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Two feet down

October 19, 2009 - Buck Frank

The NFL has to change this stupid rule that a receiver must maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire catch, which apparently lasts while the receiver is rolling on the ground, stands up, does the Lambeau Leap, is congratulated by teammates, runs to the sideline ...

Hines Ward made an unbelievable catch in the end zone Sunday in the Steelers' 27-14 victory over the Browns. He apparently lost control of the ball after he rolled over on the ground after having two feet down in the end zone. It's the kind of catch the NFL should be hoping ESPN highlights on SportsCenter to show just how great the league is. Yet, if ESPN showed it, the highlight came with the added, "but upon further review.'

I realize the rule is there and is being enforced -- the Raiders lost their opener to the Chargers because of it -- but the NFL has to get back to when having two feet down in the end zone with possession of the ball is a touchdown. Remember Butch Johnson's diving touchdown catch in Super Bowl XII for the Cowboys against the Broncos in New Orleans where he maintained possession of the ball for approximately 1 second? The NFL used that highlight for years to promote its product, yet that wouldn't even need further review these days to be ruled an incompletion.

The ground can't cause a fumble, so the ground shouldn't also cause an incompletion. It's just a shame a great catch like Ward's on Sunday is no longer allowed in the NFL.

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