Connect with us


Bizarre quirk in fair-catch interference rule hits Titans; Jones ejected for punch



Week 2: Texans at Titans

Back to Nashville we go for a fluke of a play that resulted in an extraordinary penalty. By the rules, it is a correct call.

At the end of the third quarter, the Texans’ Jacoby Jones (who just had narrowly escaped a potential replay reversal on his touchdown a quarter earlier) signaled for a fair catch and muffed the catch (video at 3:00). Jason McCourty was right there to catch the ball right out of the air for the Titans. However, Jones had signaled for a fair catch, and since the ball did not hit the ground, he was still entitled to a fair catch. And since McCourty caught the ball off the rebound, he was flagged for interference with a fair catch, a whopping 15-yard penalty. (Obviously, most cases of fair-catch interference involve defenseless receivers having the lumber laid down on them, so that is the basis for the yardage.)

Later in the fourth quarter, a sideline fracas broke out, in which Jason Jones of the Titans was disqualified after throwing a punch.

Walt Coleman was the referee.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)