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NFL Open Thread: Christmas Eve Edition

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It’s going to be hard to top the excitement of another grinding Ravens win over an atrocious team and latest demonstration that Mike McCarthy – Aaron Rodgers = Charlie Weis, but we’ll see!

To preface any discussion of the catch rule after last Sunday, it might be worth making a few points:

  • The Steelers weren’t the victims of a bad call. The call was, under the rules, correct. James knew what he had to do to complete the TD catch. He didn’t.
  • The Steelers left a Hall of Fame tight end open multiple times on the drive that allowed the Pats to score the go-ahead TD and crucial 2-point convert. The Patriots might have scored anyway — Brady might have connected with his inferior options or Gronk may have made great catches on contested plays — but the Steelers pretty much waved the Matador’s cape.
  • The Jones non-catch was first and goal. After that, Roethlesberger made an ill-advised throw to a receiver well from the goal line and well into the field of play with the Patriots’s best corner right in front of him. Then, not initially realizing he couldn’t spike the ball on 3rd down without giving up a chance at a game-winning TD, he hastily called a play with a fake spike, and even though the Pats predictably failed to bite on the fake he panicked and threw the ball into a sea of white jerseys, with predictable results.

So the Yinzer whining is misplaced; as is so often the case Team Trump won because their coaching staff and players made better decisions at crucial times, not the refs.

Still, the catch rule is stupid, and the first two suggestions here would be good means to fix it. I agree with Barnwell that the idea that we have to have a tortured catch rule to prevent more fumbles is silly — why? Fumbles are exciting! Why should players who fail to make catches get bailed out, or defenders who make great plays not get rewarded? It makes no sense. It should be fixed, and it probably will.

 

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