Officials Should Not Have Overturned Jared Cook’s 4th-Quarter Touchdown

Hopefully one day we’ll know what a catch in the NFL really looks like.

Thursday night was just another example of the fact that officials don’t know what they look like and when they actually occur.

When Jared Cook’s game-winning score was overturned near the end the fourth quarter it seemed to make sense – Cook’s backside was down well short of the endzone.

But given that he likely didn’t secure the ball until in the endzone, Cook’s touchdown should not have been overturned. Had the ball not been secured and touched the ground in the endzone, the officials would have ruled it incomplete – therefore if the ball was moving after Cook crossed the goal line, he was still in the process of securing catch.

Here’s the rule as it is written:

“If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”

Based on replay evidence, there’s no way to know where Cook fully secured the catch. It was ruled a touchdown on the field, yet the powers that be saw enough to rule indisputable evidence against the ball moving after Cook crossed the goal line.

CBS showed the play in slow motion and you can see Cook has a weak grip on the ball as enters the endzone.

Could the ball have not moved after Cook’s impact in the endzone? Maybe, but it’s too difficult to tell from video replay and for that reason the officiating crew should have stood by their call on the field – which for once, was correct.

twitter: @raidersbeat


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