League defends touchdown calls for Texans, Panthers

We pointed out last night that Raiders fans, in our view, now have the right to be up in arms regarding the decision from the Week One finale to wipe out a touchdown catch by Louis Murphy, which turned a seven-pointer into a three-pointer in a game decided by four points.

Specifically, in similar situations during Week Two, the Texans and the Panthers each got to keep a touchdown when, based on the letter of the rule that robbed the Raiders, it looked to us like they shouldn’t.

For the rest of the background, read our story (with links to the video of the plays) from last night.

So we asked the league to comment on the two plays — catches by Texans receiver Jacoby Jones and Panthers tight end Dante Rosario that were upheld via replay review.  Here’s what the league had to say, per NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

“On Rosario, he completed the catch, turned up field and stretched the ball over the goal line for a touchdown before he goes to the ground,” Aiello said via e-mail.  “He didn’t use the ground to complete the catch.  In the Oakland play, Murphy goes straight to the ground.

“On Jacoby Jones, he caught the ball, his knee hit the ground, and he maintained possession,” Aiello added.  “Then the Titans player flipped him over the top and [Jones] hit the ground a second time and lost the ball.  But it was already a touchdown by virtue of maintaining possession the first time he hit the ground.”

Sorry, but we have to disagree.  In Rosario’s case, he pushed the ball over the goal line while going to the ground.  So, under the rule that nullified Murphy’s touchdown, Rosario should have been required to maintain possession of the ball, once he landed on the ground.  Clearly, he didn’t.

As to Jones, the only difference was that, before Jones could naturally land on the ground, he was flipped and tossed to the ground by the Tennessee defender.  But, in our view, Jones was still in the act of going to the ground.  So he needed to keep possession until he landed on the ground.  Clearly, he didn’t.

Bottom line?  This gap in the rule and the interpretation of it needs to be addressed and resolved, quickly.  In the perception of this neutral third party who if anything is naturally inclined to support the league’s position on things of this nature, either the Murphy call was wrong, or the calls from Sunday were wrong. 

But there’s no way that all three calls were right.

88 responses to “League defends touchdown calls for Texans, Panthers

  1. Typical NFL BS! This is why I don’t go to the games and fork out $100 – $200 every week. At least at home I can turn off the TV and walk away without wondering why I spent the money in the first place. The Not Fair League for sure.

  2. “Sorry, but we have to disagree. In Rosario’s case, he pushed the ball over the goal line while going to the ground. So, under the rule that nullified Murphy’s touchdown, Rosario should have been required to maintain possession of the ball, once he landed on the ground. Clearly, he didn’t.”
    Oh come on, this really isn’t that hard.
    Rosario ESTABLISHED POSSESSION OUTSIDE OF THE ENDZONE and then the ball crossed the plane. Touchdown, easy call.

  3. Florio should stick to being a scumbag lawyer. It is obvious he has very little understanding of NFL rules.

  4. It happened last night also with the tipped interception. He caught it, planted to feet, took half a step and fell then it came out. If anything it should of been a fumble after the pick.
    Another rule that has to be corrected is the one with the Giants interception the other night when it hit off of Witten’s leg and they got it but no TD because the whistle blew. First the whistle never blew till after the goal line and second that is a continuation of a play, they should not be so quick to blow a whistle. They aren’t when a RB gets stuffed at the line and get driven back 15 yards by a pile of 20 guys, they seem to let that drag on for a few seconds !

  5. Breaking the plane of the goal line while stretching out to make a play is a different scenario than catching a ball in the in the endzone…
    Different rules apply to different scenarios….

  6. “Sorry, but we have to disagree. In Rosario’s case, he pushed the ball over the goal line while going to the ground.”
    You can disagree, it doesn’t mean that you’re right. The ref who reviewed the play concluded that Rosario dove for the line as a separate act subsequent to making the catch, not as a part of the action of making the catch. It’s close, but I tend to agree.
    So, while you may disagree with that assessment, it absolutely is possible that all three calls were right. (Unless you believe that your insistence that he was going to the ground as part of the catching action is beyond reproach.)

  7. Actually the league is correct. Rosario caught the ball, two feet down, turned and then lunged over the goal line with his knee down before he fumbled. If a football move is made with the ball, the rule no longer applies.

  8. This is why the rule has to go back to the way it used to be:
    On Jacoby Jones, he caught the ball, his knee hit the ground, and he maintained possession,” Aiello added. “Then the Titans player flipped him over the top and [Jones] hit the ground a second time and lost the ball. But it was already a touchdown by virtue of maintaining possession the first time he hit the ground.”
    By this definition straight from Aiello, when Murphy’s butt hit the ground without the ball bobbling: IT WAS A TOUCHDOWN.
    I am a Patriots fan – the Raiders got screwed.
    1 knee = 2 feet. That rule should still stand.
    Please change the rules back the way they were. That one friggin call in the TB vs Rams championship game has screwed up these rules royally.

  9. This anal bullcrap is ridiculous. All replay has done is slow the game down to a crawl every time these idiots go to the booth, and the interpretations are so vague they leave way too much room for human error/judgement anyway, which is what replay was supposed to do away with in the first place.

  10. Does the league need to spell out the rules in crayon, Florio? All 3 calls were the right call, by rule.

  11. Typical nonsense response from the league.
    I cant wait for the day that an NFL ref gets busted for throwing a game. It’s been happening for years, and rules like this are the reason. They allow refs enough wiggle room to change the outcome of a game at key moments.
    Vegas owns the NFL.

  12. “On Jacoby Jones, he caught the ball, his knee hit the ground, and he maintained possession,” Aiello added. “Then the Titans player flipped him over the top and [Jones] hit the ground a second time and lost the ball. But it was already a touchdown by virtue of maintaining possession the first time he hit the ground.”
    Isn’t that what happened with Murphy!! Murphy caught the ball, two feet hit the ground, then his butt hit the ground, and he maintained possession. Then Murphy rolled over and hit the ground a second/third time and the ball wiggled free.
    “But it was already a touchdown by virtue of maintaining possession the first time he hit the ground.”
    That’s been my issue with this the whole time. How many parts have to hit ground and how long until it’s a confirmed catch. If this is the rule then every guy who just drops the ball or has it knocked away before they get up it’s not a TD.
    Nothing can be changed by this, but at least admit you were wrong NFl officials. I try not to get into the Raiders bias stuff, but why is it that all of the strange/weird/never heard of rules always happen to Raiders. Hey if it’s the rule fine, but call it league wide not just against Raiders when you feel like it.

  13. Now, while I did not see either play (and really refuse to look at them), if the ball carrier is outside of the end zone and streches the ball over the line (even if only an inch) it is a TD. Even if he falls to the ground and the ball comes loose after. If he is in the end zone, he has to have possession with 2 feet in bounds and if he falls to the ground, the ball can not come loose (just like a catch in the non-endzone parts of the field).
    While I rarely disagree with Florio and his band of misfits, on this case, I will have to. And maybe, just maybe, I will look at the TD’s (or non-TD’s in this case) to see if I make any sense at all…..
    P.S. Why do I have to login every day to leave a comment?? That is annoying especially when I check the “remember me” button
    P.P.S. Ok, I looked at the video, and I am right (for once in my life). Both receivers caught the ball and had possession outside of the endzone and then crossed the ball (as little as a mm) over the line which automatically makes it a TD. It is juts like a RB at the 1 jumping of the pile and the ball crossing the endzone line and then it getting knocked out by a defender, it is not a fumble, it is a TD.

  14. There’s an easy rule fix for this.
    After the 1999-2000 playoffs the pass reception rules were changed, following a critical 4th down play vs. St. Louis. A Tampa receiver (can’t remember the name) clearly had possession of a pass, but because his hands were on either side of the ball, instead of underneath it, the ball also touched the ground before he could get two feet/one knee down. Dungy IIRC asked that the possession rule be changed to count such plays as completions.
    This “go to ground” rule was meant, I think, to fix problems with this rule, because one could get a knee/two feet down with possession, yet have the ball come out upon hitting the ground. Under the old rule, any pass reception in which the receiver failed to prevent the ball touching the ground was ruled an incomplete pass. Under the new rule, since one knee/two feet=possession. Perhaps this is also the source of the “football move” rule? If the League clarified that the “go to ground” rule *only* applies to passes where the receiver fails to prevent the ball from touching the ground after it’s securely caught but before feet establish possession…then my Chargers would have to have won in overtime 🙂

  15. “But it was already a touchdown by virtue of maintaining possession the first time he hit the ground.”
    That’s all I needed to see. Murphy lost the ball after two feet and a butt. No difference!! TD!!

  16. “On Jacoby Jones, he caught the ball, his knee hit the ground, and he maintained possession,” Aiello added. “Then the Titans player flipped him over the top and [Jones] hit the ground a second time and lost the ball. But it was already a touchdown by virtue of maintaining possession the first time he hit the ground.”
    And this is different from the Murphy TD catch how?
    Did Murphy catch the ball? Check.
    Did Murphy’s knee hit the ground and did he maintain posession? Check.
    Did Murphy’s ass then hit the ground and did he maintain posession after that second point of being down with posession? Check.
    Q: How does Aiello’s explanation of Jones’ TD: “it was already a touchdown by virtue of Maintaining possession the first time he hit the ground” not apply to Murphy’s TD catch as well?
    A: Because Murphy plays for the Raiders and Jones doesn’t.

  17. Sorry Florio, I think the NFL is correct on this one.
    As others here have mentioned, Rosario & Jacoby Jones established possession via different means than did Louis Murphy, and did so BEFORE getting into the endzone.
    After than point, all they have to do is cross the goal line with any part of the ball and it is a touchdown.
    I always appreciate your attention to detail, but this is one you got wrong.

  18. Sorry Mike, I have to disagree with you adamantly on these 2 plays.
    It seemed like you did such a good job dissecting the Murphy TD according to the rules and I’m surprised you are having trouble with these 2 clear TDs. The comments from the league don’t help a whole lot as they are not very comprehensive comments.
    For the Rosario play that’s easily a TD, he caught the ball and had TWO feet down and then made a FOOTBALL MOVE. The football move part is the key here, that’s defined as a number of things which in including twisting your body to move forward and then leaping and extending. So he had the feet, completed the football move, thus when he broke the plane, the play is dead, it is a TD right at that moment.
    Louis Murphy caught the ball and make no football move.
    For the Jacoby TD, well that one isn’t close either. In Murphy’s case he had 2 feet and then lost control when his body struck the ground. In the Jacoby TD, he had 2 feet, plus the body on the first ground hit, and then the body again on a 2nd hit. If you think about a body hit to the ground that is in effect worth TWO FEET touching. So Murphy had 2 feet and then lost the ball a few moments AFTER his body hit, which in a sense was 2 feet plus a momentary 4th feet worth. In Jacoby’s case he had 2 feet, plus a body hit for 2 feet more, and then lost it shortly after his 6th foot worth of contact on the 2nd body shot to the ground. That’s too long after we had well established contact and control.
    Murphy did not score, these 2 guys did, and the league got it right all 3 times.
    I feel bad for having to defend the referees because there are so many times that they do make mistakes, like in the Lions game when they called a chopblock that took away a long CJ pass which was so clear that the illegal block was completely a fabrication of an imagination because no such block ever even took place. You should be talking about that play. The winless Lions are desperately trying to win a game only to have the Refs completely screw them for something they didn’t do. Now that’s a story. Oh, and they also botched a call where Stafford clearly extended across the plane of a first down before his knee hit down on a previous play, they got screwed twice in that game.

  19. Shoudn’t a really good team be able to overcome all sorts of adversity thrown their way on the field, including bad calls?

  20. There will always be gaps in the rules, that’s a fact for the past 30 years. T
    hat is how they control ( I would not want to say”fix” the games against the spread”)
    They will address it next year then there will be “another” ambiguous” rule…
    ha ha..

  21. Rosario breaking the plane is irrelevant. Murphy established possession and two feet with the ball and his body in the endzone the entire time. This rule is stupid either way. Losing the ball while landing should only cause an incompletion when the guy DIVES to catch the ball, not after catch, one foot, two feet, body turns, falls, etc.

  22. The league has some bozo rules. Why make it this complicated? The guy gets possession and into the endzone, make it a touchdown. No more time wasting replays.

  23. The Rosario one isn’t even close..what don’t you understand about the explaination? Rosario caught the ball, turned, and dove to get into the end zone (i’ll add that the ball crossed the plane and then his knee was down, and it did appear that he had possession of the ball before it crossed the plane (turning to get into the end zone is a “football move”; running backs dive into the end zone and lose the ball after they cross the plane all the time)..the key is that he dove to get into the end zone after he caught the ball..he wasn’t going to the ground while in the end zone without possession..
    Murphy was going to the ground as he was trying to get possession of the ball, and then used the ground to hang onto it..
    The Jones one is easier than that..read the explainations..it’s very straightforward..
    If you are a neutral fan, you will see that all 3 calls were correct..you must have an interest in one of the teams negatively impacted by one of the calls..

  24. E-mail that fool about the phantom chop block call on Gosder Cherilus of the Lions that negated a 40+ yard pass play to Megatron when the Lions were down 17-10. Ya, they’re the Lions so they probably would have found a way to lose anyway, but that would have put them in FG range for sure.

  25. @RaiderChile
    C’mon, give us a break. In reality, you don’t go to the games because your team SUCKS! I don’t blame you for turning off the TV and walking away from that disgrace. JaMarcus Russell #1 overall pick, haha!

  26. In the era of the “Don” (Goodell), which could be sub-titled “The death of Pro Football as a SPORT”, these kinds of things will happen. It’s sort of like in “Professional” Wrestling, when the referee gets punched out and then wakes up in time to tap the mat three times for the “winner”.

  27. The league are the masters of covering their asses. Would you expect anything less from them? I just saw highlights from the chargers/ravens game and look at the TD Jackson made with 3 defenders on him. In slow-mo it looks like the defender swipes Jackson’s arm and he never has control of the ball as he goes down and his head hits out of bounds. It’s quite obvious that the game is way too fast for the refs to call it correctly. Again, look at the Giants pick as it bounced of the Dallas receivers foot and into his arms, he then runs it in for a TD. Giants TD, plain and simple. Yet it happended so fast, the refs can only call it a pick and he’s down where he caught it. That’s BS. The Giants should not be penalized for the play happening so fast that nobody knows what happended until you look at the replay. No one would have stopped him from scoring and no one didn’t. This game is becoming a total joke.

  28. The main reason, which has been my thought the whole time, which the league did not address, as to why Murphy’s catch should of been a touch down, is simply because HIS BUTT TOUCHED THE GROUND FIRST, then he rolled over, his elbow touched the ground, and the ball came out. Therefore, the ball came out the second time he touched the ground! How many times do you have to touch the ground to be considered down? WTF

  29. Murphy caught the ball, landed on his butt then in a separate action rolled over and it hit the ground. TD.
    This rule is asinine and needs to be changed so every catch in the endzone doesnt have 54 disclaimers of why its different.

  30. The NFL clearly has their head up their ass. If you are going to go through the trouble in week one to clearly lay out the rule and use it to describe why Murphy’s catch was a non-catch, have the balls to admit a mistake was made in the Jones scenario. Louis Murphy’s two feet landed in the endzone then his butt and the ball never moved. When he rolled over to stand up, the ball moved and hit the ground. By the definition given last week, that’s an incomplete pass. I’m fine with that. It’s a stupid rule but the Raiders still had a chance to win that game and they didn’t.
    The problem is the inconsistency of the ruling and the “justifications” given by the NFL. By Aiello’s own words, the Murphy play should have been a TD. By Peirra’s explanation last week, neither should have been a TD. I don’t care how you call it, just make sure you call it and explain it consistently.
    I think Dawson’s is a little different and I can understand the justification there.

  31. Well said, Dan.
    And I ask you, Florio: How are Raider fans supposed to believe anything but “the league is out to get us”?
    Given the overt acrimony between the league and the club, and given the evidence that pops up darn near every week (the Murphy play, the tuck rule, the slide rule, the “jumping too high” rule, etc.).

  32. Florio,
    I do not like the rule that allows a player to stretch the ball over the goal line while running or, while falling to the ground and losing possession after the ball crosses the plane of the goal line.
    This whole thing could be rectified by simply stating that the runner/reciever must cross the plane of the goal line AND maintain possession of the ball as he goes to the ground.
    As I watch more football TD’s and close calls, I start to really like the rugby rules in which one enters the end zone and touches the ball down, hence the word “touchdown”!

  33. I would say Rosario didnt really have possession while going to the ground any ways as the ball is shifting in his hands. Also Aiello is wrong that Murphy did not simply “go to the ground”. He got both feet down, then his butt, THEN his hands hit the ground with one hand under the ball.
    Like I said on the previous story, Murphy’s catch would have been a touchdown in many other games.

  34. Why do we keep going over this???
    I watched the Murphy footage again… he was making a catch and was already ROLLING when his butt hit the ground. If his butt hit and he stopped and then rolled over that would have been a football move. But he was on the way down when his butt hit the ground for only an instant – the play was STILL in motion when the ball, protected from the ground by his arm, came loose when his arm hit the ground.
    Incomplete pass. It would have been incomplete anywhere on the field.
    If you don’t believe me that he was rolling, why was his torso turned 90 degrees away from his legs?

  35. A couple of follow-up comments to others, for one, yes the league does have a tendency to cover their asses. They had Perreira on NFL Network in the past defending bad calls illogically, it didn’t happen very often, but he made a couple of mistakes/oversights. Secondly, the rules are TERRIBLY written. There’s absolutely no reason that this should be an issue. All the NFL has to do is rewrite the rules so that any gray area is covered, they have failed miserably with their lousy writing skills and lack of being able to identify gray area situations that could easily be defined with a few added sentences.

  36. The problem with that Swerve is that the Refs ARE the NFL. So, unless an outside operation comes in and cries foul, or other team owners start getting royally screwed like the Raiders do practically every Sunday, nothing is going to change.

  37. BINGO!!
    All three calls cannot be right like you said.
    No conspiracy theory the Raiders have had some calls go their way in the past so I for one don’t believe the conspiracy theory crap.
    Thanks for reporting this one directly and straightforward like you have.
    Yes a rare compliment for Florio from Raider Nation!

  38. Rosario had the ball turned around and then dove for the endzone. He wasn’t in the act of catching it when he dropped it.
    Personally, though, I thought he was losing the ball before breaking the plane, a fumble, not an incomplete pass.

  39. Please, I watched the Titans game and I also saw the Raiders game last week. I was completely pi.ssed off when I saw the Texans TD upheld and the Raiders TD was called off. Both were identical plays. The Raiders receiver had possession for quite a long time and at the very last second dropped the ball. It clearly looked like he had possession. No doubt and they called it a non-touch down.
    Then this week, same play the Jones catches it and our nickel back wraps him up tackles him down and flips him over and the last second he fumbles the ball. They rule TD and we challenge and they uphold it!!
    How is that fair??? Where is the consistency?? The officiating for the entire game was horrible. They send high school refs to these smaller market team games.
    Like the first person said, that’s why I don’t pay for tickets. What a joke.

  40. If you read the NFL’s description of the plays you’d agree with their implimentation of the rules. BUT, all they are doingis mimicing what the refs claimed.
    The Rosario one I saw and really, you guys call that gaining position and making a football move? If that game were outdoors a strong breeze would have knocked that ball completely loose before he hit the ground. He did not have control. It was never he who determined where in his hands that ball was, it was always moving and he was not the one determining its movement. He was hoping he could get it to stop.
    And this lunging business. He was just short of the goal line and already falling that way. His only lunge was to extend his arms AS he TRIED to secure the ball before he his knee was down outside the endzone.
    I did not see the other play, but based on the Rosario one I assume the leagues explanation also mimics the refs claim.

  41. Worse in the Atlanta-Carolina game, a move that was EXACTLY like Murphy’s was overturned on replay and the touchdown nullified. Then came the Rosario move — again exactly like Murphy’s that was upheld.
    The only difference in the two plays was one took away an Atlanta TD and one kept a Carolina TD.
    Considering all other challenges were overturned on replay in that game, I find it difficult to believe the refs got that one call right.

  42. Florio–I think you’re reaching on the Panthers TD. I don’t think it was that close. The guy caught it cleanly and had possession, made a “football move” (such as lunging towards the goal line) and then lost it after crossing the goal line. When I saw the game live, I didn’t even think it was that close and thought it was a stupid challenge (but worth taking, I suppose, and hoping the officials screw it up and reverse it). The Raiders call was also correct because there was no “football move”, imo. The rule is fine and I think the officials got it right on both those examples.
    Now on the Texans call, you may have a point. That seems a little iffy, but I honestly don’t have that big of a problem with it. No matter how you dice it, there’s always going to be human judgment involved. This isn’t an exact science. And in that case, the officials interpreted the “flip over” as a 2nd ancillary move unrelated to possession. I’d tend to disagree, but I don’t have a problem with it either.

  43. that rosario thing should not be subject to the rule. dude took 2 steps, then turned and lunged for the endzone. he was not “going to the ground” in the process of making that catch. Jacoby Jones should not have had that TD, though

  44. By Rule all 3 calls were right, However it doesn’t make sense. So By Rule if Murphy Caught the pass at the 1 yard line and did the same exact movement that would be a TD. However move that play up 1 yard in the Endzone and its not a TD. Dumb Logic.

  45. “Murphy was going to the ground as he was trying to get possession of the ball, and then used the ground to hang onto it..”
    Did you even actually see the Murphy play? There was no question he had complete possession fo the ball as he was going to the ground… he did nothing to use the ground to help him get possession…. he “lost” possession after he was getting up and used the ground to get back to his feet….. Murphy clearly had possession in both hands and the ball not moving as he went to his knees, his butt, and rolled over…..

  46. The difference is clear in Rosarios case. He had already completed the catch as he made a “football move” up the field.
    The difference between Jacoby Jones and Louis Murphy is that Louis Murphy lost control of the ball as he was going to the ground the first time. Meaning Murphy caught the ball, hit the ground and lost control when the ball touched the ground. Whereas Jones caught the ball, hit the ground, MAINTAINED CONTROL, was rolled over afterwards and then lost control.
    Jones completed the catch when he hit the ground the first time and maintained control (something Louis Murphy did not do)
    Florio seems to be misunderstanding the rule, or his interpretation of what happened in the play is not accurate.

  47. For the people defending this call, saying it was right. You all are F–KING IDIOTS! In Periera’s defense of his refs call against the Raiders, he made it very clear that when going to the ground in the endzone, outside the endzone, on the sidelines, wherever “you must maintain posession of the ball through the whole process” This just shows you, the ignorance of some fans along side the NFL. You people are Raider Haters or just completely f–king stupid. 80% of Football fans say that Murphy was robbed, the other 20% hold the same grudge the NFL does against the Raiders or are just mentally retarded.
    Florio, I appriciate you backing us on this one! And you are very right about us Raider fans having every right to be pissed off about this BS that the NFL keeps pulling on the Raiders.

  48. In the case of Jacoby: If – if – you call it a catch HIS KNEE WAS DOWN ON THE ONE YARD LINE. OK. If he wasn’t down then HE DROPPED THE BALL – ERGO NO CATCH. I would have like this call in the Superbowl verses The Rams however.

  49. RULE: You must MAINTAIN possession of the ball THROUGHOUT the catch, which includes hitting the ground. If the ball is dislodged upon hitting the ground, no catch.
    Charlie Murphy’s non-catch: caught the ball in the endzone and coughed it up once he hit the ground. No catch. That’s the rule. Pretty simple.
    Rosario’s TD: he caught the ball before the goal line, turned up field and stretched for the goal line. Once he broke the plane, that’s it. End of play, Touchdown!. Nothing else matters.
    Jacoby’s TD: again, he caught the ball before the goal line, and broke the plane of the endzone. For good measure he was tossed to the ground with a knee down. End of play, Touchdown! Then he was flipped over again in the endzone when the ball came loose but it doesn’t matter, he already had a TD.
    Hopefully that explanation helps out.

  50. Mike, now you can see the Pereira is a tool. He and his NFL lackeys just parrot whatever bunch of BS makes it sound right on paper. Problem is, we have video.

  51. @ Jason Frost
    “Murphy was going to the ground as he was trying to get possession of the ball, and then used the ground to hang onto it..”
    I think you need to watch it again. Murphy caught the ball in the air, he was off the ground. Right there he had possession. Then it’s both feet down, then he comes down to the ground on his butt, then he rolls and the ball comes loose under him. He had complete control of the ball until he rolled over. He was trying to get possession he had it. And he didn’t use the ground for anything except maybe losing it.
    It just boggles me how people see the same thing differently.

  52. oh wow, everybody’s dumb as hell except for Florio & Raiders fans…
    Just wait till Jesus gets his hands on you Florio.

  53. “RULE: You must MAINTAIN possession of the ball THROUGHOUT the catch, which includes hitting the ground. If the ball is dislodged upon hitting the ground, no catch.”
    You act like we don’t understand this. IMO the catch was made in the air. Two feet down it’s over TD. But, then we continue on to “going to the ground”. Ok, his butt hits the ground and he still has possession. TD right? Then he rolls over and the ball starts to wiggle free before it finally comes loose.
    The catch was made and maintained through 3 or 4 body parts touching the ground before he even rolled over. How many do you need? And what is “THROUGHOUT the catch”? If he’d held onto the ball when he rolled, but rolled over again and lost it would that be enough for TD?

  54. the main problem with the interpretation of this rule is that it is being called differently for plays outside of the end zone. in the rule that was explained for the non-TD by murphy, the language clearly stated that it didn’t matter if the player caught the ball at the 50 yard line or in the end zone.
    therefore, whether the player goes to the ground while catching the ball in the middle of the field, or whether he is in the end zone, if he goes to the ground catching the ball, “he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone.”
    i can agree that the rosario possession was a different case… that one should have been ruled no TD because you can clearly see ball being bobbled as he goes to the ground. again, if this happened at the 50 yard line… he catches, two feet down the lunges (let’s say) for a first down and the ball pops out after being bobbled… 9 times outta 10 it would be called incomplete instead of a fumble.
    the big problem comes on the jones call. even though he did touch down before being flipped over the rule is being interpreted differently because he was not yet in the end zone (like murphy was when he first touched down with possession). according to the rule explanation given for the murphy non-TD “he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone.” maybe the missing info here is what if the player is in the field AND the end zone. as it was explained previously the play is not complete until he stops on his back in the end zone, and at that point he had already dropped the ball on the ground, thus NO TD! the key phrase in the rule is “MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE BALL *AFTER* HE TOUCHES THE GROUND.”

  55. theTRUTHwillSETuFREE says:
    September 22, 2009 12:48 PM
    For the people defending this call, saying it was right. You all are F–KING IDIOTS! In Periera’s defense of his refs call against the Raiders, he made it very clear that when going to the ground in the endzone, outside the endzone, on the sidelines, wherever “you must maintain posession of the ball through the whole process” This just shows you, the ignorance of some fans along side the NFL. You people are Raider Haters or just completely f–king stupid. 80% of Football fans say that Murphy was robbed, the other 20% hold the same grudge the NFL does against the Raiders or are just mentally retarded.

  56. Honestly, people who can’t see the differences in the catches don’t understand the rules.
    Are the rules in this case good? Maybe not, but that is how it is defined.
    Louis Murphy is the one who let the ball move when it touched the ground.

  57. Simplify the rules, make fewer special pleadings and exceptions. On a running play, the ground can’t cause a fumble. Same should be true on a passing play — the ground can’t cause an incompletion. The decision about whether a receiver had possession of the ball or not should be based on performance before the contact with the ground.

  58. why is it that the league can never admit a mistake or even that there is a problem with the way a rule is written?

  59. What about the blatent non-call on Jonathan Stinchcomb for mauling Cris Clemons with a forearm around his neck from behind with the other hand grabbing his facemask as Drew Brees sat in the pocket to throw a TD at the end of the 2nd quarter of the Eagles/Saints game? The ref was calling the Eagles for farting too hard, all the while, caught on video STARING at Stinchcomb blatently holding/illegal hands to the face/facemasking Clemons and that drew no penalty whatsoever.

  60. i guess no one should EVER throw the ball in the end zone then… they should all throw it one yard in front of the end zone instead. that way the player can catch the ball get two feet down and fumble when they hit the ground. it won’t matter at that point cause they already crossed the goal line!!!
    that is how this rule is being called. do YOU understand the rule now?!
    this has nothing to do with the raiders or any other team. it has EVERYTHING to do with different officiating crews interpreting a rule differently because it was not written well.

  61. The Charlie Murphy “catch” happened in the endzone, so he had to maintain the possession once hitting the ground.
    The other two catches occured in the playing field, then broke the plane of the goal line. After that happens, nothing else matters.
    Obviously, the breaking of the plane overrides anything that happens afterwards. Right or wrong, this is how the NFL is interpreting these plays.
    Live with it.

  62. Ok…. So lets easily solve all this BS and simply go back to the way it used to be called.
    a) Simply, if the ball hits the ground, it’s no catch, period.
    b) Second, once establishing a catch and going to the ground, if the ball comes out, it shouldn’t matter unless it’s a diving catch. Otherwise, as soon as two feet hit with possession, it’s a catch.
    Not too hard to figure out. We spent many years with these rules and only a handful of times did it ever cause any sort of issue.
    I think that they need to make a new rule though. On penalties that result in automatic first downs, or any 15 yard pentalties, the refs should be able to review the call. Make it a challenge play. Sometimes, if the ref had the chance to see the play over, he might realize the wrong call has been made. As an example, there were two calls in Detroit on Sunday (and it happens lots when you’re a crap team the doesn’t get the good officials) that completely turned the game around when Detroit was hanging in there and the game was still really close. Momentum was demolished and Minnesota quickly benefitted. The calls were horrible. That’s just as bad as any wrongly called catch.

  63. @ENDZONEVIEW First off, I think you have been watching a little too much Chappelle Show because it’s Louis Murphy not Charlie Murphy.
    2nd watch the damn Murphy Video again you idiot…He has posession when both feet and his ass HITS THE GROUND!! He then turned his body to get up for celebration of his first TD in the NFL when the ball comes loose.
    The rules are right my ass! You people should be going to work in a yellow bus!

  64. Thats a bs call when I see on and it’s not a conspiracy but the refs in part because on nearly every flag thrown they retract the flag and say there was no penalty on this play, refs looked outdated…and they did discuss about each and every time they threw a flag … the refs blew that game for the raiders and it’s clear now after seeing those other teams get touchdowns when they a far more deserving of this raider rule!…I am a true raider fan but and open minded one. RAIDERS GOT HOSED GUYS .

  65. @Dmacattack
    Absolutely, positively correct.
    Here is the RULE again EXACTLY as it relates and appears in the rule book…
    “If the player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass he must maintain control of the ball AFTER HE TOUCHES THE GROUND”.
    NOWHERE and I mean NOWHERE does it state ANYTHING about continuation of the play, infinity of the play, momentum of the play or as Florio has incorrectly suggested… “possession of the ball through the ENTIRE play.”
    If the rulebook stated THAT, then I along with the majority of others wouldn’t be on here arguing that in the first place.
    That’s what this is all about.
    So, all Murphy had to do was “maintain control of the ball AFTER HE TOUCHES THE GROUND”.
    With the key word being… “TOUCHES”.
    Here again is a slow motion video of the Murphy touchdown and the blown call by the official…
    A). At 1:02 you can CLEARLY see both feet and his butt are BEGINNING to “touch the ground” and he is controlling the ball.
    B). At 1:14 you can CLEARLY see that his RIGHT elbow has “touched the ground” and he is controlling the ball.
    C). At 1:15 you can CLEARLY see that his RIGHT forearm has “touched the ground” and he is controlling the ball.
    D). At 1:16 you can CLEARLY see that his LEFT hand has “touched the ground” and he is controlling the ball.
    The play SHOULD have been ruled a completed catch and a touchdown the split second after his butt INITALLY “touched the ground”.
    And it for sure should have been ruled a catch and a touchdown after the second time a part of this body “touched the ground”!
    But what makes this such a travesty is that not 1, not 2, or even 3, but in FACT 4 separate times a different part of his body “touched the ground” while he maintained control of the ball!
    Both, Mike Florio and Mike Pereria are WRONG.
    Anybody with a pair of eyes, common sense and a conscience can CLEARLY see in the slow motion replay that was posted here that the NFL robbed that kid of a touchdown.
    And, quite possibly robbed the Oakland Raiders of a victory

  66. My favorite post here is the one which complains about the refs missing VJ bobbling the ball vs. the Ravens, because on the slo-mo instant replay it “looks like” he does. Hilarious!
    Also: the NFL doesn’t have it in for the Raiders. The Raiders have just sucked for the last seven seasons. Deal with it! Or was there a questionable call in the 2002 Super Bowl that I missed?

  67. Add another that agrees with the NFL on these. In particular, Rosario. He caught the ball and THEN turned up field stretching for the TD. It was clearly two moves, not one as Florio sees.

  68. who goes to work on a yellow bus??
    what’s that even mean?
    Truth won’t set you as free as knowledge or brains or wit….since you can’t seem to differentiate…between truth & reality.

  69. There is “no way” all three are right? Florio, you should know better than to deal with absolutes. The catch where the guy stretched the ball across the plane. He didn’t just stretch out, he turned and then stretched across. The ref determined that this was a “football move.” That is something you never seem to address in your need to create drama. While I disagree that this is a football move, the ref didn’t. Once he makes a football move while in possession of the ball, he becomes a runner. As such, as soon as the ball crosses the plane he has scored.
    I didn’t watch the other play, but the explanation seems to indicate he wasn’t hit while making the reception, and that, in fact, he went to a knee, was THEN hit by the defender, and THEN hit the ground and lost the ball. Going to knee and being hit by a defender could very well constitute a football move, and since his knee was on the ground, as soon as he made that football move, the play was over.

  70. Thank you Mike Florio for providing a balanced point of view. It’s far more respectable than your Richard Seymour treatment.
    The Raiders and their fans have every right to complain about this call. It is completely inconsistent with the other two calls. It doesn’t pass the sniff test either.
    There are Raider Haters that will blur their eyes and try hard to see it their way. They won’t admit their blatant bias gets in the way of sound logic. There are Raider Fans who will cry that the NFL is out to get the Raiders. They aren’t, but not everyone is convinced.
    The way I see it, the NFL is going to defend their call as long as they think they can put up a semi-credible argument. They are like any other big business and what they are doing is called “Circling the Wagons”.
    There. Now we all have a start towards our MBA.
    Too bad there are such a bunch of hapless bureaucrats running the NFL these days. They will put self-serving rationalization ahead of sport every time.
    Go Raiders!

  71. I think it’s pretty easy to say by the response last week and this week, that this rule is very subjective in meaning to the fans and to the refs. Therefor it needs to be looked at by the competition committee. It’s very obvious that most NFL fans think it’s a crock. In a world where the customer is always right, it would be a good idea this time around for the NFL to listen.

  72. @thetruthwillsetyoufree and others:
    If he was “rolling” over to celebrate his first TD, then WHY WAS HIS TORSO 90 degrees turned away from his butt when he hits the ground????
    Because he was still making the catch! That’s why. The play wasn’t over yet. His momentum was still happening, and thereby the play was still going on.
    And the ball didn’t just move. It came OUT. You can see it from the far side replay. Just look. (I know they only showed it once on the telecast) He scoops it up quickly however.
    It could have been worse. He could have dropped the ball at the one inch line after making a catch in the open field to celebrate his first TD…..

  73. In 25 years of watching the NFL, I have never seen a catch like Murphy made in the Raiders game not being a valid catch.
    He catches the ball with both hands and maintains control. Both feet are down in the end zone. TD.
    He then maintains control as he falls. His thigh is on the ground, then his but. Still has the ball. His elbow touches, still has control. The ball moves as his chest hits the ground.
    If this is some new rule or interpretation of the rule, it needs to be changed. Based on “controlling the ball to the ground” the Steelers should not be the NFL champions because Santonio Holmes clearly does not maintain possession of the ball on the way down, after he taps two feet.
    What is especially troubling is that the league keeps insisting it made no mistake in the Raiders game. Since when have possession, two feet down and the ball across the plain not been good enough for a TD? Once those things occur, the play is over, it’s a catch and TD.
    The officials were wrong then and they’re still wrong now. The rules for possession and a legal catch have never been interpreted that way. Admit it was a mistake already.

  74. See … this is why the government can do anything they want. All they have to do is tell you a BS line and you have morons actually believe it. Open your eyes use your brain … you are making VY wonderlic score look like a genius.

  75. SteelTown_6 says:
    September 22, 2009 11:56 AM
    Shoudn’t a really good team be able to overcome all sorts of adversity thrown their way on the field, including bad calls?
    Kindof like how the Steelers overcame all those bad calls in their last two superbowls?
    I can see you watching a game “It’s OK the refs just gave the game away, if the Seahawks were anygood they’d have overcome those 17 bad calls. Go Stillers!”

  76. The bottom line is I have been watching raider football for 37 years. Early in the 70s we were a hard hitting team. The league did not like the idea of a bunch of cast offs out there winning superbowls with the agressiveness they brought to the game. So for the last 37 years or so i have been watching the raiders get screwed year after year on calls. All of the media and explayers are always down on th raiders because they literally kicked everybody dick in the dirt for 30 years. So any one who thinks murphy catch was incomplete does not know anything about football or are just upset because the raiders kicked there teams ass many times . Raider fans there are a different set of rules for us. There always was and always will be. All they can do is go out and play 11 on 18 every week.

  77. The real bottom line is that officials need to quit trying to win or lose games and let the players decide their fate. With all 3 catches they show once again that they are never wrong no matter what they call. Reverse the three decisions and they would still justify their decisions. The NFL needs to retool their replay system and get it out of the hands of the on field referee. Look once,twice then make your call. The Raiders got screwed plain and simple. Those other were not TD’s if you are going to review at least get it right regardless of the team.

  78. I said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s about momentum. In the Jones catch after his original momentum while catching the pass was over he still had possession of the ball, then he was thrown by the defender to create new momentum and after he hit the ground again by this momentum he lost the ball. This is how it is being interpreted. Murphy’s momentum wasn’t stopped when he landed on his butt he was still twisting and falling forward by his own momentum. That is the difference. I’d prefer the rule be like it used to be, if it looked like the receiver had control of the ball once he had two feet, knee, elbow, butt hit the ground then it is a catch. Look it is obviously hard to make some of these calls, otherwise we wouldn’t be disputing it. But I think that we all could agree that if it wasn’t for the rule then the Murphy and Jones TD’s were both catches. The rule makes it simpler for the refs to make a call, but it causes arguments because we all know what a catch looks like and this rule takes some away.

  79. Should not be surprised that the Raiders are ONCE AGAIN screwed over by the refs. They are the most scrutinized team in the NFL by the refs. Calls are made against them and when it happens to the other team RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REFS, the calls are not made. Definitely a conspiracy by the league because of Al Davis not being scared of them and what has happened in the pass.

  80. The NFL is doing the absolutely worse thing they can do in this situation by defending all three calls. They need to acknowledge that these situations were not handled properly and state that they are administratively evaluating the interpretation of the rules and will take action to ensure consistency of enforcing the rules. Yes… such a statement is utter BS, but reading between the lines, you can see that they acknowledge that a mistake was made.
    The worst offense of these three events (Murphy, Rosario and Jones) has to be the Murphy touchdown for the Raiders. It was called a touchdown on the field but reversed on review that was called from the booth. Murphy caught the ball while a defender was on his back, he turned, had both feet on the ground, had his thigh/butt on the ground, continued the rotation with one hand on the ground, then after his elbow hits the ground and the point of the ball touches the ground, the ball SHIFTS in his hand. Due to review, the call on the field was reversed.
    In Rosarios case, while he was being tackled, there was quite a bit of movement of the ball in his hands. He clearly did not have full control of the ball as the ball passed the goal line. If they want to call it a reception, it HAD to be a fumble. Thankfully for Atlanta, the outcome of this play did not alter the outcome of the game.
    In Jones case, it was a continuation of motion… he caught the ball as he was going to the ground… hit the ground but continued moving to the point the ball came completely free. I consider this to be a touchdown because he came down and hit the ground with his body in the endzone before loosing control, but he clearly lost control. Murphy on the other hand, never lost the football, it only shifted in his hands and then set the football on the ground afterwards.
    A miscarriage of justice has clearly been made in these three cases. Without an official acknowledgement of this by the league, they are in effect acknowledging that the league is corrupt; which many already believe is to be the case.

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