Should the NFL Review What Exactly a “Catch” Is?

Posted on Oct 13 2015 - 8:50pm by Chase Irle

There has been a lot of fuss since Sunday’s game regarding Devonta Freeman’s touchdown catch that was later reversed.  If you missed it, Matt Ryan dropped back with just under a minute to go on a critical 3rd and 2 and hit Devonta Freeman on a quick slant for a touchdown. The play seemed clean live, but the NFL reviews every scoring play. After seeing the initial replay, I did not see anything, yet the referees came back that the pass was incomplete. ESPN released an article responding to the fuss called “Call on Devonta Freeman’s reversed TD was correct; get over it”

It’s safe to say not everyone agreed. Here’s a look at what SiriusXM football thought about the call:

No, just because he is reaching across the arms with what appears to be complete possession does not mean it is a complete pass. The receiver must maintain possession as he goes to the ground. According to the NFL and various other NFL rules experts agreed that the incomplete pass was the correct call.

However, while the NFL continues to remain consistent on this particular type of call, my problem lies with the rule itself. How can anyone possible tell me this is not a catch?

Or this…

Both Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant seemingly comedown with terrific game-changing plays. To the naked eye, there is no doubt either of these players came down with the catch.

Johnson catches the ball with two hands, proceeds to switch the ball into a single hand, land on his butt, spin on the ground and then slam the ball into the turf where it finally comes loose. I’m sorry, but there is simply no way that should not be a catch.

In Dez’s case, much like Devonta’s, he catches the ball takes a few steps, seemingly attempts to dive for the goal-line (Devonta’s was a lot more clear) and then loses the ball upon impact with the ground.

By today’s NFL rules, all three of these calls were correctly overturned. However, in all three situations, it can be acknowledged that the receiver catches the ball and then loses it in an action unrelated to the catch. And I do not think fans should just “get over it” as ESPN suggests. There is a clear problem that seemingly everyone else can recognize besides the NFL rules officials. In all three of these cases the receivers catch the ball, and these types of rulings happen every week and change teams’ entire seasons. The NFL should seriously consider revising the rule regarding what is and what is not a catch.

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