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Old 11-18-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Default SD last touchdown- NFL Rulebook

I am looking at NFL Rules concerning touchdowns, and looking for specific rules that affect the ruling of the play in question. Here is what I found:

Rule 11: Scoring, Section 2 Touchdown, Supplemental Notes #2: The player is attempting to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7

Rule 3: Definitions Section 2 Ball in Play/Dead Ball, Article 7, Catch: A catch is made when a player inbounds secures possession of a pass, kick, or fumble in flight (See 8-1-3).

Note 1: It is a catch if in the process of attempting to catch the ball, a player secures control of the ball prior to the ball touching the ground and that control is maintained after the ball has touched the ground.

Note 2: In the field of play, if a catch of a forward pass has been completed, and there is contact by a defender causing the ball to come loose before the runner is down by contact, it is a fumble, and the ball remains alive. In the end zone, the same action is a touchdown, since the receiver completed the catch beyond the goal line prior to the loss of possession, and the ball is dead when the catch is completed.

It is generally believed that from the media, in order for a touchdown to be considered a touchdown, a player must maintain control of the ball throughout the process, which means, if the receiver is falling to the ground, then the ball must not come out at all as the receiver, and/or the ball comes to the ground. However, from reading this rule, I am not seeing any sort of language that suggests that Calvin Johnson's catch a few years ago should have been ruled incomplete. In fact, if I continue from note one to note two, I am under the impression that if a defender knocks the ball loose while the receiver has control in the endzone, then it should be ruled a touchdown. So, why can not a receiver knock the ball out to make it incomplete, and the ground can knock the ball out and make it incomplete?

The purpose of this thread is to show an honest attempt at finding the rules pertaining to the SD touchdown in question, and NFL touchdown receptions in general. If anyone does not like the topic of this thread, please don't respond. It would be greatly appreciated of people who do participate in this thread to post constructive comments, and even attempt to look through the rule book yourselves. If someone find another section of the rule book pertaining NFL touchdown catches it would be tremendously appreciated!

http://www.nfl.com/rulebook

Must download PDF files to view rulebook.

Last edited by Vine; 11-18-2012 at 08:32 PM..
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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The spread was Denver +7.5. That was a Huge call for a lot of people.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:39 PM   #3
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I think the question is about it being a secured possession when he crossed the goal line. They are saying he had the ball secured in one hand and when that hand and ball crossed the goal line the touchdown was scored and the play was over.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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I think the question is about it being a secured possession when he crossed the goal line. They are saying he had the ball secured in one hand and when that hand and ball crossed the goal line the touchdown was scored and the play was over.
Yep, I have seen this argument made as well. I have questioned whether possession of the ball crossing the plain of the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule, but I have found no such language in the NFL rulebook making this clear.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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Ground cannot cause a fumble. But it can cause an incomplete. That should say the catch was already completed before crossing the goaline. The second that ball crosses the line the play is over. To me it looked like he caught it at the 2-3 yard line. Had no bobble before it crossed.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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Yep, I have seen this argument made as well. I have questioned whether possession of the ball crossing the plain of the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule, but I have found no such language in the NFL rulebook making this clear.
Unless it's a new rule it would be a touchdown the same as in the video

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Old 11-18-2012, 08:52 PM   #7
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I am going to go out on a limb but I wont be surprised if the NFL issues a statement later this week that says it shouldnt have been a touchdown.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pony Boy View Post
Unless it's a new rule it would be a touchdown the same as in the video

apples and oranges. This is all about whether he need to maintain the ball through contacting the ground. I need to see the video again but it didnt look like he established possession to me before being contacted. If so, then he has to maintain possession through falling to the ground.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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As far as I know, the only way that the play in question can be called a catch (and subsequently a TD) is if the referee felt that it was a catch and clear possession before the receivers knee(s) hit the ground where he would be down by contact and the ball had broken the plane so it is a TD. I (and my GF who isn't a broncos fan) were both confused as to how it was ruled a TD. I think is was a blown call, but as I didn't have any money riding on it and we still won it's a no harm no foul thing for me. I can see how some people would be pissed since that call meant the broncos didn't cover.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
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The rule in question is the completed catch rule:

Quote:
Article 3 Completed or Intercepted Pass. A player who makes a catch may advance the ball. A forward pass is complete (by
the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
(c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act
common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an
opponent, etc.).
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.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gyldenlove View Post
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.
It all comes down to wether or not the referee thought the receiver made the catch and then crossed the goal line. I'm going to have to watch the replay again, but it was a really tough call to make.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:49 PM   #12
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyldenlove View Post
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.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
Yep, I have seen this argument made as well. I have questioned whether possession of the ball crossing the plain of the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule, but I have found no such language in the NFL rulebook making this clear.
You, my friend are a moron. The referee explained it clear as day as I said in the other thread.


These are two true statements as the following will prove:

This is what the referee said word for word:

"After review the ruling on the field is confirmed. The receiver had possession of the ball and as a second act, set the ball across the goal line.. Therefore ending the process of the catch. It is a touchdown."


The reason why setting the ball across the goal line with possession ends the process of the catch because IT'S A TOUCHDOWN WHEN THE BALL CROSSES THE GOAL LINE IN POSSESSION OF A PLAYER, thus, MARKING THE PLAY DEAD that very moment.

THis is literally what I've been saying in this whole thread...

again

POSSESSION + CROSSING GOAL LINE = TOUCHDOWN PLAY DEAD.

This is not confusing at all.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:23 PM   #15
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We need a youtube clip posted so we can see if our player played any part of him going to the ground.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You, my friend are a moron. The referee explained it clear as day as I said in the other thread.


These are two true statements as the following will prove:

This is what the referee said word for word:

"After review the ruling on the field is confirmed. The receiver had possession of the ball and as a second act, set the ball across the goal line.. Therefore ending the process of the catch. It is a touchdown."


The reason why setting the ball across the goal line with possession ends the process of the catch because IT'S A TOUCHDOWN WHEN THE BALL CROSSES THE GOAL LINE IN POSSESSION OF A PLAYER, thus, MARKING THE PLAY DEAD that very moment.

THis is literally what I've been saying in this whole thread...

again

POSSESSION + CROSSING GOAL LINE = TOUCHDOWN PLAY DEAD.

This is not confusing at all.
The rulebook and what the referee said are in complete contradiction of each other. Did it ever occur to you that the referee could actually be wrong?
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
The rulebook and what the referee said are in complete contradiction of each other. Did it ever occur to you that the referee could actually be wrong?
the rulebook and the referee are not in contradiction with each other...what are in contradiction are the referee's determination that the catch was completed prior to the ball crossing the goal line, and your wishful thinking that it was not..

Last edited by USMCBladerunner; 11-18-2012 at 10:43 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:48 PM   #18
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the rulebook and the referee are not in contradiction with each other...what are in contradiction are the referee's determination that the catch was completed prior to the ball crossing the goal line, and your wishful thinking that it was not..
Not ever did I question whether the ball was determined to be a catch prior to crossing the goalline I have questioned whether it is a catch as determined by the NFL catch rule (possessing the ball by "completing the process"), which he did not, and I have also questioned whether crossing the plain of the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule (which some on this board claim is true) but I have not seen any language in the NFL rulebook stating that possession of the ball crossing the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:03 PM   #19
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Alexander made the catch outside of the endzone and made a "football move" by extending the ball over the goalline and so it didn't matter if the ball came out when he hit the ground.

i don't like the lack of consistency in what is a catch or not depending on where you are on the field but this is just going by what the rules say.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:05 PM   #20
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Alexander made the catch outside of the endzone and made a "football move" by extending the ball over the goalline and so it didn't matter if the ball came out when he hit the ground.

i don't like the lack of consistency in what is a catch or not depending on where you are on the field but this is just going by what the rules say.
The rules should also have a clause if it's a garbage TD and ****s my Fantasy team, it doesn't count.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
Not ever did I question whether the ball was determined to be a catch prior to crossing the goalline I have questioned whether it is a catch as determined by the NFL catch rule (possessing the ball by "completing the process"), which he did not, and I have also questioned whether crossing the plain of the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule (which some on this board claim is true) but I have not seen any language in the NFL rulebook stating that possession of the ball crossing the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule.
i don't understand the distinction you have in your mind...you ARE questioning whether the catch was made prior to crossing the goal line, because that is the only question that matters... the determination of a completed catch is always based on "completing the process," so what matters here is whether that "process" was complete prior to crossing the goal line or not. If so, TD, if not, incomplete due to ball coming loose upon going to the ground...that determination is exactly what the referees SAID that they made after review. It seems that you disagree with their assessment that the process was complete. That's fine, of course, but I don't understand what you are trying to drive at with the rulebook interpretation.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
Not ever did I question whether the ball was determined to be a catch prior to crossing the goalline I have questioned whether it is a catch as determined by the NFL catch rule (possessing the ball by "completing the process"), which he did not, and I have also questioned whether crossing the plain of the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule (which some on this board claim is true) but I have not seen any language in the NFL rulebook stating that possession of the ball crossing the goalline trumps the NFL catch rule.
this is kind of more of the same, but the reason there isn't any language regarding a possession of the ball crossing the goal line trumping the NFL catch rule is because it isn't necessary...there is only one NFL catch rule and it applies everywhere on the field, to include the end zone...the only thing that affects these sorts of situations is whether or not possession is attained prior to crossing the goal line or after...
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:47 PM   #23
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this is kind of more of the same, but the reason there isn't any language regarding a possession of the ball crossing the goal line trumping the NFL catch rule is because it isn't necessary...there is only one NFL catch rule and it applies everywhere on the field, to include the end zone...the only thing that affects these sorts of situations is whether or not possession is attained prior to crossing the goal line or after...
So, are you saying that he "completed the catch" before crossing the plain of the goalline? If so, then I would agree that if the process of "completing the catch" occurred prior to the receiver crossing the plain of the goalline, then it's a touchdown. However, I still dispute the notion that the process of completing the catch was made prior to the ground causing the ball to jiggle momentarily as the receiver fell down to the ground.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:29 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
So, are you saying that he "completed the catch" before crossing the plain of the goalline? If so, then I would agree that if the process of "completing the catch" occurred prior to the receiver crossing the plain of the goalline, then it's a touchdown. However, I still dispute the notion that the process of completing the catch was made prior to the ground causing the ball to jiggle momentarily as the receiver fell down to the ground.
yes, but i'm not saying it, i'm saying that that is what the ref said...I'm not sure I agree with them either, but that is what they ruled, and it is consistent with the rulebook...it was just a judgement call that went against the Broncos
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:39 AM   #25
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I personally dislike that a player only needs to get the tip of the ball past the goal line for a TD. Too many times I have seen guy strrtching an arm out from the 3 yard line and getting 6. It needs to be changed that the ball and at least head and shoulders in the end zone for TDs. The way it is puts more and less value on areas of the end zone in my opinion. Tip of the ball at the goal line gets a TD but only 1 foot at the back of the end zone or on the sidelines and it is nothing.
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