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2021 Patriots Season:
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Dec 6th

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RobertWeathers

Author of the Port Huron Statement
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Although I agree with you, I hope Shazier doesn't play again.

And I say this not being a Dick but for his health.

He's been known to lead with his head when tackling. He'd have to change the way he plays. Tough thing to do IMO.
I hear you. I share your sentiment
 

Tunescribe

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Yeah good game. It's easy to critisize the catch rule but there's been an evolution to it and hence it's arrived where it is.

It was common to see receivers grab a ball in the end zone while falling out of the end zone, the juggling with it on the ground while sliding away and coming back with it and get ruled a TD. So they implemented the rule that you have to maintain complete possession all the way to the ground.

Remember when Calvin Johnson's TD was called back. He was falling while catching, then sitting on his bum and his other arm swung around and hit the floor and ball slipped out. He thought it was a TD but he needed to maintain possession all the way to the ground.

Week 1, 2010: Calvin Johnson's miraculous TD catch called back

So it was established that control has to be maintained all the way to the ground when you catch a ball while going to the ground. Then the Bryant controversy where he was going to the ground while catching and then extended to try cross the goal line, and ball popped up on hitting the ground. Since he hadn't completed a catch yet (by maintaining control all the way to the ground) he didn't have possession yet.

Did Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant catch it?

So basically today Jesse James caught the ball while going to the ground and didn't have possession yet when he broke the plane. And ball pops when he hits the ground. So correct overturn. It's not a catch since ball pops when his elbow hits the ground. He didn't maintain control all the way to the ground. Breaking the plane doesn't matter since he doesn't have possession yet.


Tony Corrente's explanation is consistent with my understanding and consistent with previous rulings. There's nothing controversial here.


Blandino and Pereira also confirm. Nothing new here. It's an incompletion.



And here's the official explanation from NFL . Same thing.

It's all very straightforward, cut and dried. The rule makes sense and I'm not just saying that as a Pats fan because of what happened tonight. Lots of loud booing at the end of the game by Steelers fans pelting Patriots players with garbage as they ran into the tunnel.
 

archstanton543

In the Starting Line-Up
It's all very straightforward, cut and dried. The rule makes sense and I'm not just saying that as a Pats fan because of what happened tonight. Lots of loud booing at the end of the game by Steelers fans pelting Patriots players with garbage as they ran into the tunnel.

And it's not like the Pats challenged it. It was a booth review. And, as we all know, the Front Office loves loves loves the Pats. :rolleyes:
 

RobertWeathers

Author of the Port Huron Statement
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Usually there's no deal for them to close. Never happy to see a close game against them given the history. Then again, they did switch up their defense.
True. Not a alot of tight games. Very one sided
 

Bruins29

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
What is amazing is the way the Steelers had been closing out games last min on fluke plays. How many times this year did they do it - and they were an inch from doing it once again tonight.

This win tonight for the Pats was the whole season. Not only does it put them in the drivers seat but it mentally screwed with their biggest AFC rival.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Antonio Brown’s New Live-In Chef
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Congrats on the win in an absolutely crazy game.

My thoughts:

  • For about 60 seconds, the game seemed to play out exactly to my ‘best scenario’ prediction (all the way down to the final 31-27 score ;). Pitt was able to play ball control successfully, and while neither defense really stopped the other, Pitt was able to get just enough pressure to keep TB from completely going off.
  • I thought Pitt pretty much went all-in on the man coverage concept, which was pretty courageous considering their injuries in the secondary (as well as the youth that would be playing). Obviously Brady figured it out by the end of the game (throw at Sean Davis!), but I don’t really have a problem with it even with Gronk shredding it in the 4th quarter. This was a good enough effort to get a W, it just didn’t work out in the end.
  • I’ve never liked the catch rule when it comes to breaking the plane; I’ve always thought it’s a rule that just defies common sense. (I thought this well before the ruling tonight – the CJ and Dez and any number of other big calls in prior years didn’t make much sense either). I was surprised that it was overturned as I didn’t think it was necessarily ‘incontrovertible’ evidence – the ball moved, but I thought his hand remained underneath. BUT - bottom line, this wasn’t where the game was lost IMO – I thought Pitt was fortunate to be down at the goal line to begin with, and that the Steelers really lost it when they simply became too conservative in the prior series. Sort of a classic case of ‘playing not to lose’.
  • By the same token, I didn’t have a problem with Pitt throwing the play after the James catch was overturned – I felt that if Pitt kicked the FG and got to OT, Pitt probably loses. The Pats had the clear momentum. Now obviously the result was awful and the execution left something to be desired for Pittsburgh, but sometimes that’s the way the ball bounces. (In an alternate universe, maybe Pitt intercepts that batted ball on the previous Pats’ series lol)
  • It was hugely disappointing to see AB go out early – Pittsburgh seems snakebit when it comes to keeping all 3 of their ‘triplets’ on the field against the Pats. BUT…that disappointment was eclipsed by the fact that we got to see Shazier up in the booth…hopefully that’s a decent sign that maybe he’ll be able to walk again and lead a normal life, even if he never plays football again.

Anyway, what an amazing game. (I'll probably appreciate it more in a week or two lol).

I’m not sure if we’ll see you all later this year – Pitt has a steeper climb now with the loss and the AB injury – but good luck the rest of the way regardless.

Best wishes for Burkhead – that’s a player I always liked when he was with Cincy, hopefully it will be a case if it looking worse than what it actually is.


lillloyd

Gutsy performance by the Steelers. This reminds me of the way the Red Sox would lose in the most infuriating, nearly impossible ways to the Yankees. The Steelers had the game won (James), and then at least tied, and made some nearly unfathomable mistakes in the game’s most critical time. Hopefully the Steelers won’t exercise their Patriots demons with a similar epic comeback in the postseason! As a Pats fan, I agree, it was unfortunate for football fans to see Brown go out. I hope he heals up.
 

fxmallon

On the Game Day Roster
As to the catch part. I've always thought that if you make a catch near the goal line, esp. a first down catch, that it's dumb football to try to reach to break the plane and risk either a no-catch or a fumble.

You've got at least two more chances to score from the half yard line, so why not focus on securing an official catch. Today's catch was not an egregious example of what I mean but it fits it.

To me this is like running back an interception of a 50 yard 3rd down play and on top of it, parading around about the pick. Better to drive the ball into the turf and wait for a punt. Or how about the late 4th quarter pick which some bloke runs and runs, gets tackled, and fumbles it right back to opponent to give them another final shot.

There are a few corners who might have done this on our final play of today's game. I was so glad to see that knee go down immediately.
 

QuantumMechanic

Burn it all down!
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I totally agree with PIT's decision to go for the win on 3rd down. I'd want NE to do the same thing in that situation.

But like in SB49, while I didn't have a problem with the high-level playcall (i.e. pass), I think the specific pass that was called was a bad idea (and not because of the outcome). Especially since unlike in SB49, PIT didn't need a TD. They could tie with a FG. Can't take the risk over a turnover there and while calling a pass is fine, you can't call something that risky.
 

lillloyd

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I totally agree with PIT's decision to go for the win on 3rd down. I'd want NE to do the same thing in that situation.

But like in SB49, while I didn't have a problem with the high-level playcall (i.e. pass), I think the specific pass that was called was a bad idea (and not because of the outcome). Especially since unlike in SB49, PIT didn't need a TD. They could tie with a FG. Can't take the risk over a turnover there and while calling a pass is fine, you can't call something that risky.
Couldn't agree more.

NE had 'cracked the code' so to speak, both offensively and defensively. I think if the game goes to OT, the Pats win 9 times out of 10. Pitt was down arguably their most critical playmaker on offense, and had no answer for Gronk.

Of course the execution was another matter entirely...
 

lillloyd

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Breaking the plane has nothing to do with it. If he was trying to make a catch at midfield and did the exact same thing, it would be ruled incomplete, if called correctly.
Lots of posts here related to the catch, I'll respond here but really it's to all of them.

First of all my original post wasn't meant to be sour grapes. That play didn't win or lose the game - I thought the Steelers turtled up offensively which hurt them, and of course Brady and Gronk got into a rhythm offensively (and Pitt couldn't make an adjustment). NE made the plays at the end, and Pittsburgh didn't.

Furthermore, I look at ref calls as part of the overall tapestry of good and bad fortune that plays out over time - sometimes the ball will bounce one way, sometimes another, but over a season (or many seasons) things tend to even out. IOW, the refs are part of the game.

So again - my post wasn't meant to suggest Pitt lost because of this ruling. The Pats won a great game, and it's a testament to BB, TB and Gronk's greatness that Pitt basically was out of moves by the end of the game. You guys deserved the win and should be proud...

Now to the rule itself: this is a rule I’ve always disliked. I disliked it on the Dez Bryant non-catch. I disliked it yesterday, but I would have disliked it just as much if it had been the Pats losing a TD on an identical play, or if James’ catch had been ruled a TD in spite of the rule. IMHO this is one of many examples in recent years where the refs and the rulebook have wandered too deeply into actual gameplay, to the detriment of the game.

To be clear: this isn’t the worst rule out there. That distinction goes--hands-down--to the touchback rule on fumbles out of the end zone, which makes my blood boil every time I see it. I also don’t particularly love how PI penalties are levied on jump balls down the field (see: Flacco, Joe). And of course they’ve made an stupefying, incoherent mess of what a catch is generally.

But splitting hairs they way they do with this particular rule (specifically, different standards for runners vs receivers breaking the EZ plane) is not that far down the things I’d love to see changed.

I don’t doubt that they’ve spelled all of these rules out very clearly in the rulebook. But the criticism today isn’t against how clearly they’ve laid out the rule; it’s about net result of the rules themselves, which basically tells fans that something that walks like a duck and talks like a duck, is actually not a duck. If a given rule requires a multi-paragraph explanation from officiating authorities to explain it, maybe it warrants a second look and a course correction. They’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole with some of these things that nominally correct, ‘letter-of-the-law’ rulings often fly in the face of common sense.

To bring this all home - there’s a ton of national chatter today about the game. But it’s less about Gronk’s greatness, or the high level of gameplay, or what a fantastic and dramatic game it was generally….It’s largely about this (non)catch, and this particular rule. This happens far too often (and more to the point, more often than is necessary) in the NFL.

So my comment was more about an ongoing gripe I have with the way the refs seem to be increasingly front and center when it comes to NFL games.

As always, just my $.02...
 

Palm Beach Pats Fan

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
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The thing is, though, the solution that some want to put in place is to "have the ref decide if it passes the eye test and looks like it was a catch". That would put the ref MORE front and center, not less, with more judgement calls to make.

If you want to have instant replay in the game, you need to have well-defined rules to guide the replay review. You can't have a the replay official just say "Well, the head ref said it looks to him like it wasn't a catch, but to me it does look like it was a catch, and so my eye test wins out".

That would be the worst.

Do you declare that a pass receiver is now a runner after getting two feet or a knee down, regardless of what happens to the ball? Think about all the mid-field incompletions that would then be catches and fumbles. It would be awful.

I don't see a simple fix for the rule if we want instant replay in the game.
 

YOUGOTMOSSED

In the Starting Line-Up
Congrats on the win in an absolutely crazy game.

My thoughts:

  • For about 60 seconds, the game seemed to play out exactly to my ‘best scenario’ prediction (all the way down to the final 31-27 score ;). Pitt was able to play ball control successfully, and while neither defense really stopped the other, Pitt was able to get just enough pressure to keep TB from completely going off.
  • I thought Pitt pretty much went all-in on the man coverage concept, which was pretty courageous considering their injuries in the secondary (as well as the youth that would be playing). Obviously Brady figured it out by the end of the game (throw at Sean Davis!), but I don’t really have a problem with it even with Gronk shredding it in the 4th quarter. This was a good enough effort to get a W, it just didn’t work out in the end.
  • I’ve never liked the catch rule when it comes to breaking the plane; I’ve always thought it’s a rule that just defies common sense. (I thought this well before the ruling tonight – the CJ and Dez and any number of other big calls in prior years didn’t make much sense either). I was surprised that it was overturned as I didn’t think it was necessarily ‘incontrovertible’ evidence – the ball moved, but I thought his hand remained underneath. BUT - bottom line, this wasn’t where the game was lost IMO – I thought Pitt was fortunate to be down at the goal line to begin with, and that the Steelers really lost it when they simply became too conservative in the prior series. Sort of a classic case of ‘playing not to lose’.
  • By the same token, I didn’t have a problem with Pitt throwing the play after the James catch was overturned – I felt that if Pitt kicked the FG and got to OT, Pitt probably loses. The Pats had the clear momentum. Now obviously the result was awful and the execution left something to be desired for Pittsburgh, but sometimes that’s the way the ball bounces. (In an alternate universe, maybe Pitt intercepts that batted ball on the previous Pats’ series lol)
  • It was hugely disappointing to see AB go out early – Pittsburgh seems snakebit when it comes to keeping all 3 of their ‘triplets’ on the field against the Pats. BUT…that disappointment was eclipsed by the fact that we got to see Shazier up in the booth…hopefully that’s a decent sign that maybe he’ll be able to walk again and lead a normal life, even if he never plays football again.

Anyway, what an amazing game. (I'll probably appreciate it more in a week or two lol).

I’m not sure if we’ll see you all later this year – Pitt has a steeper climb now with the loss and the AB injury – but good luck the rest of the way regardless.

Best wishes for Burkhead – that’s a player I always liked when he was with Cincy, hopefully it will be a case if it looking worse than what it actually is.


lillloyd

Will you please stop undermining my position that all Steelers fans are drunken maniacs/sore losers!;)

Seriously though, this was an awesome game. You have a great team and the Steelers are a 1st rate organization. I don't resent competition and the Steelers are a most worthy adversary.
 

QuantumMechanic

Burn it all down!
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@Palm Beach Pats Fan - Remember how this all started -- the Bert Emmanuel incident. Before that if it touched the ground at all during a catch it was incomplete, plain and simple. Since people didn't like the result of the Emmanuel call we started on the train that brings us to where we are now. Because once the ball touching the ground doesn't mean an automatic incompletion, you have to define what precise kinds of touching cause an incompletion and which do not.
 

PF_SU

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Now to the rule itself: this is a rule I’ve always disliked. I disliked it on the Dez Bryant non-catch. I disliked it yesterday, but I would have disliked it just as much if it had been the Pats losing a TD on an identical play, or if James’ catch had been ruled a TD in spite of the rule. IMHO this is one of many examples in recent years where the refs and the rulebook have wandered too deeply into actual gameplay, to the detriment of the game.
While I can understand your point I also think you need to consider the alternative. Because the alternative would be refs needing to subjectively assess what considers "secure possession".

Imagine following scenario, a receiver gets a pass thrown to him. He juggles it, then 5 inches before hitting the ground has both hands on it. When he hits the ground the ball gets knocked out of his hands by the ground (he wasn't touched). Is that now a catch-and-fumble, or an incomplete pass? I can guarantee you with 100%, if you get rid of the surviving-the-ground rule you will have half the referees calling that catch-and-fumble and the other half ruling it an incomplete pass. And I tell you, nobody wants to go down that way.
 

lillloyd

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Will you please stop undermining my position that all Steelers fans are drunken maniacs/sore losers!;)

Seriously though, this was an awesome game. You have a great team and the Steelers are a 1st rate organization. I don't resent competition and the Steelers are a most worthy adversary.


Haha ‘sorry not sorry’ to disappoint ;)

I’ll continue to maintain that the lion’s share of fans - from any team - are normal, sane, reasonable people. You just don’t see or hear from them, because not everyone has the time or inclination to post Tolstoy-length game analysis on opposing team forums :)

If we were to “Venn Diagram” this out, you’d see massive circles for both Pats Nation and Steelers Nation fans (or any other fan base for that matter)...and the intersection would barely touch. So when we say “fans of team X are the WORST” we’re really saying “fans of team X, that are on the extreme end of the the very small subset of fans that are outgoing enough/obnoxious enough/troll-worthy enough for us to even detect on the Internet, are the WORST”

I lived in MA for several years and still have friends and family there, so I know that Pats fans aren’t actually the raving lunatics they can sometimes appear to be on gamedays or post-game. (And I say that with great affection, as there is obviously equivalent lunacy on Steelers’ boards ;)

I think (?) if you had a similar experience, you’d feel the same way about Steelers fans...
 

Ring 6

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Good post as usual. Hope to see your team in MA in January. Hope AB is ok and Shazier plays again
I actually hope Shazier doesn’t play again.
I say that because I think that’s what is best for him.
I hope he fully recovers, finds another lucrative career and doesn’t risk having this happen again.
 

Joker

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you can say what you want but...you try to apply that approach asking us to do the same with Jet fans, I'll pay to have you banned.:mad:
 
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