If I may, let me point out something as an objective observer who watched this game and this call with great interest. I am neither a Steelers fan nor a Ravens fan, but I did have the Ravens with high confidence in my NFL pool for this game, so I should have been upset about the call for the Steelers, but I am not at all upset about it and will explain why:
Many years ago I noticed something but never saw it discussed on any blogs or anywhere online, but to me it has always been interesting and for years I was waiting for a play just like this one to clarify it:
The NFL apparently has 2 distinct rules for what constitutes a Touchdown - not 1 but 2 rules covering different types of plays.
(a) when a player is running a ball (or jumping as the case may be) all he needs to do is get the nose of the ball to touch the invisible plane of the endzone for a split second, while maintaining control of the ball, and that is a touchdown by the NFL rules.
(b) when a player is in the endzone and catches a forward pass, this is covered by a different NFL rule. Though I cannot honestly say I have ever heard this clarification from NFL officials, this is apparent for the following reason. I have seen hundreds of NFL TD passes caught in the endzone, ruled touchdowns when the ball NEVER broke the "plane" of the endzone while in possession of a player. Most often these are catches just off the sideline or at the back of the endzone where the receiver stretches out, catches the ball, maintains control of the ball with both feet on the ground in the endzone, but where the ball never is inside the imaginary planes of the endzone. We have all seen these TD catches, and NEVER is their any discussion on those cases of whether or not the ball broke the plane. In those cases all the NFL officials are trying to determine is whether or not he had both feet inbounds on the ground while maintaining possession of the ball in his hands.
I always wanted clarification on that because it is a very interesting thing that the NFL appears to have 2 completely distinct rules regarding what constitutes a Touchdown: 1 covering runners, the other covering receivers who catch a pass in the endzone. I never could understand why this was not talked about, but now with this play (because it happend at the front of the endzone and was at a crucial moment, and my have decided the game) it will surely be discussed in great detail and hopefully clarified once and for all by the NFL officials.
· 1 decade ago