Originally Posted by Crushaholic
The end of the Tampa Bay game is a good example. The rule is that a receiver, if pushed out of bounds, has to establish himself, in bounds, before he can touch the ball. He did that. That game SHOULD HAVE gone to OT...
Not what the rule says.
ILLEGAL TOUCHING OF A FORWARD PASS
Article 8 Illegal Touching of a Forward Pass. It is a foul for illegal touching if a forward pass (legal or
illegal), thrown from behind the line of scrimmage:
(a) is first touched intentionally or is caught by an ineligible offensive player; or
(b) first touches or is caught by an eligible receiver who has gone out of bounds, either of his own volition
or by being legally forced out of bounds, and has re-established himself inbounds.
The key bit being that last clause. The rule says that if you go out of bounds you can't be the first to touch the ball, period. The reason the "re-established himself inbounds" is in the rule is that it distinguishes when the penalty occurs. If you go out of bounds and touch the ball without re-establishing in-bounds then the pass is simply incomplete.