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The Challenge in the NFC Championship Game

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In the NFC Championship Game an ATL player caught a pass with two hands and went to the ground. When the ball hit the ground it moved in his hands but his hands remained on the ball. It was ruled a catch on the field and the play stood upon review.

I want to cover this from two angles.

First, I thought the refs blew the call even with replay. If that is the correct rule then i disagree with the rule. The ground clearly moved the ball. He clearly did not have a firm grip on the football. The offense has the advantage in virtually every situation and now we are stretching the boundaries of what qualifies as a catch.

Second, I was impressed that Harbaugh and his staff were on the ball ready to pull the trigger on a red flag. Matt Ryan was hurrying his team up to the line to get a play off and they made a quick decision to risk a timeout late in a close game for an important 3rd down reception.

I asked myself if Ron Rivera and his staff would have been prepared to make the challenge in a hectic situation while also setting their defense in case the opponent got the play off? I believe it was the Seahawks game where J Stew caught a ball for a first down then fumbled it backwards and recovered it out of bounds short of the line to gain. By rule if the ball is recovered out of bounds it is returned to the spot of the fumble which would have been a first down but the ball was spotted for 4th down and we punted. I was screaming at my TV challenge the call and we just punted it away....These are the little things that Rivera fails miserably at. He's ok at running a defense and letting the offense do it's thing but these game management decisions have been appalling. Hopefully he can correct those because he would honestly be a decent Head Coach without those errors.

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The refs have been blowing calls all year. With that said, it was initially ruled a catch and needed clear cut evidence to overturn it. It bobbled but that left hand had a grip on it.

Harbaugh's reaction to it was hilarious, though.

Hooray for emotion!

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Well the head replay guy said it was right. I agree with him more than you, a fan.

He's not the head replay guy. He works for fox. He's a retired official. Somehow I doubt you agree with anyone. If that is the correct ruling then they need to change the ruling because that didn't smell right. We football fans, coaches, and players that have known the game have seen it evolve from Bert Emanual being ruled incomplete merely for touching the ground to that guy completing a catch while the the ground moves the ball from his hands to his waist.

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