For the second week in a row, there was a controversial officiating call in the fourth quarter of a playoff game involving the Dallas Cowboys. The question was whether or not Dez Bryant's catch on fourth down was a completion or not. The call on a field was that it was a catch, but replay review overturned the call, thus awarding the ball (and the game) to the Packers on downs. SB Nation covered the play and the explanation of the rule here.
My feeling is that it is unfortunate that such a great effort cannot be a catch, but that based on the rule book, the officials made the right call in calling this an incomplete pass. When a receiver is going to the ground, it does not matter how many steps they took or whether their elbow or knee touched the ground. All that matters is this:
- Did the ball touch the ground as the receiver was going down? Yes.
- If the ball remained firm in the receivers grasp as it touches the ground, it is still a catch. If the ball moves as it touches the ground, it is not a catch. The ball moved, so it's an incomplete pass.
Several players associated with the Browns commented on the play:
Dez caught the ball then tried 2 reach it across the goal line. He has every reason 2 b upset!— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) January 11, 2015
I just like 2 call it how I c it! @DezBryant already caught the ball then tried 2 stretch it across the goal line. I could care less who won— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) January 11, 2015
Post game presser w #DezBryant is going to be uneventful.— Spencer Lanning (@LanningSpencer) January 11, 2015
Now everyone gonna be posting pictures with Rodgers paying off refs #neweek— Tank Carder (@tankcarder) January 11, 2015
Wow!!!!! Calvin Johnson rule— Craig Robertson (@C__Robertson) January 11, 2015
Tough but I think that's a good call— Jason Pinkston (@JasonPinkstonOL) January 11, 2015
Good call, bad rule.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 11, 2015
What do you think, Browns fans? Based on your feeling of the rule, should this have been a catch or an incomplete pass?