NFL Rulebook

The locks of Troy PolamaluIn the recent Steelers versus Colts playoff game, Troy Polamalu caught a pass that Peyton Manning threw. He dove, caught the ball, and got up to run with it. As he was getting up the ball popped out of his arm. He jumped on the fumble and stayed down to ensure that the Steelers would keep the ball. Tony Dungy threw the red flag (in desperation) and the referee overturned the call on the field. I’ve looked for rules regarding what constitutes a reception of a pass. The NFL site says the following:

A forward pass is complete when a receiver clearly possesses the pass and touches the ground with both feet inbounds while in possession of the ball. If a receiver would have landed inbounds with both feet but is carried or pushed out of bounds while maintaining possession of the ball, pass is complete at the out-of-bounds spot.

The folks on ESPN NFL Live reported some interesting commentary on the interception call reversal. They all agreed that when Dungy threw the red flag that there was no chance that the call would be overturned. They went on to say that if the rules state that Troy’s knee must be off the ground, then we can disagree with the rule, but it is then a good call. If it is a judgement call, then the umpire made a horrible call. Apparently an NFL representative released a statement that said it was Pete Morelli’s judgement. This indicates that there is no rule that states anything about knees leaving the ground or otherwise.

I was horrified by this call. Of course we also had the “Do Over Non-Call” that the referees settled on. Faneca flinched and the Colts came across the line. The refs blew the play dead, talked for a few minutes and then decided to not call a penalty either way. This amounts to the Nerf Football games of my youth when the ball would go into the creek. We always had a “do over” because our games occurred in someone’s backyard. Not an NFL stadium.

The Steelers played very well against the Golden Boys of the 2005 NFL season. The officiating in this game was horrendous and Joey Porter summed it up perfectly when he said the following after the game:

I don’t even know what to say because I don’t know if the league will fine me for saying how I feel we got cheated out there today. But on that play right there, that man caught the ball, got on the ground, was getting back up, and knocked the ball out with his knee. I mean, I know they wanted Indy to win this game, the whole world loved Peyton Manning, but c’mon man, don’t take the game away from us like that. And with that play right there they tried to take the game away from us.
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10 Responses to NFL Rulebook

  1. Jerky says:

    Well, the NFL has finally admitted what the rest of the world knows, that the interception was legit:

    It’s frustrating that such poor reffing is taking place in Divisional Playoff games. The NFL has at least 16 officiating squads, and I always understood that the squads were rated in the regular season as to correctness of calls in order to determine the officials used during the playoffs and the Super Bowl. The four squads used Saturday and Sunday must have had the league fooled.

    Oh well, we can’t dwell beyond today over Indy, we now need to look at Denver. It will be another tough one.

  2. Dan says:

    Now I may be somewhat biased but this was the worst officiated game that I’ve seen in my life. While I don’t particularly respect Joey Porter, I feel that he was correct, it really looked like the officals at Sunday’s game wanted the Colts to win. Not only did they rob Polamalu of an INT but there was also the “no call” of pass interference on PIT that was so obvious and the lack of call, one way or the other on that “off sides” play. Let’s face it, Allan Faneca “twitched”, but for there to be no penalty, one way or the other, was just a crime. I mean come on someone was off sides, either Pit or IND, or else why did the officials blow the whistle? All I can say is: while “dem Stillers” may have gotten very lucky to hand on and win that playoff game against IND, the team that deserved to win, DID WIN, despite the officials. The officiating of this game reminded me of my days in Pop Warner football, when the zebras knew less about the rules than I did.

  3. cindy says:

    I don’t know about you but I couldn’t stop starring at that guy’s hair.

  4. cindy says:

    Um … staring. I meant staring. Gosh I’m a terrible speller.

  5. who is rite? says:

    in the NFL for overtime(suddendeath)how many challenges/ reviews do u get?

    I say ” the coach doesnt get any the both has to call 4 a challenge.”

    he says “the coach gets 1 challenge”

  6. Drew Gerbik says:


  7. AxsDeny says:

    All Steelers fans? I’d be happy to take part in a response to your trolling, but this is clearly the first time you’ve operated a keyboard so I don’t want to hurt your feelings. As a side note, the NFL released a statement about this play. They said that the referee made the wrong call. Everyone on the planet knew it was a wrong call, hillbilly or not.

  8. God says:

    jdfhjhfjhsdjfhjklshfjhasdfsdafsdfasdfasdfasdfsfdsfhhfas djfhjksdhfjkhsdjkfhsdjhfjksdhalsdjhlasjdhflsdhfasldjkhf ljsdfhsdjhflsdjhflasjkdhfajsdfhsakldfhdsljfhjjsfdhljkasdf hasljdhfljksdhflksdjafhlksdjfhasldjfhjsdhflajkdhflasjhdf jjshdfljksdhfjksdlfhlksdfhjljshfdlaskjhdfjsdfhlasjkdfhjsd hfjsdhflsdfhlasdhjflasdfhjalsdjkhfkasldjfhlkasdhfalksdh fasdfasdfasdsdafsdfgasdhjfghjsdgfhjgasdfhkgsdhjfgdhj fgdhgfkhsdgfhjkgkfgsdkffgasdfdsfdasfsdafdfsdffdshjfg sdhgfkhjdgfkhjgshjfghjsgfhjgkfjgdjshfgjhsgdjfhkgajsdhgf adfhdjsjflkdjsfkjasd;fjsdkjf;klsdjfkldjlfkjlkfjdkl;sjfllajkl;j kl;jjjsdjkl;l;jkjkl;jkl;asdfjkljklsdfklajklasdffjkajkjkl;asdjk l;afsjkl;faklsfkljklfjkfjlrioweuriotuiyh4657589467856347 8dsfsdgdfgfdg

  9. AxsDeny says:

    Apparently “God” is some punk kid from a school in Lousville, Kentucky. I never knew God went to public school.

    My favorite part is that (s)he spelled “heaven” in the URL as H-E-A-V-A-N. Good work.

  10. Mary says:

    I need someone to tell me, “what calls are challengeable and what are not” And also, If a coach throws the red flag and challenges something particular on the play does the refs look at it as a whole play and reverse it on something that was not challenged? Or does the ref have to stick to the particular challenge? And is the only time the refs can reverse the play on something else is if challenge comes from upstairs?

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