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What is a catch in the NFL?

catching a football confusion #wtf

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#1 TallskiWallski83

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:01 PM

Ok so I am still having a hard time grasping how the hell Marquis Goodwins catch was overruled as an incomplete pass. If you watched the NE vs Pitt game today there was a play that occured that makes everything all the more confusing.

The highlight starts at 1:16.
http://www.nfl.com/g...ights&tab=recap


How could Goodwins play get called as an incomplete pass when he maintained full position throughout 95% of of his fall and slide, while Ridley caught a ball..made no football move, had the ball knocked out of his hands...and somehow its ruled a fumble.

Throw in Calvin Johnsons one handed catch that got knocked down as he falls to the ground seen here: nd I ask myself...what the hell is a "catch" in the NFL???!?! Sometimes i feel like the refs dont even know...

which leads me to conclude that if it looks like a catch to the fans at home watching on tv...it probably is...or isnt.

#2 bbb

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:11 PM

My question about that is why is when the closest guy makes a call (he said complete) and then the further away guy says no such and such happened, they always defer to the further away guy??

#3 billsfan714

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:15 PM

The thing about that catch is he got tackled came down with the ball, bounced off the turf, still had the ball and then it got knocked out.    I have no idea what all the way to the ground means anymore if that was upheld on replay.

#4 run dat back

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:18 PM

This whole "catch/not a catch" thing is the biggest thing that turns me off of watching football.

Second is the constant flags on every other play.

#5 peterpan

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:21 PM

I have no idea.  The NFL seems to think that if a ball shifts around a little bit that its magically not a catch.  How did the ball get  plucked from the air and remain in his hands for 100% of the time afterwards without him loosing it then?  If it bounced off the ground, out of his hands, and he had to re-catch it, then sure - incomplete.  But he never lost it!!!!!  If he was palming the ball, and it hit the ground, and his pinky finger slips off, the NFL thinks its not a catch.

Only in the NFL's cockamamie rulebook is that not considered a catch.  In every of walk of life - that is indisputably a catch.

And the catch-fumble of Goodwins, do you know how many times it is called the opposite way?  It happened to us earlier this year - Searcy I think caused the fumble or picked it up.  It was the EXACT same play - but ruled incomplete.  I remember a game against GB years ago where Ahman Green caught the ball, switched hands, stiff armed, and it was still called incomplete.

The NFL seriously needs to re-write there 'what defines a catch' rule because honestly it is total and complete BS.

And while I am on it - how about that phantom block in the back call!!! On the jumbotron, it looked like the guy dove to make a tackle, and he didn't get pushed at all.  He didn't even fall over until after he missed the tackle

Edited by peterpan, 03 November 2013 - 10:25 PM.


#6 PO'14

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:21 PM

  One thing I do know,,,this is not a catch and todays wasn't either...I DONT KNOW ANYTHING ANYMORE!

#7 NoSaint

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:25 PM

View Postbbb, on 03 November 2013 - 10:11 PM, said:

My question about that is why is when the closest guy makes a call (he said complete) and then the further away guy says no such and such happened, they always defer to the further away guy??

I think because the further guy is unlikely to chime in unless he thinks he sees something definitive. Especially if the closest rules catch, it seems logical that at a different angle a guy could see a bobble and chime in only in that case.

View Postpeterpan, on 03 November 2013 - 10:21 PM, said:

I have no idea.  The NFL seems to think that if a ball shifts around a little bit that its magically not a catch.  How did the ball get  plucked from the air and remain in his hands for 100% of the time afterwards without him loosing it then?

And the catch-fumble of Goodwins, do you know how many times it is called the opposite way?  It happened to us earlier this year - Searcy I think cause the fumble or picked it up.  It was the EXACT same play - but ruled incomplete.  I remember a game against GB years ago where Ahman Green caught the ball, switched hands, stiff armed, and it was still called incomplete.

The NFL seriously needs to re-write there 'what defines a catch' rule because honestly it is total and complete BS.

I think many don't understand how incredibly hard it is to write a "simple" rule on catches. You have just an infinite number of contingencies it has to cover. I think you'd be hardpressed to find a harder split second action to define across any sport due to the wide range of actions/reactions/motions/etc... it has to cover.

This thread happens regularly, yet no one has an answer to "ok, so what should it be?"

Edited by NoSaint, 03 November 2013 - 10:26 PM.


#8 bbb

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:26 PM

View PostNoSaint, on 03 November 2013 - 10:25 PM, said:

I think because the further guy is unlikely to chime in unless he thinks he sees something definitive. Especially if the closest rules catch, it seems logical that at a different angle a guy could see a bobble and chime in only in that case.



I think many don't understand how incredibly hard it is to write a "simple" rule on catches. You have just an infinite number of contingencies it has to cover. I think you'd be hardpressed to find a harder split second action to define across any sport due to the wide range of actions/reactions/motions/etc... it has to cover.

You're probably right..........But, if the roles were reversed today, they would have upheld the catch and not reversed that either............And, I'd like once for Ref #1 to say buzz off, I know what I saw!

#9 BuffOrange

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:36 PM

"Well the fans are boo'ing but [completion of process buzzwords, blah blah]".

OK be more condescending Deirdorf, as if every red blooded football fan doesn't remember that Calvin Johnson play & the explanation.  I would like to ask him if he remembers the Lance Moore 2pt conversion in the Super Bowl that same year, which was ruled a catch.  I'm sure he doesn't.

As mentioned above and by Marrone, it sure looked like he still had the ball after the first bounce off the turf, which in my book is "completing the proccess".  But I guess it's sorta like holding - it's just insanely subjective even though the league will pretend otherwise.  I mean does it actually say anywhere in the rule book exactly how long you need to hold the ball after hitting the ground?  Did the Tuck rule ever specify how long you needed to complete the tucking motion before fumbling for the fumble to be negated?
I mean sorry for the Mike Schopp rant but he's right that the sport is maddeningly stupid sometimes.

#10 Dean Cain

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:40 PM

That catch is a catch for a more important team in the NFL. When you are irrelevant you don't get that call.

#11 djp14150

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:45 PM

This was a catch if you need to be consistent throughout the league.   If this wasnt a catch then TJs fumble wasnt a catch.

#12 muffmonster

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:55 PM

View Postdjp14150, on 03 November 2013 - 10:45 PM, said:

This was a catch if you need to be consistent throughout the league.   If this wasnt a catch then TJs fumble wasnt a catch.

That one confused me more that it wasn't sent to the booth.  Not worth another look?  As noted by the OP that is the exact same play in the Baltimore game right before halftime that was ruled incomplete.

#13 Alphadawg7

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:01 PM

It was NOT a catch.  At no point did he have full control of the ball.  The ball was moving and not controlled all the way til the end where it popped out.  You guys want to use a frame by frame analysis, but the ball never stopped moving.  He did not demonstrate control of the ball at any point as it was loose the whole way through.

What I find interesting is that if that was a chiefs player all of you would be freaking out screaming it's not a catch of it had been ruled a catch.  The refs got this one right

Edited by Alphadawg7, 03 November 2013 - 11:03 PM.


#14 Dean Cain

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:02 PM

View Postmuffmonster, on 03 November 2013 - 10:55 PM, said:



That one confused me more that it wasn't sent to the booth.  Not worth another look?  As noted by the OP that is the exact same play in the Baltimore game right before halftime that was ruled incomplete.

As noted earlier the smaller market team always gets screwed.

#15 thebug

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:04 PM

View PostAlphadawg7, on 03 November 2013 - 11:01 PM, said:

It was NOT a catch.  At no point did he have full control of the ball.  The ball was moving and not controlled all the way til the end where it popped out.  You guys want to use a frame by frame analysis, but the ball never stopped moving.  He did not demonstrate control of the ball at any point as it was loose the whole way through
Yes it did....watch again. Tony Dungy said the play was over when the defender knocked it out. I agree with him.

#16 Alphadawg7

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:06 PM

View Postthebug, on 03 November 2013 - 11:04 PM, said:


Yes it did....watch again. Tony Dungy said the play was over when the defender knocked it out. I agree with him.

No it did not.  Watching in slow motion warps the perception.  He did not have it stop moving at all, watched it many times.  I agree with the call given it was ruled incomplete on the field and the ball was moving and came out.

I would bet everything I have in life and will ever have that if that was a chiefs player and it was ruled a catch, every single one of you would be freaking out about how we got screwed and it was not a catch.

Edited by Alphadawg7, 03 November 2013 - 11:09 PM.


#17 NoSaint

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:12 PM

View Postthebug, on 03 November 2013 - 11:04 PM, said:


Yes it did....watch again. Tony Dungy said the play was over when the defender knocked it out. I agree with him.

It's real close, and a judgement call with regards to when Goodwin completes his fall. While I agreed that it was complete (under the question "at what point can a defender no longer make a play to knock a ball out?")

Honestly, I'd be curious if there's some sort of example in the rule book with regards to controlling through the fall. Does it end when he stops moving/starts to get up (whichever comes first) or what. I've heard the terminology before but not the textbook for of goals as this is about as late as I've seen the ball come out. Normally it's the initial contact with the ground that jars it.

Edited by NoSaint, 03 November 2013 - 11:13 PM.


#18 thebug

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:12 PM

View PostAlphadawg7, on 03 November 2013 - 11:06 PM, said:

No it did not.  Watching in slow motion warps the perception.  He did not have it stop moving at all, watched it many times.  I agree with the call given it was ruled incomplete on the field and the ball was moving and came out.

I would bet everything I have in life and will ever have that if that was a chiefs player and it was ruled a catch, every single one of you would be freaking out about how we got screwed and it was not a catch.
Wow I must have watched a different video than you 20+ times then.

#19 hondo in seattle

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:17 PM

He had control when he hit the ground and at that point he was down by contract: play over.  What happened after the play was over shouldn't matter.  That was a catch.

#20 thebug

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:21 PM

View Posthondo in seattle, on 03 November 2013 - 11:17 PM, said:

He had control when he hit the ground and at that point he was down by contract: play over.  What happened after the play was over shouldn't matter.  That was a catch.
That's what dungy said as well. Different than if he was going to ground own his own.

Edited by thebug, 03 November 2013 - 11:22 PM.