Bears 19, Lions 14. I think the point where everyone is getting tripped up over this Calvin Johnson touchdown debacle is that the referees applied a rule that written for catches made on the sideline. I’m in favor for more rigid criteria when a guy is diving out of bounds and trying to catch a ball when his body is parallel with the earth. But Megatron went straight up for a ball and managed to get two feet and the left side of his ass inbounds before idly leaving the game ball in the end zone. That’s a catch, right?
Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that “if a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact with an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches 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.” –via NBC Chicago.
I’ve watched the damn video on this about 15 times, and I still can’t say definitively that it looked like a catch (why does Johnson decide to even put that ball on the ground at all?) It wasn’t the call that killed the touchdown so much as Calvin Johnson’s understanding of the rule. Granted, it’s a stupid rule, but all he had to do was hang onto the the ball. I’d say it was unfortunate, but all that came out of it was another Detroit Lions loss. Those come around like, once a week or so. Video is after the jump. Watch it and then tell me I’m crazy.