When is a catch not a catch? When it’s in an NFL stadium, apparently.
Another New England Patriots game, another question of what constitutes a catch in today’s NFL. The situation: the Buffalo Bills’ Kelvin Benjamin reeled in a pass, stomped down his right foot, and dragged his left toe in the end zone. Touchdown, right?
Not so fast. The NFL reviewed the play and somehow determined that Benjamin was not in full possession of the ball while in bounds, bobbling the ball during the exact microsecond he was dragging his toe.
Here’s the NFL’s explanation:
In #BUFvsNE, when Kelvin Benjamin gains control, his left foot is off the ground. The receiver only has one foot down in bounds with control. Therefore, it is an incomplete pass. -AL
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) December 24, 2017
And here’s the view of the NFL’s former head of officiating:
regarding the Buffalo no touchdown, nothing more irritating to an official than to make a great call and then someone in a suit in an office in New York incorrectly reverses it. It is more and more obvious that there isn't a standard for staying with the call on the field.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) December 24, 2017
LeSean McCoy smelled something foul.
LeSean McCoy says the Bills were “robbed” on Kelvin Benjamin’s overturned TD catch.
“Up here, they always find a way to get it right for the Patriots.” pic.twitter.com/ifGket7t57
— Darren Hartwell (@darren_hartwell) December 24, 2017
Every week brings a new way to microanalyze a catch, and every week half of a given game’s fans want to throw a brick through their televisions. The NFL’s got plenty of problems facing it, but determining what exactly counts as a catch ought to be right up there at the top.
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