written by RJ Wallace
edited by Michael Scully
As you all know by now, article 3, item 5 says: Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.
Looking at the ESPN highlight you might be unsure. Here’s the best image they showed of it:
I don’t know how the play last night should have gone. However, watching it again, there is never a time that Tate let go of the ball. Look, the back view shows Tate’s hand (that neon green glove under all the green and yellow) is clearly on the ball, ironically, it’s right underneath Jennings hand.
I would call that simultaneous possession. Also, it does not look like Jennings gained control first, if anything, on the way down, he pulled it to his body and away from Tate. The rule says nothing about a player having more of the simultaneous possession than another player.
So I don’t have a problem with the refs calling that a catch, and therefore a touchdown. I wouldn’t have a problem with them calling it a pick either because the rule is not clear enough for human error. The video booth officials are unable to review a simultaneous in the current rules.
And yes Tate did push off, but no official, replacement or not is going to call that. Don’t forget about the missed pass interference on the packers a few plays earlier. The calls go both ways. They are not one sided which is how the games seemed to be with the regular officials.
*UPDATE* ESPN reports that the NFL upholds the Seahawks Victory. Their statement is almost the same we released earlier stating Tate did push off, and that once ruled a reception; simultaneous possession is not reviewable. The play was reviewed by the NFL, and the NFL stands by its substitute refs saying no indisputable evidence to overturn the reception existed for the replay booth.
The truth is, green bay let Seattle win. One first down would have put the pack in the victory formation. Maybe Jennings shouldn’t have tried to up his interception total and knock the ball down like all DB’s are taught to do in that situation. If he had so much “more simultaneous possession,” he surely could have knocked the ball away.
Even though Jon Gruden’s hate for the replacement referees has now grown larger than John Madden’s love for Brett Favre, my thoughts stay the same. The new referees are bad and the old referees are also bad.
Madden Loves Favre