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Question about the overturned fumble?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patters, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the second quarter, Rivers connected with Gates at the two yard line, and Hobbs caused an apparent fumble, which Vrabel recovered. Schottenheimer challenged the ruling on the field and won. The play was ruled an incomplete pass (and the Chargers got a TD a few plays later). But, when I saw the replay it most certainly looked like a fumble.

    While I think the refs were pretty even handed in this game, their decision to overturn the fumble really surprised me. Any idea what evidence the refs had to overturn the ruling on the field?
  2. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Rookie

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    The camera angle from the rear corner of the end zone revealed that Gates never had possession of the ball when he hit the ground. By rule he had to maintain possession as he hit the ground. Great play by Hobbs though...goosed him pretty good!
  3. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    To me, it looked like he controlled it when his feet hit the ground and was beginning to turn (ever sol slightly) to stretch the ball over the goal line when the ball came out. IMO turning like that was a "football move" as they say and it should have been ruled a fumble.
  4. Return of the Nizz

    Return of the Nizz Rookie

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    You have to maintain possession the whole time and he didn't. Pretty easy call.
  5. rainmaker

    rainmaker Rookie

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    Thought the uncontested incomplete pass on the 1st Chargers series was closer to a fumble. I forget which Charger WR fumbled it.
  6. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ Rookie

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    This has come up a number of times this year. The rule is this -- if you're engaged with a defender simultaenously or nearly simultaneously when you make a catch, you need to maintain possession through the ground. If you are alone when you make the catch, you need only make a "football move." This is why Troy Brown's strip was indeed fumble -- when the ball was inercepted, the player was untouched and so once he made a "football move" he established possession. If he had been engaged during the catch, he would have had to keep it all the way to the ground. (The rules for "interceptions" and offensive player catches are the same.)
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
  7. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for the explanation, PatsFaninAZ. You explained it far better than I was trying to. :)
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
  8. buile

    buile PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    > Thought the uncontested incomplete pass on the 1st Chargers series
    > was closer to a fumble.

    Agreed. That guy came down with the ball with both feet while not engaged with a defender. He turned, got hit, and lost the ball.

    Regarding the goal line pass, the receiver was engaged with a defender as he caught the ball; the rule there is the receiver has to maintain control of the ball all the way down to the ground or it is an incomplete pass.
  9. denverpatsfan

    denverpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Double agree. Yet another fumble that was ruled an incomplete pass. I am still ticked off about the Carolina catch & fumble in the Super Bowl that would have broken the game wide open. That was a catch and fumble in the 1st quarter yesterday that was missed.

    Overall though I can't complain too much about the officiating yesterday. For the most part they let them play.
  10. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Rookie

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    Good explanation.

    This play has indeed come up a few times this year -- a notable example being in the Pats/Vikings game on Monday night. In the 3rd quarter, on 3rd and 3, Johnson threw a pass to Wiggins who caught it, was hit in the air (I think by Chad Scott, IIRC), came down, took three steps with the DB on his back, before having the ball stripped and land out of bounds.

    The Vikings challenged the ruling, but the play was upheld. The problem was that Joe Theisman spent 15 minutes shrieking about how bad a call it was, how shameful it was that the refs could make that call because Wiggins clearly had two feet down before fumbling.

    What he fails to understand is that Wiggins could have dragged the defensive back 50 yards into the endzone, and if he falls to the ground, and fumbles, it will be ruled an incompletion -- when you're engaged with a defended, you need to possess the ball throughout the catch. Two feet down are necessary, but not sufficient, coefficients of a catch.

    Jim Nantz, during the PAT after Tomlinson scored, actually explained the rule fairly well, and was even decent enough to give credit to his research team for the information.

    God forbid anybody at ESPN make Theisman admit he was wrong.
  11. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Okay, so this hinges on being "engaged with the defender..." during the catch itself... I know I was on my feet and pretty vocal on this play.

    Patters, good preamble on the question. I think the game was pretty evenly called too, and hate hearing "The league/The Refs/etc. want my team to lose." So kudos for not framing it that way.

    PFnV

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