Alshon Jeffery had himself some game in Minnesota, including what could be the catch of the year.
The Chicago wide receiver had more than 230 yards receiving and two touchdowns through three quarters against the Vikings and finished with 249 yards. But the catch I’m talking about didn’t come without some controversy.
Here was the situation: Chicago had the ball, third-and-14 at the Minnesota 46-yard line with 5:25 left in the third quarter. Chicago led 13-10. Bears quarterback Josh McCown threw a long pass, which Jeffery made an acrobatic catch on at the 2-yard line and fell into the end zone for a touchdown with Minnesota defender Chris Cook draped all over him.
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It was an incredible catch and great call by side judge Laird Hayes. Jeffery got control of the ball at the 2-yard line, came down with his left foot in bounds, then his right foot to complete the second part of the catch. Then in going to the ground, he maintained control of the ball, even as Cook tried to pry it out of his hands.
It wasn’t an automatic ejection, it’s up to the discretion of the official to make that decision. Hayes ejected him and that stood up. But make no mistake, this was an intentional shove by Cook.
WHAT’S THE DEAL?
I’m confused by a few of the replay officials here in Week 13. But I’ve been that way since I saw them scraping my face off of one of the billboards last Sunday when I was pulling into the FOX lot.
I’ve seen two already Sunday that baffle me — this one took place in the Chicago-Minnesota game.
Here was the situation: Chicago had the ball, second-and-10 at its own 47-yard line with 30 seconds left in the second quarter. Minnesota led 7-6. Bears quarterback Josh McCown completed an 11-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery, who went airborne to catch the ball and it was spotted at the Minnesota 42-yard line. Jeffery was being defended on the play by Xavier Rhodes who made contact with Jeffery at the 43 while he was still in the air and pushed him back to the 44-yard line. After a review, the replay official reversed the spot from the Minnesota 42-yard line to the Minnesota 44-yard, making it third down and 1 instead of a first down.
Yet another replay fiasco in my opinion and we’ve seen quite a few this year.
The rule is, that an airborne receiver gets the forward-most point of where he is when he is touched by a defender, regardless of whether he is going forward or backward, which in this case Jeffery was the 44-yard line and the call should have remained a first down as it was called on the field. Period.
It has nothing to do with completing the catch, which means getting both feet back on the ball.
Airborne, with control, you get the furthest most upfield point that you are at when you are touched by a defender. Reversing this and making it short of a first down and creating a potential for a 10-second run off is just not correct.
MISSING ONE IN PHILLY
There was no defending the replay official on a defensive play early in the Arizona-Philadelphia game
Here was the situation: Arizona had the ball, first-and-10 at the Philadelphia 39-yard line with 9:31 left in the first quarter. Philadelphia led 7-0. Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer attempted a pass that was intended for Michael Floyd that was intercepted by Nate Allen. Allen went to the ground after making the interception and then got up and returned the ball 43 yards to the Philadelphia 48-yard line.
This is the type of mistake that can’t happen. The replay official had to stop this play and take a look at it.
The rule is, that if the defender controls the ball and then is touched after getting control, he is down by contact after going to the ground.
That was the case here. This was a 45-yard mistake that replay should have been involved in. I can understand why it wasn’t called on the field, but in fact, that’s why there is replay and the replay official had to do his job and clearly didn’t here.