The "Complete the Catch" rule

Discussion in 'Detroit Lions Blitz' started by Liongeezer, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    I also posted this in the week 3 Atl thread but felt it was important enough subject to have its' own thread.

    Below is the NFL rule for catch possession. The down by contact rule states that the player must have possession of the ball in order to be down by contact. Tate did not have possession according to the "complete the catch rule" at the time he was touched. As we can all see from the replay, Tate was going to the ground as the catch process was initiated. Tate completed the catch and ball possession by maintaining control while going to ground into the End Zone. Therefore the ball should have been spotted in the End Zone. TOUCH DOWN!

    Instead they spotted the ball where the catch process was initiated and he had ball control. WRONG!!!!!!! Ball control and ball possession are two different things according to the complete the catch rule.

    http://operations.nfl.com/the-rules/nfl-video-rulebook/completing-a-catch/

    The NFL did not spot the ball correctly according to the rules.

    To complete a catch a receiver must perform 3 steps for ball possession.
    1. Ball control
    2. Be within the playing field
    3. And in this case, maintain ball control throughout the process of contacting the ground.
  2. Vic Turner Just Sayin

    I agree

    The NFL cant have it both ways

    Im order to make the catch, you need to complete the "process". In order to be ruled down you need to be touched where you caught it??? Bullshit
  3. goldenlions International Playboy

    Some of those still photos looks like his knee was down to me as he had possession before lunging into the end zone. And the falcons defender still had his finger on Tate's shoulder.
  4. Vic Turner Just Sayin

    If you remeber the Calvin play versus the Bears where the " complete the process" rule first happened. Cj made the catch and did a complete 360 roll and flung the ball as he was popping up.

    Tate made a catch, gained possession and "completed the process in milliseconds and was touched and ruled down just by his knee grazing the ground.

    Comparing the two catches the NFL is very inconsistent what they're saying is completing the process and what isn't to the point of it looking as if they are manipulating the outcome of the games.
  5. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    They are manipulating outcomes. Trying to appeal to larger markets. The NFL already knows the Lions are gonna be tough for the Packers. So give the Lions as many losses as they can throughout the year to keep it close and have the Packers pull it out late in the season again. Groundhog Day 2.
  6. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    I also know the NFL will have to apologize to the Lions for not getting the spot and call correct. But that does not do them much good. It is crap like this that results in the Lions missing the playoffs or not getting home field advantage. Just total bullshit. If it was the Cowboys, Packers, Steelers, Giants and most of all the Patriots that would have been a TD.

    P.S. I should also add the Seahawks due to the batting call that was completely ignored.
    CapnCrunch likes this.
  7. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    That is the point Golden. He had ball control at that time he was touched. He did not have possession of the ball until he completed step 3 going to ground into the end zone. It was in the end zone that he had possession and was down by the contact made before the goal line. Remember that the player has to have ball possession before they can be touched down by contact.
  8. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    If he lost ball control while going to ground the pass would have been incomplete.
  9. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    I just watched a VP of NFL Officiating on the NFL Network talk about the Tate reversal. He stated that Tate had possession prior to going to ground. Wrong! Completely ignored step 3 of the complete the catch rule. It is pretty sad when a senior official of the NFL is forced to lie on National TV in support of a bad call. The NFL is self serving and intellectually dishonest. They must really think we are stupid.
  10. def 2006 Money Ball Champion!

    If they reverse the call because he was down before he went in, then the INSTANT he touches the ball and is supposedly down there are 11 seconds on the clock. So this was a botched job on many levels. AND geezer is right. ATL defending super bowl losers winning is better for the NFL. The second Tate touches the ball, if in fact he is so down at that very instant, then the clock shows 11 seconds and it seems they didn't even bother checking the clock. Bullshit factor is OFF the charts.
  11. Murtyle American Destroyer

    They interpreted the rule correctly. Its the same thing as if he were going out of bounds. The ball is marked where the ball, in the receiver's possession, crossed the out of bounds line and the play is over, but the receiver still must retain possession of the ball as he falls to the ground.

    The same thing happens here. He is falling to the ground, the play is over when his knee touches the ground and Poole is touching his shoulder pad. The ball is spotted at that point even though the process of the catch was not yet completed. He wasn't over the goal line therefore no TD.

    They definitely need to look at that rule because it's a shitty way to end a game. I dont really have a suggestion for how to fix it though.
  12. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    It is not the same as going out of bounds. You need to read the rule (item 1 going to ground) in the first post of this thread. Possession is not complete until the receiver completes the process of going to ground when they are in the playing field. They spotted the ball wrong. It should have been a TD.
  13. Blaming Barry Well-Known Member

    I think you're getting into a slippery slope when you say you essentially spot the ball not at the point where the receiver's knee/elbow/butt touches the ground, but at the first point the official deems the catch "complete". Just looking at it from a common sense point of view, I don't think that should be a touchdown (unlike the infamous Calvin Johnson play which WAS a touchdown when looking at it from a common sense point of view). Ironically, Tate would have been better off bobbling the ball as he went to the ground because then as long as he maintained control once he got to the endzone it would have been a clear touchdown.

    The bigger issue here is the 10 second run-off. I get why they have it, but 10 seconds is extreme, particularly on a play that requires a mandatory review by the officials. Perhaps the solution is to decrease the run-off amount for plays that are beyond the control of the individual teams. 7 seconds seems fair.
  14. tepod2001 Active Member

    It is all mute.

    If Stafford had thrown the ball a foot higher Tate would have been in.

    Lol
  15. Blaming Barry Well-Known Member

    Mute or moot?

    That's actually very true.
  16. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    BB, this is not a slippery slope. It is cut and dry.

    Item 1. Player Going to the Ground. A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

    The replay shows that item 1 of the "complete the catch" rule is the correct application for the play and is the 3rd step to complete ball possession.

    A. Tate did not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he was a runner
    B. The pass from Stafford was so low and in front of him that it caused him to go to ground, not contact from the Atlanta Player
    C. He maintained ball control until after his initial contact with the ground. This ground contact occurred with the ball reaching and passing the goal line.

    Therefore possession can not be established until he completes this step. He completed the step in the End Zone. Touch Down. The established possession and forward progress is the same point when within the playing field. The officials marked the ball wrong.

    According to the Down by Contact rule the player must have possession of the ball to be ruled down.

    BB, the NFL can't have it both ways and both of them bad for the Lions.

    1. If you watch the replay Tate has control of the ball in his left hand, when his left elbow hits the ground on the goal line you see the ball shift and he almost loses ball control. If the ball comes out at that time, the pass is incomplete according to player going to ground. In other words they would have accepted step 3 with an incomplete pass.

    2. The NFL marks the ball the where he was touched and had ball control. WRONG! This is what they did and ignored the 3rd step of the complete the catch rule to establish actual possession.

    Both of these outcomes result in the Lions not scoring.


  17. Geezer has a point here;
    "If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone."

    Based upon this wording Tate did not complete the catch until he was well into the end zone, thus he can be rulled down at the half yard line. This means he scored what should have be the GW TD.

    Hopefully Caldwell has the team convert the team's frustration, to focus for the remaining games. That does seem to be a strength of Caldwell, is maintaining focus and resolve.
  18. Murtyle American Destroyer

    You're wrong. It happens every game. A receiver catches the ball and gets both feet in bounds. He doesn't however complete the process of the catch in bounds if he is going to the ground. Whether the play goes down as a catch or not is determined after the play is effectively over
  19. Blaming Barry Well-Known Member

    Yeah that's what I was thinking. If they mark the receiver down based on when he completes the catch, most of the sideline catches we see would be incomplete because by the time the complete the process of the catch they are out of bounds.
  20. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    Sideline catches are item 2 of the complete the catch rule and are handled different. Allows the players to use the entire width of the field and they are not down by contact. It becomes a dead ball at the point of exit.

    Down by contact can only be ruled on a runner who is inbounds. Tate was in the end zone when he became a runner under the loose ball, complete the catch rule.

    RULE 3

    SECTION 13 - FORWARD PROGRESS

    ARTICLE 1. FORWARD PROGRESS

    The Forward Progress of a runner or airborne receiver is the point at which his advance toward his opponent’s goal ends and is the spot at which the ball is declared dead by rule, irrespective of the runner or receiver being pushed or carried backward by an opponent.

    Tate was an airborne receiver (loose ball possession rule) at the time he was touched. Meaning he was going to ground. In either case, advancement as an airborne receiver ended in the end zone or his establishment of being a runner, caused the advance to end and to be down by contact, was in the end zone.

    SECTION 17 - IMPETUS (AKA momentum)

    Impetus is the action of a player who carries the ball or provides the force (i.e., a pass, kick, snap, or fumble) that causes a ball in the field of play to touch or cross a goal line. If a Loose Ball touches or crosses a goal line, the impetus is attributed to the team whose player passed, kicked, snapped, or fumbled the ball, unless an opponent:
    1. muffs a ball that is at rest, or nearly at rest; or
    2. bats a ball that has been kicked or fumbled; or
    3. bats a backward pass after it has struck the ground; or
    4. illegally kicks any ball (12-4-2).
    Note 1: The impetus is always attributed to the offense, unless the defense creates a new force that sends the ball behind its own goal line by muffing a ball which is at rest or nearly at rest, or by batting a loose ball on the ground or kicking any loose ball.

    Tate's momentum took him into the End Zone. In other words, his natural progress to the end zone was not stopped by the defense's touch.

    Tate scored a Touch Down and the Officials took it away.
  21. Murtyle American Destroyer

    OK. Show me 1 play (say for a first down in bounds) where a player isn't marked down the instant he's touched and an applicable body part is touching the ground.
  22. def 2006 Money Ball Champion!

    Also, just to add to this, as the general consensus seems to lean that the catch was a TD, but that was the initial call on the field remember. They ruled it was a TD, SO to reverse that call on the field there had to be indisputable evidence that he was in fact down at the precise milli-second he touched the ball. Of all the REFS working and looking at that play, not one of them argued the process of the catch aspect of it? Not one of them looked at the clock in reference to the catch AND according to them, all of them concluded that it was indisputable in that Tate was down. Unless I have it wrong and only the head official can rule on this. If so that is not right. BUT if the whole crew had weighed in on this, there is no doubt that there would be different perspectives on it. SO to unanimously reverse it AFTER the call on the field was a TD, then the call was horribly wrong and like I said before, it seemed a hi-jack because no one looked at the time factor. At the end of the play there was 8.5 seconds left, if in fact he was down when they said there was 11 seconds left. SO in other words, this from all angles was a kidnapping of a Lions win. I say this because of the ridiculous calls made during that last drive in which it seemed, at least to me, but mind you I could be a little biased, but it seemed to me that the REFS did everything they could on that last drive to sabotage the Lions. So many calls were questionable during that last drive alone and this lends to the fact that the overall opinion of the refs in general was leaning towards ATL. In other words, again, my opinion on this subject is BS of the highest order, because not only did this put the Lions back in the win column, but there is no telling how this will affect the rest of the season. They basically had a W taken off the record for no apparent reason.
  23. Blaming Barry Well-Known Member

    That is what I was getting at with the "slippery slope". I get the argument, but now you're talking about putting a judgment call on the officials for every "catch and fall" scenario (which happens a lot throughout a game, not just in the endzone).
    Murtyle likes this.
  24. Liongeezer Ornery Old Fart

    What you are asking for is a very tall order. I believe an example is probably out there in NFL films somewhere, but it may take looking through thousands of games to find it. I don't have the time or inclination to do that.

    However, let me ask you this question. Are the NFL rules written to contradict one another? Because that is what the NFL did when they spotted the ball, like they did, to take away Tate's TD. Here are the rules from the 2017 NFL Rule Book they contradicted; Please read them, then watch the replay of Tate's reversal and tell me if you agree with my assessment.

    1. Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 (Forward Pass, Backward Pass, Fumble) Establishes a legal forward pass and the completion of the forward pass.

    2. Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7, Item 2, Note 1 (Possession of a loose ball) Defines; a loose ball, how a player possesses a loose ball and becomes a runner.

    3. Rule 7, Article 1, Paragraph a (Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Scrimmage) Establishes that only a runner is down by contact.

    4. Rule 3, Section 13, Article 1 (Forward Progress) Defines Forward Progress of a runner or Airborne Receiver

    5. Rule 3, Section 17 (Impetus) Defines momentum of the ball carrier at the goal line. Notice the language used by the NFL "ball carrier". This term would include a runner and/or airborne receiver crossing the goal line. Remember that a runner is a player that possesses the ball, whereas an airborne receiver must complete the process of contacting the ground to complete a forward pass (loose ball possession) and establish being a runner.

    If the NFL spotted the ball where Tate (as an Airborne Receiver) completed "going to ground" they would satisfy all of the above rules! However that would mean the Lions scored a TD and the NFL did not want that.

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