Pereira: Sorry, this call should have been overturned
The NFL doesn't want to change on on-field ruling unless there's glaring evidence, but one play in the Chargers-Broncos game qualifies.
Julius Thomas didn't really complete this catch.
Jack Dempsey / FR42408 AP
By Mike Pereira
It was so cold in the "Ice Cube" here at the Fox Network Center Sunday that I was having flashbacks to the weather in Green Bay last week.
So, it's a good thing there a was a play to look at in the San Diego-Denver AFC Divisional game that the crew had to gather around the replay machine to review. It was almost like we were around a campfire, so it seemed to warm things up a little.
Here was the play in question: Denver had the ball, third-and-2 at the 50-yard line with 14:17 left in the second quarter. Denver led 7-0. Quarterback Peyton Manning dropped back to pass and attempted a throw to Julius Thomas, who was sandwiched in between two San Diego defenders, Donald Butler and Jahleel Addae. As Thomas was going to the ground, it looked like he dropped the ball. But it was ruled on the field that Thomas caught the ball, then fumbled and was recovered by San Diego's Richard Marshall at the San Diego 43-yard line. After a booth review, the call stood.
I not only don't agree with this being ruled a catch and a fumble, I think it was an incomplete pass. The question is, did Thomas get both feet clearly down and then complete the process of the catch before contact was made?
In my opinion, Thomas didn't do that. He was hit at the same time his second foot came down, which means he has to hold onto the ball throughout the entire process of going to the ground. He didn't. The ball came out. Based on that interpretation, which is the interpretation of a catch, it should have been reversed to an incomplete pass.
I understand that the league's view is not to overturn the call on the field unless it's absolutely conclusive that the call was wrong. To me, it was conclusive that it was wrong and should have been reversed to an incomplete pass.