Originally Posted by gyldenlove
The rule in question is the completed catch rule:
The section to pay attention to is C, the ruling is that he gained possession of the ball and maintained possession for long enough to advance it prior to breaking the plane of the end zone, this means soon as the tip of the ball cross the plane the play is over and anything that happens subsequently is irrelevant.
As for the common misconception that the ground can not cause a fumble that is an utter fabrication caused by TV commentators with insufficient knowledge of the rules of the game. If a player has possession of the ball and he goes to the ground in the field of play and contact between the ground and the players hand or the ground and the ball prior to the player being down by contact causes the ball to come lose it is a fumble.
Thanks for posting this rule. I dont think anyone is saying ground caused the fumble. Its all about whether or not he established possession before being contacted.
When a player (or players) is going to the ground in the attempt to catch a pass, Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 states:
Player Going to the Ground. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting 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.
So he had to have been ruled to catch caught it before he started to go the ground.