Reversal of Beckham touchdown was the right call

AP

It’s become easy (and at times fun) to blame the NFL for the inability to discern when a catch is a catch and when a catch is not a catch. Sometimes, however, the confusion (feigned or otherwise) about a ruling regarding whether a catch was or wasn’t a catch comes from the self-interest of the critic and not from a desire to be fair and objective.

Case in point: Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. complained after Sunday’s loss to the Patriots about the touchdown catch that was overturned via automatic replay review.

“You can’t leave it up to the officials to get anything right,” Beckham said, via Kevin Armstrong of the New York Daily News. “I caught it.”

He caught it, but he didn’t hold it long enough.

The play was no different than the non-catch made by former Ravens receiver Lee Evans at the end of the 2011 AFC title game. Possession and two feet down wasn’t enough.

The league’s position, per a source with knowledge of it, is that the call was absolutely right. A catch is complete once the receiver gets two feet down and maintains control long enough to become a runner. There’s a time element, and Beckham failed to meet it because the ball was knocked from his possession as soon as his second foot came down.

When the ball is knocked loose at the same time as the second foot hits, the pass is incomplete. Period. If he has it long enough to get a third foot down or to turn or to brace for contact or to spike the football or to hand it to the official, the pass is complete.

The requirement applies wherever a catch occurs, in the end zone or in the field of play. And while the ruling on the field complicates the situation, the decision that indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the ruling was the correct one. The defensive back knocked the ball out of Beckham’s possession before he held it long enough, and the easy solution is that he should have held it a little bit longer.

Indeed, when Evans failed to hold the ball long enough in 2011, no one suggested that it should have been a catch. Now, because of the at-times confusing rules that are applied accurately far more often than not, those with a bias have the ability to dispute any ruling on a close calls regarding a catch, whether they are absolutely right or, in this case, flat wrong.

99 responses to “Reversal of Beckham touchdown was the right call

  1. It was the right call. Lots of questionable calls against both teams in that game but not that one. That being said, as a Patriots fan I never want to play the Giants with the season on the line. They are so tough on us. Why don’t they play that way against everyone?

  2. After watching hundreds of NFL games over 3 decades, my first impression of that play was that it wasn’t a catch. As much as I wanted it to be, it simply wasn’t.
    Go Giants!

  3. OBJ is such a whiny diva already, I hate to imagine what he’ll be like a few seasons from now. You can tell the media attention is blowing up his ego.

  4. mikermiker says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:09 PM

    And Edleman broke his foot #karma

    ——————————————–

    How exactly is this karma, genius? What did Edelman do in this lifetime to deserve a broken foot, if that is, in fact, the case? Grow up, loser.

  5. Making up rules as they go along. The fact they even implemented after taking an obvious TD off the board for Calvin… only to be able to massage the outcome of games (such as they did here) is criminal.

  6. No one is questioning the call except a few disgruntled fans and people that don’t like the pats who have an agenda. It hasn’t even gotten any attention from the sports media or analyst. The only controversy is in the heads of some people that comment on sites like this

  7. mikermiker says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:09 PM
    And Edleman broke his foot #karma

    _______________

    Although I never wish injury on ANY player, I hope the same happens to your team’s most valuable receiver.

  8. This was one of the poorest officiated Danes I’ve seen this year. For a while all the Giants had to was throws the ball down the sideline and wait for the flag. There was one call where the flag was thrown and the patriot defender never touched the giant.

    I’m sure Godell was very disappointed to not see the Giants win.

    Brady throwing those picks was atrocious as if he needed his binky Edelman.

    Let’s hope his foot isn’t broken and he can be back within 4 weeks.

    Very poorly played game. I the pats, McCourty was horrible and what’s with tripping your own guy I. A run back?

    Thanks to coughin and horrible clock management

  9. I can’t believe that 4 officials came together, discussed it, and ruled touchdown. The only thing I can come up with is that they know scoring plays get reviewed, so they pushed their error to the side of caution…..knowing the booth would get the best look. If they rule it incomplete, it does not get reviewed automatically.

  10. When this play happened it made me think of the Tuck Rule play. Florio’s quote below can apply to both plays with equal eloquence:

    “Now, because of the at-times confusing rules that are applied accurately far more often than not, those with a bias have the ability to dispute any ruling on a close calls regarding a catch, whether they are absolutely right or, in this case, flat wrong.”

  11. Is this really a debate, it was clear as day in real time. No way that’s a catch anywhere on the field.

  12. Hey mike id agree with you 100%except a few weeks ago golden Tate made the exact same catch in the end zone and they ruled it a TD. There are already plenty of photos on the Internet showing beckhams second foot on the ground and butlers arm is raised to swipe at the ball, but beckhams still has it. So just what is this mythical time element he has to hold onto it? The photos are clear as day he has second foot down and possession.

  13. What a crock. What kind of world do we live in where a reception requires “getting a ‘third foot’ down” or “having time to ‘spike’ it?”

    Lame. Whatever happened to real football?

  14. Maybe if he catches it and tucks it away, it’s a catch. Instead, he caught it, made no effort to tuck it away, and looked as if he was preparing to raise it in celebration when it was knocked out of his hand….incomplete.

    Secure the ball, finish the play, let the official signal TD….*then* you can celebrate.

  15. I’m a giants fan and that was not a catch. Great play by Butler. Can’t believe people are even debating it. Beckham should have brought the ball into his body. No idea why he stuck it out in the first place.

  16. Why does Seattle continue to be favored in Vegas? Don’t wanna hear that the lines are based on public perception, cuz all the public I deal with have peeped how bad Seattle really is long time ago…like when Detroit should’ve beat them…but No, Vegas continues to fall over themselves thinking Seattle should be favored every durn game!

  17. I’m a Pats fan with a tremendous amount of respect for the Giants and I just can’t help but wonder why they don’t low so well all the time. It’s really, really strange.

  18. Two feet and possession, or one knee and possession, or one elbow and possession is a catch.

    That should have been a catch if anyone had any common sense at all at HQ.

  19. It obviously wasn’t a catch but I bet if the situation was reversed and it was the Pats on offense you wouldn’t write an article like this, instead it would be an article about how the catch rules are stupid and that it’s another NFL conspiracy against the Pats

  20. Let’s not forget that even with the stupid clock management that gifted the game over to the Patriots, Brady still THREW THE GAME LOSING INTERCEPTION EXCEPT IT WAS DROPPED.

    Again, the “GOAT” Brady threw the game losing interception except it was dropped.

    Anyone care to argue that point?

  21. Even if it’s the rule, it’s dumb. Two feet down after a catch in the endzone??? What about the sideline? How do you get a “3rd foot down” on the sideline? I’ve seen plenty of catches that just become catches because they’re sideline catches… That call was a joke and when your team has to deal with it, you’ll be complaining too.

  22. OBJ tried to style the catch (by extending the ball) as opposed to pulling into his stomach and protecting it like his life depended on it. Right call by the refs under the current rules….OBJ will learn from his mistake….and Im a Giants fan.

    In the old days this is an easy TD….but players need to adjust to the new NFL rules.

  23. you would think the league would be able to get this right. it’s easy you catch the ball and come down with both feet in bounds it is a touchdown!. it what universe does a guy catch the ball turn upfield then have it ruled no catch because he fumbled it after? if we played by league rules growing up nobody would play football today. stop trying to make it so complicated!. as a bears fan I was happy they ruled Calvin Johnson did not have possession because it meant they won the game but everyone knew it was a catch and a td. everyone but packer fans know Bryant caught that pass in the playoffs.

  24. I get that the rule says no catch, but why is possession and two feet down not enough? Why does a receiver need to do more that this?

  25. Here’s my only problem with the call and I’m not saying this as a Giants fan. It was called a TD on the field; thus, by rule, you must be willing to bet your first born that the call was wrong. It’s impossible to overturn it based on that criteria. If the call in the field was incomplete, the same would be true. That’s the problem. The refs and booth have forgotten the meaning of indisputable evidence.

  26. Collins also had the INT and they somehow don’t even review it. Came to the ground with possession and the ground caused it to come loose WITH control before and Giants recover it. They don’t even review it. Unreal.

  27. newyorkball82 says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:44 PM
    Even if it’s the rule, it’s dumb. Two feet down after a catch in the endzone??? What about the sideline? How do you get a “3rd foot down” on the sideline? I’ve seen plenty of catches that just become catches because they’re sideline catches… That call was a joke and when your team has to deal with it, you’ll be complaining too.
    ————————————-
    With sideline catches you still have to maintain control of the ball throughout your fall to the ground, I’ve seen countless sideline catches ruled incomplete from juggling the ball a bit trying to control it or just plain letting go of the ball after tumbling over, do you watch much football?

  28. It was a catch.

    Same play happened with Tate I believed and it was a catch.

    If you catch the ball and two feet in bounds what you do AFTER doesn’t matter. So he has the ball, both feet in, but we only decide if it’s a catch based on what happens AFTER he caught the ball.

    Okay.

    And I’m an Ealges fan. So I’m perfectly fine with the Giants losing. But this ish is just dumb at this point.

    SMH.

  29. Mike Florio talking about people with bias is hilarious, coming from someone that has clearly been in Robert Kraft’s back pocket for quite some time.

    The rule as it relates to a play in the end zone is stupid and Patriots fans would be saying the same thing if the shoe was on the other foot.

    How the hell can a receiver become a runner in the end zone? You catch the ball with two feet down in the end zone and maintain possession, play over, it should be a touchdown. Plain and simple. Now he’s gotta catch it, maintain possession, get two feet down, and then what, run out of the back of the end zone with the ball to complete the play? I don’t get it. It’s a dumb rule.

  30. The fact that the defender had to knock the ball out of beckhams hands after two steps were made suggests it was a catch. if he dropped it on his own then it’s not a catch. Bs call from an obvious biased officiating crew. Why call it a catch in the first place?

  31. Beckham should watch film of Lee Evans dropping a sure TD in the AFC title game against the Pats a few years ago. He was already celebrating in his mind too. Lesson learned?

  32. First great game but terrible outcome. Giants have continued mismanagement of games several times this season and today was no different. Wasted opportunities and clock mismanagement against any team is not a good recipe especially against the Pats. We blew the game and this Avain is another wasted effort –guys played their hearts out–however, no moral victories. All that said I too disagree with the call. End zone “plain” had been crossed and ball was clearly caught with both feet down before defender slapped the ball out–once the 2nd foot comes down the play is over imo–but again–it should have never come down to this–Giants must clean up the miscues.

  33. They got the call right. Even in real time as fast as that ball popped out of his hands I figured he didn’t have control and the replay clearly showed he didn’t. JMO, but the worst part is I think he was about to launch into one of his idiotic looking post TD dance numbers and wasn’t paying enough attention to playing football. Snatch the ball out of the air, tuck it in and then celebrate.

  34. Giants guy here, there would be no damn discussion if Beckham had acted like he’d been there before and just pulled it in.

  35. I was impressed with the way Eli handled himself on the sideline and after the game despite the tough loss. He is a class act.

  36. I don’t see how anyone can comment that on was showboating or celebrating “holding the ball out there”. Play happened in quick succession –bang bang–not much time for OJB to do anything other than secure it as he did.

  37. z0inks says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:22 PM
    Maybe if he catches it and tucks it away, it’s a catch. Instead, he caught it, made no effort to tuck it away, and looked as if he was preparing to raise it in celebration when it was knocked out of his hand….incomplete.

    Secure the ball, finish the play, let the official signal TD….*then* you can celebrate.

    38 6

    You saved me some typing, that’s exactly what happened.
    Odell was raising it up to show it off, instead of tucking it in and claiming the catch, and a victory.

  38. Brady choked. The fan boys can keep drooling all they want, but that’s the fact.

    He threw the pick near the goal line. Then he threw the pick that should’ve ended the game, but got dropped.

    The funny thing is, the “GOAT” is the exact reason the Patriots won’t be going to the Super Bowl.

    He’s one dumb Pete Carroll call away from being three time Super Bowl loser Tom Brady.

  39. “Why call it a catch in the first place?”

    Because Hochuli and his crew have been gunshy ever since he blew that big call in San Diego a couple years ago.

    If the call it an incompletion and replays later show it was a catch, then they’ve made another huge mistake and get reamed big time by the fans and media.

    Call it a TD and its automatically reviewed and if they made a mistake its overturned.

  40. The same people crying that it was a catch would be the same people complaining that if a bang bang play like that was ruled a fumble and the pats recovered.

  41. LMAO at Giants fans talking about “obviously bias refs” re: Beckham non-TD. We’re talking about the same refs that called a totally phantom PI on Butler earlier that led to Giant’s score, right? Go take a look at a replay of that call before posting any claims of bias. Even funnier is the notion that the NFL is eager to favor the Pats, especially this year.

  42. First we are told it’s two feet and possessions,now the league wants to tell us he has to become a runner?? He’s in the end zone! Where is he running? Has anyone googled a photo of the catch. He clearly has both feet down and possession way before its hit out of his hands. If we freeze frame other plays and say a receiver had possession, why not freeze frame this one? If you watch the freeze frame ODB is taking his third step when it came out. Blandino said about the Tate catch against the Bears that Tate was taking his third step when bang bang the ball came out, and that’s why the league ruled it a TD. And on that play, Tate was going to the ground so it was more of a controversy. ODB was not going to the ground. So I guess the league now needs to come out and tell us what the mythical time limit is after catching the ball in the end zone, having both feet on the ground before a defender can knock the ball out. If that’s the case every corner in the league is going to blast a receiver in the end zone hoping he drops it. In the past it only mattered if a receiver held onto the ball in the end zone if the receiver was going to the ground, never if he took a third step. My point is you can’t call the Tate reception a TD when he’s going to the ground, and call the ODB an incompletion when he wasn’t going to the ground. Next week we will see the same play and some ref will call it a catch.

  43. I think with the numerous phantom PI calls against the Patriots as well as the refs never seeing the repeated elbows to Gronk’s head during the tackles it all evened out in the end.

  44. Definitely not a catch but you know which one was? That’s right Patriots fans, the David Tybee helmet catch that deflated your chances at another asterisk marked Super Bowl…..

  45. Off topic, but did anyone else notice that Manning’s feet touched out-of-bounds on his sideline slide before he was touched? The officials didn’t stop the clock, causing the Pats to burn their last time-out. Would assume that should’ve stopped the clock since he basically stepped out of bounds prior to be touched down. Am I missing something?

  46. If there is a time element, the league needs to specify exactly how long that is, especially in light of the fact the catch was made in the end zone, which nullifies the need to run any further.

  47. Blandinos script knows no bounds

    Goodell and Kraft seen at meetings again for the LA franchise?

    I’m sure ole Bob is still greasing his puppet boy

  48. mikermiker says: Nov 15, 2015 9:09 PM

    And Edleman broke his foot #karma
    ____________________________

    Patriots are Super Bowl Champs and Undefeated, #karma

  49. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:39 PM

    Let’s not forget that even with the stupid clock management that gifted the game over to the Patriots, Brady still THREW THE GAME LOSING INTERCEPTION EXCEPT IT WAS DROPPED.

    Again, the “GOAT” Brady threw the game losing interception except it was dropped.

    Anyone care to argue that point?
    ************************************************

    Yes I’ll argue it. He didn’t catch it thus he did not throw and interception thus the Pats win.
    Let’s deal in facts, not fantasy.

  50. buttfumbles says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:19 PM

    Pats fans– What do you like to say when players from other teams get injured?
    ———–

    I always commiserate , only a complete cheers for or celebrates injuries.

    #karma type stuff is for the score. e.g. the way the Pats are 9-0 while the Colts and Ravens have slightly fewer wins than that.

  51. tjacks7 says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:29 PM
    What about the Abberdarus drop that the refs incorrectly called a catch to try to let the Packers back in the game?

    exactly what I was thinking cannot have it both ways . all that said the giants may be the worst clock management team in the history of football just complete incompetence

  52. but when they have 2 feet down and then go our of bounds before a 3rd is put down or they can’t establish themselves as a runner because they are now out of bounds…it is still a catch.

    So the rule seems skewed.

  53. ampatsisahypocrite says:Nov 15, 2015 11:24 PM

    Brady choked. The fan boys can keep drooling all they want, but that’s the fact.

    He threw the pick near the goal line. Then he threw the pick that should’ve ended the game, but got dropped.

    —–

    He choked? I distinctly remember him making all the throws needed to get into FG range with enough time left to let Ghost clutch it out once again.

    Is that what happened? I believe that’s the fact.

    As for someone choking, wouldn’t the CB not making that pick that should have ended the game be the choke play?

    It’s crazy to see people hate something so much they can’t even see straight lol.

  54. Not a giants or pats fan

    It was close. But if the same league office decided that Golden Tate catch was a TD in the Bears game, then this one should stand as a catch also. Tate didnt have the ball as long as OBJ, if that was a touchdown then this was. I really dont think either one was, but they really need to stay consistent.

    Also cant believe pats fans are whining about officials. Everybody that watched that game counted at least 3 blocks in the back on the long return 2 of them right in front of the officials, yet no flags anywhere.

  55. “He caught it, but he didn’t hold it long enough.”

    Think about how stupid that is. Possession + 2 feet should = catch
    Get rid of the stupid subjective “complete the process” and “make a football move”

  56. i thought lee evans caught that ball and it should have been a touchdown

    in the end zone the instant that second foot touches the play is dead and its a catch

  57. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:39 PM

    Let’s not forget that even with the stupid clock management that gifted the game over to the Patriots, Brady still THREW THE GAME LOSING INTERCEPTION EXCEPT IT WAS DROPPED.

    Again, the “GOAT” Brady threw the game losing interception except it was dropped.

    +++++
    Using this reasoning, Eli threw an incompletion to David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII, except it was caught.

  58. Clearly as Florio states you need to get your third foot down and spike the ball and do the worm for it to be a catch. Read the rule book folks.

    I heard the commentators say he needs to make a football move?!? YOU ARE IN THE END ZONE. Isn’t that the point of football? To get into the end zone? Watch when Greg Olsen catches a wide open TD in the end zone. He catches it and immediately flips the ball to the ref. No third foot got down and doesn’t Gronk spike it, so it should be incomplete right?

    I am also curious what the rule book says about the time element? Is it 1 Mississippi or 2?

    He did not go to the ground, so two feet down with possession in the end zone is a catch.

    While we are at, I have a suggestion for making this whole catch problem in general so much easier. Two feet down with control is a CATCH. PERIOD. If the ball gets knocked out then it is a FUMBLE. PERIOD. Isn’t that easy to understand? If it happens in the field of play – live ball. On the sideline – it remains with offense. In the end zone – TD because the nanosecond the second (not mythical third) foot touches a blade of grass/turf the play is dead.

  59. This rule needs a complete revamp.

    Once he had two hands on the ball and two feet down in the end zone, is the play not over right there?

    They give players TD’s once the ball breaks the plane, no matter if the ball is lose soon after. Doesn’t make sense and apparently no one knows the rule.

    It is open to too much interpretation to be consistent enough to be called.

  60. For all you haters a few thoughts:

    1. A choke requires someone to lose. You can’t choke and win.

    2. The key to the no catch is not the second two steps, but the first step Beckham takes. You can see that when he takes the first step the ball moves slightly so that step does not count, because he does not have control. He makes a clean second step(which is now his first step, with control) and then the ball is knocked out just before he makes a “clean” second(third) step. Right call. As for that one against Butler where Beckham flops and Butler does not touch him, than was clearly a miss. TC did not burn enough clock period. Brady made the plays he had to make.

  61. When you think about, a receiver makes a grab in the endzone, drags the toes in bounds for a second, then ball comes lose as they hit the ground (or even on their way to the ground)…seems everyone agrees thats an incompletion. I guess same principles apply that technically ODB has two feet it for a second, then immediately ball gets swatted…and not enough time to fully establish the catch.

    By the rule, seems the right call. Prob always going to be controversy with the rule though.

  62. And exactly how long does it take to become a runner while your in the endzone since you cant actually be a runner in the endzone. Once in youre in. I guess he should have caught the ball and ran from one end of the endzone to the other, then he is defined as a runner.

  63. The NFL got it right. It was a super close call that could have decided the game. They ruled in favor of the patriots – just like they are clearly supposed to.

    Like death and taxes, you can count on that one.

  64. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Nov 15, 2015 9:39 PM

    Let’s not forget that even with the stupid clock management that gifted the game over to the Patriots, Brady still THREW THE GAME LOSING INTERCEPTION EXCEPT IT WAS DROPPED.

    Again, the “GOAT” Brady threw the game losing interception except it was dropped.

    Anyone care to argue that point?

    ———————————————

    And Asante Samuel dropped A Perfect Season saving interception as did Rodney Harrison on the same drive in SB 42. But they didn’t catch it and Eli won MVP. What’s your point?

  65. They allow receivers to be pushed OB near sidelines. Then they should also allow the old standard of 2 feet down in the same area of play. This is a conundrum.

  66. fanofpft says:
    Nov 16, 2015 7:10 PM

    They allow receivers to be pushed OB near sidelines. Then they should also allow the old standard of 2 feet down in the same area of play. This is a conundrum.
    ===
    The Riddle of the Sphinx is a conundrum. I think this is just an inconsistency.

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