Some people were predicting a breakout season for the Detroit Lions this year and maybe even a playoff appearance. I was expecting a turnaround for the Lions too, and getting a road win over the Bears in week one would have been an excellent start to the season. If only a bad rule did not get in the way.
With 31 seconds left and his team down 19-14, backup quarterback Shaun Hill threw into the end zone for receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson skied for the grab, landed on the ground with his butt and knee hitting the turf in what appeared to be the game-winning catch. After having control of the ball, Johnson went to put the ball on the turf and lost control. It was this part of the catch that was controversial and the referees overturned the touchdown call, waving off the play. The Lions threw two more incompletions and lost 19-14.
So what was the official rule that got in the way? From DetroitLions.com, “The ruling is that in order for the catch to be completed he has got to maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of the catch.” If 9 out of 10 non-Bears fans would tell you that’s a catch, then it should be a catch. Sometimes we get too technical with our rules and that is a classic example. Sucks for Detroit because they should be 1-0.
Here’s the Calvin Johnson touchdown video that was overturned: