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The NFL Rule Book: Call that a Catch? Update – Part 2

Another week of the NFL has passed us by but yet again more controversies surrounding catches are popping up.I’m going to start with o


Another week of the NFL has passed us by but yet again more controversies surrounding catches are popping up. I’m going to start with one that I agree with and that was called correctly. In the 2nd quarter of the game between the Buccaneers and the Colts, Mike Evans caught a pass for a 1st down and was down by contact before the ball came loose. The side judge initially ruled it an incomplete pass, but after a conference between the refs it was ruled a catch for a first down and down by contact. The Colts challenged the play and it confirmed the call on the field. Though it is worrying that it was initially believed to be incomplete, it reassures me that it was changed to a catch and then upheld after further review, as Evans clearly caught and possessed the ballot the ground. It wasn’t until he held the ball out in one hand to show that he had it that he lost possession. It’s nice to see a ruling that everyone can agree on. Antonio Cromartie was the next player in the spotlight when he seemed to intercept a Ryan Tannehill pass midway through the 3rd quarter. He dove in front of Greg Jennings and caught the ball, flipped it into his grip and seemed to maintain grip once he hit the ground. But it was ruled incomplete and kept that way after a review. This was a tough one because the ball was moving before he hit the ground and possibly was only secured when he hit the ground, and that is probably why it was kept as an incompletion as to overturn a decision the replay must provide conclusive evidence.. However, I am inclined to agree with Mike Carey, the NFL on CBS Officiating Expert, who feels that he did in fact catch the ball. Also, I certainly feel he had far more control at every point than Dwight Lowery did against the Falcons in Week 11. Finally, Chris Hogan (the play can be found at the 17 minute mark of the video) managed to avoid the spotlight with his catch/no-catch against the Chiefs late in the 4th quarter but he really shouldn’t have had. Hogan caught a pass, took multiple steps and was hit and taken to the ground. Upon hitting the ground he lost possession of the ball but quickly corralled it back into his body to recover what he thought should’ve been a fumble, but it was ruled incomplete. Surprisingly, no challenge flag was thrown and the Bills went on turn the ball over on 4th down just 2 plays later. This was partially on Rex Ryan for not challenging the play, but the referees should’ve seen that he caught the ball. He took 3-4 steps before being hit, which didn’t jar the ball loose in any way, and only lost the ball upon hitting the ground. Surely then, this makes him a runner and then down by contact? Apparently not. Even in real time this appeared to be a clear catch. Whilst I’m talking about catches, I have to mention Odell Beckham Jr. He has an uncanny ability to make spectacular catches, particularly1-handed catches. However, I think his catch this week is being overblown a tad. It was amazing, and my admiration for him is only growing, but any talk that this most recent catch was better than ‘The Catch’ last year against Dallas is ridiculous. If I’m honest, I just wanted an excuse to watch these catches again…


Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

The NFL Rule Book: Call that a Catch? Update – Part 2

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