Rule Applied Correctly – “Ball is Clearly Uncatchable by Involved Players.”

By on November 19, 2013

Tom Brady drops F-Bomb on ESPN (photo USA Today Sports / Jeremy Brevard)


As crazy as the play was last night in Charlotte that ended the Monday Night Football game, the correct rule was applied.   The NFL pass interference rule clearly states the ball has to be catchable.    Now in most cases, yes the ball that is uncatchable is an overthrow.    If other cases it is clearly under-thrown, and in few cases, like the one last night,  they are intercepted. Some are even batted down at the line of scrimmage.  A classic case studied to be looked at for years in the case study handbook.  A very bizarre play, that I agree at initial glance looks like an advantage for the defending team.  But you have to apply the rule.

The rule clearly states  “Contact that would normally be considered pass interference, but the ball is clearly uncatchable by involved players.”  Now that is the way the rule reads, does not say how the pass is uncatchable.  Like above… under-thrown, over-thrown, intercepted, hit by a bird, tornado, snow, tree branch, ok enough facetiousness.   This ball was clearly uncatchable by the reciever because the defensive player underneath intercepted the ball. There is no way the receiver AKA GRONK, could have gone through two defender and made that a catchable ball.  The ball never got there, does not matter how, it just didn’t.  There is no way that ball could have been catch by the receiver.  The pass was just bad and intercepted.  If you look at this objectively, hard to Bean-towners, I know.  But this is easy after breaking it down.

Ah now, if the under defensive player was not there and the ball continued towards receiver, AKA GRONK then it would been a clear advantage gained.  The back judge threw the flag with out seeing the pick so in his mind is was correct.  The crew came it and let him know there was no way the ball would have gotten there.

I did not write the rule, I am just interpreting it.  Basically this is an argument of judgement not rule, if you think the ball was catchable by the receiver I suggest an eye exam, sorry.

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