Dan Quinn: New catch rule will mean more completions, more fumbles

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The league’s proposed new catch rule will result in some plays that previously were incomplete passes, now being complete passes. But a less-discussed change is that there will be more fumbles: When the ball pops out after a catch, that’s a fumble, not an incompletion.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has thought about that and says he’ll have his defensive players ready to pounce on the ball more often after a catch and fumble, on plays that previously would have been incomplete passes.

“Defensively we have to think, ‘That ball’s on the ground, go get it,” Quinn said today on PFT Live. “There will be more completions and there probably will be more fumbles too.”

Quinn is right: The new catch rule would turn some plays that have in the past been incompletions into complete passes that are then fumbled. Fans clamoring for a change in the catch rule may not be so happy about it when their team loses the ball on a play that previously would have been ruled an incomplete pass.

32 responses to “Dan Quinn: New catch rule will mean more completions, more fumbles

  1. Good. Maybe it will level things off towards the defense some. It always seems like any change is geared to help the offense score more. More turnovers? Yes Please.

  2. Just like when we were kids. You catch the ball and get popped after everyone KNOWS what they see (a catch) and it’s a fumble.

    We practiced that before Quinn was born. Full circle.

  3. Its neither a better or worse way to call it. Just different. Whether the average fan thinks its fair or not will depend on which way it goes for their team as the ball bounces where it will. The NFL is not going to reduce fan complaints with this, just switch around which ones will be complaining.

  4. I don’t know that I agree with Quinn, but if that’s the case, that’s the case. Honestly though I am less concerned with mid-field catches, where it doesn’t seem to happen that often, but more when the ball is crossing the plane. Used to be that football was like hockey – ball crosses plane, little red light over the net goes off, and it is a score. Now even if the guy has possession while crossing the plane, we have to wait to see how he goes to the ground. That isn’t right.

  5. “But a less-discussed change is that there will be more fumbles: When the ball pops out after a catch, that’s a fumble, not an incompletion.”

    Actually many of this have been making this point from the beginning.

  6. I’m clamoring for the rule change and I won’t mind one bit if it results in more turnovers… If my teams receiver can’t secure the ball and foremost, the defense deserves the chance to take the ball away… That’s football. Mistakes are part of the game.

  7. I’d bet my life that this possibility is being overblown. As we learned last year when the NFL supposedly claimed that it was going to a higher overturn standard in replay – and then actually went in the other direction – the letter of a rule change matters much less than the way it is enforced. The change in the catch rule has been done to remove the pigeon-holing that turned some “clear” catches into non-catches, but otherwise bank on the officials calling things largely the same as in the past. Though the rule doesn’t actually say it, the third subjective element will be judged using a timing element too. What will happen is when a ball is caught momentarily, pops out, and then is jumped on by the defense, the official will wait to see that it would be a lost fumble and then rule the catch “incomplete”, and then the subjective portion of the rule will prevent an overturn by replay. So yes, there will be an occasional new fumble by this rule, but ONLY when the official CHOOSES to call it that way live on the field, and I’d bank on that not being very often.

  8. But a lot of these new “fumbles” would also be considered to be down by rule, as the ground can’t cause a fumble, correct?

  9. “Fine with this. Turnovers are more entertaining than incompletions anyway.”

    Exactly. So you mean to tell me that my team won’t have obvious TDs taken off the board, overruling the call on the field with insufficient evidence…AND they’ll have more opportunities at turnovers?!?

    Bet, run that.

  10. And when there are increased injuries at the bottom of a pile they will change the rule again..

  11. And get ready for people to complain when receivers’ legs are blown up by defensive backs piling on to get the ball! LOL – Just remember, every time Goodell slams a door, he opens another portal to hell.

  12. Which is the way it used to be. The game seemed a little more exciting when a player made a catch and a turnover was created due to a hit or some other factor, compared to now simply calling it an incompletion.

  13. Catch it, then drop it. How is that NOT a fumble? And why would you want it to NOT be a fumble? That’s what happened. More fumbles is fine since they are… you know… actual fumbles.

  14. I thought the game/rule was fine during the decades before they really started to meddle with it recently but hey, what do I know.

  15. Not really. the players secure the ball rather than dive in the open field. If a guy is juggling the ball and it comes out that was never seen as a completed pass. It’s only near the goal line that players were stretching because as soon as the back crosses it should be a TD. Blandino and the zebras decided that diving and or stretching forward after getting control wasn’t enough unless you hit the ground. Even the WR, the refs on the field and defenders all saw those plays as completions.
    The rules committee made up of DB coaches Marvin Lewis Fisher and Tomlin are the only ones who liked the bizzare interpretation.

  16. Last year I heard the most outcry for a rule change based on plays that benefitted the Patriots. A lot of guys calling the rule unfair. So lets say this year those same plays would not benefit the Patriots, and now during the offseason folks are saying that now things are fair.

    So lets imagine a scenario: The AFCCS. The Steelers are down by one with 30 seconds to go but have a couple time outs and the ball and a first down on the Patriots 30. A field goal is a good chance to win it but from the 30 not quite a guarantee so with the downs and timeouts it makes sense to take a shot at the endzone and/or to get closer. So Big Ben hits Antonio Brown on the 5. He clearly makes the catch but then pops out for a fumble. (That would have been an incomplete pass under the old rule) The Patriots recover and finish the game in victory formation.

    Will the fans be saying they are good with it because at least now the rule is fair?

  17. Jasen Dimitrie says:
    March 27, 2018 at 8:28 am
    Wait so now the ground can cause a fumble????


    If the receiver was never touched by a defender….it always could. But with the existing rules if going to the ground is part of the catch the pass would be considered incomplete. Under new rules it would be a fumble.

  18. so the WRs TE and RB get the catches padd there stats but add more fumbles
    actually it does sound better but dont those mad scrambles for ball often cause injuries?

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