We have finally reached the peak of the infamous “Catch Rule,” and it is the most confusing, weird place we can ever venture to.
It’s official: We have now reached the center of the “Catch Rule” universe; it’s a weird and confusing place.
Our venture into this unordinary football universe was the catch and fumble of Chicago Bears wide reiver Anthony Miller, which was quickly blown dead by the ref as an incomplete pass.
Only to turn out that it wasn’t.
Even worse, no one on the Eagles bothered to pick up the fumble because — wait for it — the play was already blown dead as an incomplete pass.
It was a mind-boggling play that no one had ever witnessed, and many fans are, rightfully, perplexed by the peak of the “Catch Rule,” which maintains that if a receiver catches, takes three steps, and maintains control of the ball, it’s considered a football move and a completed catch.
When watched on replay, that’s what Miller did. Take a look at the video below:
Bears quarterback Mitchell Turbisky perfectly landed that ball into the hands of Miller, but Eagles safety Cre’von LeBlanc was also in a perfect position to break up the pass. Miller hauled that pass in and took three steps forward, which, under the “Catch Rule” is considered a “football move,” therefore, it was a completes pass.
LeBlanc was successful in jarring the ball loose from Miller before he hit the ground, but the official saw it as an incomplete pass and blew the play dead as an incomplete pass. Maybe that was why no Eagles player bothered to go and recover the ball.
The play went under review, and it was determined that Miller had, indeed, made a catch and a football move, thus, he fumbled the ball. But the call on the field stood as an incomplete because no Eagles player recovered the ball, even though it was considered a fumble.
This, my friends, is why referees should stop blowing plays dead early, and why the NFL needs to clarify, again, the infamous “Catch Rule.”