The Denver Broncos will be facing off against the Washington Redskins on Christmas Eve. Perhaps the game will be like the Ghost of Broncos Seasons Future with the potential free agent target of Kirk Cousins playing in the game. But that isn’t the most important aspect of this week. The big question on all Broncos fans minds? What the heck is a catch?
It’s a question that Ian St. Clair and I ventured to tackle on the MHR Radio podcast. The big topic in the NFL today is just what a catch actually is. It is incredible that something that seems so simple can be turned into something so difficult. This obviously comes about from the New England Patriots defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jesse James losing a touchdown to a ludicrous call.
Is @johnelway "scheming" for the #Broncos, & should #BroncosCountry be "excited?" @AdamMalnati16 & I are curious about the prospects on the @MileHighReport Radio Podcast. Also, WTF is a catch?!? https://t.co/Qt9IJXu8XP— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) December 20, 2017
The problem here is that it really should not be that difficult. Imagine hitting a beautiful 300 yard drive. Sitting in the middle of the fairway is a white golf ball, but you aren’t allowed to play it because someone says it might not be your ball. Or a home run in baseball being called a ground rule double because the ball hit an empty seat and bounced back into the field of play.
This does not happen in other sports, but in the NFL it is impossible to know what is a catch. There have been so many suggestions, but the best one comes from Rich Eisen of the NFL Network. With the ball secured and a knee down, once the ball crosses the plane of the goal line it is a catch and a touchdown. Simple.
Look, it’s not tough.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) December 18, 2017
New rule: The ground can not cause an incompletion for untouched receiver who breaks the plane by reaching for goal line with two feet or one knee already down in field of play.
Imagine if that were Demaryius Thomas in a game against the Patriots. Imagine home field advantage being on the line, and this not being called a catch. Broncos fans would lose their minds, and they would be right to do so. No team should have major playoff implications determined by a ridiculous ruling like this.
The inconsistency of these calls is ruining the game. This isn’t a shrinking strike zone, or even the tightening of pass interference calls. This is a basic notion. A catch is obvious to anyone with functioning eyesight. And the problem is not the referees. The problem is the ridiculous rules around something that is basic.
Complete the action... going to the ground... football move... WHO FRICKIN CARES? I honestly believe we’d have less ambiguity if the head ref gets under the hood and says to himself “DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A CATCH TO ME?”— Jacob Tamme (@JacobTamme) December 18, 2017
The best thing the NFL can do in the offseason is review the rule, simplify it, and make sure that everyone knows what a catch is. The fact that we are even discussing this is proof that the league has dropped the ball on this rule.