Your guess as to what is and is not a touchdown catch in the NFL is as good as mine. On the surface, this short pass that went to Lions receiver Golden Tate doesn’t look like a catch. It looks like Tate got his hands on the ball but never fully had possession, only to have it slip out of his hands and fall into the arms of a Chicago defender.
However, this was ruled a completion and a touchdown after it was reviewed by the game’s officials. Here’s how it was officially scored on ESPN:
(Shotgun) M.Stafford pass short middle intended for G.Tate INTERCEPTED by J.Anderson at CHI 0. Touchback (L.Tomlinson). The Replay Official reviewed the touchback ruling, and the play was REVERSED. (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass short middle to G.Tate for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN. M.Prater extra point is GOOD, Center-D.Muhlbach, Holder-S.Martin
And here is the play from a different angle:
For Tate, he got a 2-yard touchdown reception to put the Lions ahead of the Bears, 21-13. For everyone else, it just makes the definition of what is a catch more and more confusing, especially after the controversial incomplete pass call that stole a touchdown from Devonta Freeman last week.
The NFL’s VP of Officiating, Dean Blandino, went on NFL RedZone to explain the call.