Four days after the Super Bowl, a surprising number of people continue to suggest that an instance of defensive holding should not have been called defensive holding.
The argument apparently was rooted in the reality that we all wanted to witness a more exciting finish to Super Bowl LVII, and that the foul called on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry allowed the Chiefs to bleed the clock, kick a field goal, and give the ball back to the Eagles with fewer than 10 seconds on the clock.
The argument definitely isn’t rooted in whether holding happened. It did. And, under the rules, holding definitely happened.
“It is defensive holding if a player grasps an eligible offensive player (or his jersey) with his hands, or extends an arm or arms to cut off or encircle him,” the rulebook states.
Or his jersey.
NFL Films has provided a much more clear angle of the fact that Bradberry did indeed hold the jersey of Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Bradberry admitted immediately after the game that he held Smith-Schuster, but that Bradberry simply hoped he’d get away with it. He didn’t. He shouldn’t have.
Why are people still insisting that the officials should have ignored a clear violation of the rules? Yes, there have been inconsistencies in the past. But that happens with defensive holding, offensive holding, false starts, etc. When holding happens and the official sees it (as he clearly did), what’s he supposed to do? Not call it, so that there will be a more dramatic finish to the Super Bowl?
Holding happened. Holding was seen. Holding was called. That’s exactly what should have happened in that spot.