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Seahawks catch curiously upheld



week9Week 9: Buccaneers at Seahawks

A five-yard completion to Ricardo Lockette at the end of the third quarter was challenged by Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano for what appeared to be a fairly pedestrian overturn. On the play, it appeared that Lockette was able to complete to process of the catch aided by the ground.

This clearly appears to be the case, as Lockette does momentarily lose his grip on the ball after the ball touches the ground. Had the ball contacted the ground, but Lockette maintained a continuous firm grip on the ball, this could be ruled incomplete. Also, there is clearly no evidence that Lockette’s fingers were underneath the ball.

The use of the word clearly here is deliberate. The evidence must be indisputable, and in this case, there does not seem to be anything to confirm the call. It should have been ruled incomplete.

Referee Mike Carey upheld the call, but it should have been ruled incomplete. I spoke with former supervisor Jim Daopoulos about the call, and he agreed that the call should have been reversed.

Update (10:45 p.m. ET): I also spoke to Larry Upson, a former NFL supervisor who, with Daopoulos, provides commentary for the Football Zebras Roundtable. His analysis via e-mail:

In reviewing this play I see no reason why this call wasn’t reversed to an incomplete pass.  It appears to me that the ball clearly moves after making contact with the ground. The receiver is struggling to gain possession of the football as it lays on his stomach.

Reaction from the Twitters:

That is from the Seattle media


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)