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NFL Catch Rule Helps Out Lions Against Eagles

Putting the ball on the ground before completing the process of making a catch cost the Detroit Lions a game-winning touchdown by Calvin Johnson last Sunday against the Chicago Bears. But in the Lions’ Week 2 match-up with the Philadelphia Eagles, the strict interpretation of the catch rule came back to help Detroit.

In the first quarter of Sunday’s game, Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson made a leaping catch on a long pass from Michael Vick. However, the football popped loose when Jackson fell to the ground. Initially, the play was ruled a complete pass. As you might expect, that incensed Lions coach Jim Schwartz.

From Pro Football Talk:

The officials on the field ruled it a complete pass, and Lions coach Jim Schwartz went crazy on the sideline, wondering how Jackson could get a catch when he didn’t hold onto the ball while going to the ground.

Schwartz threw his challenge flag, and after a lengthy instant replay delay, the referee overturned the ruling and said it was an incomplete pass.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander? The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

Well, maybe something like that. However you want to put it, the same rule that robbed the Lions last week helped them this week. But it remains to be seen whether strict interpretation of the catch rule will give the Lions a win it took away last Sunday in Chicago.