOOOOOO Stupid that they can’t find a happy medium, perhaps the NFL is best served to drop replay all together.

  36. Back in the day when football was primarily a running game, receivers did not want to run routes across and catch passes in the middle of the field, because they knew that when they did, they would be hit and hit hard, often brutally.

    The NFL then decided to make football more of a passing game, thinking it would make the game more exciting for fans. So the league instituted rules to make it easier for receivers to run routes and catch passes, such as little or no contact five yards beyond the line of scrimmage–bump and run–increased scrutiny on and penalties for interference, contact after the catch, and the like.

    And that’s fine, because it did make the game more exciting. However, now that it is easier for a receiver to run routes and catch the ball, the receiver must catch the ball. That means maintain possession and control throughout the play to the ground.

    If the ball touches the ground at any time the receiver does not have full possession and control, that is not a catch. It is an incomplete pass. Bobbling or juggling the ball, trying to achieve possession and control, or fighting to maintain either, as the receiver goes to the ground doesn’t count. That is as it should be.

    A runner must maintain possession and control of the ball after a handoff all the way through the play to the ground, and the ground cannot cause a fumble. Therefore, a receiver must maintain possession and control of the ball after a catch all the way through the play to the ground, but the ground can cause an incomplete pass because should the ball touch the ground at any time before the receiver has possession and control, the pass has not been completed. Once the receiver has possession and control, and advances, he is no longer a receiver, as the pass has been completed, but a runner.

    What is a catch? Possession and control of the ball in the air and to the ground. It’s very simple and straight forward.

    The most incredible catch I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been watching football since I was a baby in 1961, was during a Cowboys game in I believe 1995. I don’t recall the opponent, just the catch. Dallas had possession and was driving down the field in a tight game, with the ball at around the 30 yard line. The play called was a drop back pass on a deep post route. Aikman took the ball, but as he stepped back to throw the protection broke down due to a fierce blitz and under heavy pressure, rather than take a sack, he threw the ball away, high and out the back of the end zone, where no one could catch it so as to avoid an interception.

    Irvin was running down the sideline, and as he approached the goal line the ball was sailing at least ten feet over his head out of bounds. It was an impossible play, a pass deliberately thrown to be uncatchable, right?

    Irvin leaped up and slapped the tip of the high spiral with his fingers. Unbelievably, the ball stopped in midair, spun and tumbled end over end, then dropped into his arms in the end zone, and he caught it. Touchdown!

    That’s a catch. The receiver achieved and maintained possession and control of the ball with both feet in bounds all the way through the play to the ground.

    All the prima donnas who whine and complain about a replay revealing they did not have possession and control before the ball touched the ground are spoiled pretenders. None of them could have caught the uncatchable pass that Irvin impossibly caught. That’s why he’s called the Playmaker. Catch the ball and complete the play. Or sit on the sidelines and cry. Complaining that replay revealed you did not catch the ball and could not complete the play does not a receiver make.

  37. If in the endzone or going out of bounds, why can’t a player simply catch the ball with 2 feet down inbounds and while going to the ground, simply spike the ball. Forget about holding on to the ball and risking having it move. Spike the ball. No fumble.

  38. J. Michael Collins says:
    January 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Let’s just get rid of replay and go with the judgement of the refs like it was for dozens of years.
    ——————————————————————
    So it would be better to have everyone watching at home….plus those watching the large screens that exist at most stadiums…to all know that many calls are obviously wrong…just to prevent the small quantity of close calls which seem to only cause disagreement from biased fans who don’t understand the rules?

  39. I hope they do change the rule just so that next year when a Patriot player makes a diving catch in Pittsburgh, and the ball moves as he tumbles to the ground, it will still be called a catch and Steeler fans will all whine in unison.

  40. Possession of the ball and two feet or body part down — like it was for 60 years before Goodell got his hands on it. No special requirement for “going to the ground.”

  41. factpurveyor said:

    “So it would be better to have everyone watching at home….plus those watching the large screens that exist at most stadiums…to all know that many calls are obviously wrong…just to prevent the small quantity of close calls which seem to only cause disagreement from biased fans who don’t understand the rules?”

    ==

    Yes. No one said life is fair. One of the things that sports helped children as they grew into adulthood understand is to adjust to that fact. Even if they did everything right on the field, something that was out of their control might not go their way. That is life.

    Now, we have this ridiculousness that we have to view everything to the nearest millimeter to verify that everything is correct in pro sports. Life doesn’t work that way and neither should sports.

    Sometimes things go their way, sometimes they don’t. It is unfortunate/sad that not everyone is successful in life. Not everything works out in a positive way. You just have to keep plugging away and do the best they can. Never give up.

  42. “Replays must be viewed at full speed, no frame-by-frame, slow motion reviews allowed. Max of 1 minute to review.”
    _______

    I agree that reviews go too far. Slow motion is fine, but it drives me crazy how they’ll spend 5 mins picking through a frame play by play looking for something that could marginally fractionally be wrong. Play review was initially created to avoid blatant glaring mistakes, now it’s just used to grossly micromanage every play. It’s been proven that even with replay and review, there will STILL be controversy, there will STILL be mistakes, and there will STILL be people complaining about the outcome.

    So how about we at least limit the amount of time being wasted? Most people can watch a replay at home on their couch once and know if it’s good or not. So yeah, time limit on the reviews is reasonable. 60 seconds should be more than enough. If you’ve watched the replays from every different angle and still can’t definitively determine that something was wrong, then MOVE ON.

  43. Whatever they come up with they need to do a better job making it easy for the fans to understand. Most really don’t understand what they’re bitching about on most calls and the others are just bitching because they think any call against their team is automatically wrong. FFS listen to all the idiots in the stands boo every time they review as scoring play ( something that has been automatic for years now ) because they’re either too drunk or stupid to know that’s why it’s done and that the refs aren’t doing it just to try to “screw” their team over.

  44. “For a touchdown, solid possession, two feet down, broken plane = touchdown”
    __________

    Am i the only one who actually hates the “broken plane” rule? Like just sticking the nose of the ball in mid air barely over the white line is a touchdown, feels so cheap to me. Even when my team scores like that, i feel kinda dirty about getting those points lol

    It’s called a TOUCHDOWN, not a breakplane. If i was writing the rule book, a touchdown would literally be what it says. Touch the ball down in the endzone for a score, or have the ball in your possession while you touch your feet, knees, arms etc down in the end zone. Just hovering it in mid air for a split second doesn’t feel like a score to me. It’s cheap and lame and i wish you had to actually touch down to score a touchdown. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

  45. If a running back leaps, extends the ball over the goal line and loses control of the ball when he hits the ground its a touchdown.
    If a receiver catches a pass in the end zone, gets both feet down and loses control as he hits the ground it’s not a touchdown.
    What’s the difference? If either should not qualify as a TD its the running play.

  46. possession plus 2 feet on ground = catch. if you get popped right after that and the ball comes out, then thats a fumble.

    ball touchs ground ever = no catch, i dont care about controlled possession, it touched the ground there for no catch.

  47. As others here say: Two Feet Down*. Possession. Catch. Whatever happens afterwards is governed by fumble rules. Period.

    * Or, a knee or a butt.

    Again, why the NFL finds this so difficult when folks have used that rule on playgrounds for 100 years is beyond absurd.

  48. shadywarrior says:
    And now, after countless gaffes with the Catch Rule, the Patriots beating the Steelers is the last straw. Not saying it’s a conspiracy, but it’s definitely an odd coincidence.

    …Patriots beating the Steelers is the last straw, and the Jets, and the Bills, and guess who wins the AFCC, and of course we all know there was no bad calls in that game because the Jags have been drawing penalties all year long.

  49. patsfanmd says:
    Remove the gloves from receivers and running backs.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Have you touched one of those gloves. They're sticky like fly paper. Seriously ! They actually feel sticky like adhesive is on them. My daughter has Jordy Nelson autographed gloves and shoes she had won at a charity function a couple years ago. I could catch a ball with those bad boys. That's saying something for an old man like me. lol

  50. Of course they are b/c the Pats benefited from the way the current rule is written. The league should just add an addendum to every rule stating that “if such rule benefits the NE Patriots said rule will revert to the past rule before the current changes”.
    The Tuck Rule was changed b/c of the Pats. The way DB’s are able to defend WR’s was changed b/c of the Pats.The O Line formation rule changed b/c of the Pats. Now the catch rule will be changed b/c of the Pats.

    Did everyone see the diving Amendola catch vs the Jags and the way Romo moaned that he may not have caught the ball? Dola purposefully had his arms under the ball b/c that is the way the Pats coach the receivers to catch that way. Same with the Edelman miraculous catch in the last SB. The Pats are even coached not to extend the ball out to get a TD or 4th down conversion unless it is the last play or series of the game.

  51. Here’s a simple solution. Get rid of the going to the ground part of the rule. The ground can’t cause a fumble. So why can it cause an incompletion? Just write the rule like this:

    1. The player establishes possession by having two hands on the ball (or the ball is tucked into the player’s body with 1 hand) and 2 feet on the ground.

    2. If the player cannot establish 2 feet on the ground, the player must maintain possession of the ball all the way to the ground. If the ball comes out before he hits the ground it’s incomplete. If the ball comes out due to contact with the ground it’s a catch (see above rationale).

    Done

  52. styro1 says:
    January 28, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Did everyone see the diving Amendola catch vs the Jags and the way Romo moaned that he may not have caught the ball? Dola purposefully had his arms under the ball b/c that is the way the Pats coach the receivers to catch that way. Same with the Edelman miraculous catch in the last SB. The Pats are even coached not to extend the ball out to get a TD or 4th down conversion unless it is the last play or series of the game.

    ———————————
    That is a good point that the Pats receivers are coached to catch in a matter that embraces the way the rule reads. I have often been surprised that other teams dont dont afopt that thinking and coach their players the same way. You would think after all these years of complaining about how the Pats win they would start paying attention to how the Pats win.

  53. I watched a few past Super Bowl highlights on NFL Network recently.
    It’s amazing how many plays wouldn’t have counted if they were going by todays rules. The Butch Jonson catch in Super Bowl XII wouldn’t be a catch today.A lot of fumbles, receptions and touchdowns wouldn’t stand up today. It’s a shame how they’ve ruined football.

  54. Regardless of what they do they are not going to please everyone.People are going to complain if it happens to be against their team or for a team they hate but yet they will gladly accept the win if it goes their way.Did pittsburgh forfeit the win against KC last year after the NFL apologized for the bad call that helped them advance…no…but they sure cried this year.

  55. There is going to be a lot of studying of game film from pats games. Many inconsistencies will be noted that benefited the pats. Then the rules will be changed. Next year the refs will adjust and make the pats win again.

  56. The catch rule is fine don’t touch it.

    I don’t see how anyone is opposed to requiring the receiver to hold onto the ball after hitting the ground.

  57. Bigly Yuge says:
    January 28, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    If a running back leaps, extends the ball over the goal line and loses control of the ball when he hits the ground its a touchdown.

    If a receiver catches a pass in the end zone, gets both feet down and loses control as he hits the ground it’s not a touchdown.

    What’s the difference? If either should not qualify as a TD its the running play.
    ———————-
    The receiver never had possession of the football and the running back did. Crystal clear bro

  58. gonakgod says:
    January 28, 2018 at 11:18 pm
    If it looks like a catch, call it a catch. This isn’t rocket science here.

    Looks like to whom? you, me? How about in teh Pittsburgh NE game? I’d say 50/50 along fan lines. If one ref says catch and the other says no then what?

  59. dejadoh says:
    January 28, 2018 at 1:30 pm
    If in the endzone or going out of bounds, why can’t a player simply catch the ball with 2 feet down inbounds and while going to the ground, simply spike the ball. Forget about holding on to the ball and risking having it move. Spike the ball. No fumble.

    ———-

    Funny….Calvin Johnson did just that…..and you know what? The refs ruled it incomplete.

  60. The best thing I’ve heard in this thread multiple times is – if the ball touches the ground at all, then its not a catch. That would eliminate some serious issues.

    There’s too often where I see recievers dive for poorly thrown balls that clearly are using the ground to help control the ball, the but subjective call on the field or in replay is that the ground didn’t help the player control the ball. What?????

    How do you know that?

    Any part of the ball clearly touches the ground, its not a catch. Period. I like that.

    As for the making a football move / going to the ground issue. The issue there is NOT that the rule isn’t clear. The Rule is VERY CLEAR. The issue is that fans don’t like it. Including me.

    Look, BY RULE, everyone should have known 100% that Jesse James did not catch that ball. He didn’t, BY RULE. The rule is clear. But that doesn’t make the rule less stupid. It seemed like he caught it, and then lost control of ball when he make a move and went to the ground.

    For that issue, I’d rather them change the rule, but NOT because the currently rule isn’t clear.

    And the first issue above helps with the second issue. If make it that a ball that touches the ground before a football move is made is an incomplete pass, thats clear and common sense.

    Why everything is junky right now is they want to give the Tom Brady’s and their WRs these catches on the ground that aren’t catches. So you gotta have a bill work around that the ball CAN touch the ground, so long as you don’t lose control, BUT if you lose control going to teh ground, its incomplete. Its a mess just so they can further control / rig the game.

    1) Make a football move with control, ball is complete. Doesn’t matter if you go to the ground or not.

    2) if the ball touches the ground before a football move PLUS control, ball is incomplete. Period. Doesn’t matter if you had control but didn’t make a football move – if the ball touches ground, INCOMPLETE. If you make a football move but didn’t have clear control and it touches ground, INCOMPLETE. Only way its complete is clear control plus football move. Once that happens, THEN the ball can touch the ground, and its eitehr a fumble or maybe the player was down by contact.

  61. J. Michael Collins says:

    January 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Let’s just get rid of replay and go with the judgement of the refs like it was for dozens of years. Leave some mystery and margin for human error. Enough with the league of lawyers. This over-analysis sucks and is not fun to watch.
    —————————————–

    I say keep replay, but revamp it. Use replay to reverse egregious errors. If a guy in New York headquarters watching a single slow motion replay doesn’t see enough to reverse, the call stands. Would take about 10 seconds to review the play, relay the decision to the on-field official’s headset, and get on with the game.

  62. benwaballs11 says:
    January 28, 2018 at 11:19 am
    The ball should not be allowed to touch the ground and still result in a catch, controlled or not
    ________________________________________________

    This would eliminate a lot of highlight reel legitimate great catches. Let’s not do that.

Leave a Reply

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