Originally Posted by Action
There's only two things you can discuss on this play -
Did he have possession? Did he cross the goal line?
That is it. The finishing the catch rule doesn't matter because the play ended the moment the ball crossed the goal line, PERIOD.
So, you raise the key question. Did he have possession?
You assert that he did. I believe “by rule” he did not. He had no more possession then the player who left his feet, catches the ball in the air, breaks the plane of the end zone, and then lands out of bounds.
By rule, a player who goes to the ground in the process of making a catch must control the ball through the contact with the ground. Otherwise it’s not a catch and THERE IS NO POSSESSION. It is not different then the example I gave earlier of catching the ball on the fly in the end zone but landing out of bounds. By rule you must get two feet, a knee, etc for it to be a catch. The determination of a catch (and all the elements of that fact) are evaluated first.