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2 Packer TDs upheld by replay, barely



Week 13: Packers at Giants

3rd Quarter | 9:59 remaining | Packers 21-17 | Packers ball | 3rd & 9 @ NYG 20 | video

Packers squeaked out a touchdown to pad their third-quarter lead when receiver Greg Jennings caught an Aaron Rodgers pass and immediately dropped the ball. It was ruled a touchdown on the field (back judge Steve Freeman made the call), but was subject to a replay review.

Referee Jeff Triplette correctly upheld the touchdown. While the grip on the ball by Jennings was tenuous at best, it was enough to establish control of the ball with two feet down in the end zone.  The process-of-the-catch rule does not apply, because Jennings was not falling to the ground.

4th Quarter | 3:40 remaining | Packers 28-27 | Packers ball | 2nd & goal @ 7 | video

Did Donald Driver step out of bounds? This was the only angle for review. Credit: NFL/Fox Sports

Donald Driver caught another Rodgers pass when there was a question as to whether Driver stepped out of bounds prior to the catch. Under the rules, a player who goes out of bounds is not eligible to be the first player to touch a pass. The top Fox Sports crew had only one view of Driver’s potential foot-out-of-bounds, but that was a bad angle from the camera at the 50-yard line. Nonethless, Joe Buck, our highly trained announcer who has shown to be an expert in venue maintenance, also professed to be an expert in angular depth of perception by declaring that Driver had not stepped out.

In any case, it would have been a hairline call, but there was no indisputable evidence to overturn, so Triplette allowed the touchdown to stand.

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)