Yes, you read that correctly. The simultaneous catch call from last night's game not only wasn't the worst call ever made, it was actually the correct call in that situation.
First of all, you must understand a few things about simultaneous possession.
1) It does not matter who touched the ball first, or who was the first to begin their possession of the football. Of course if a player completes the actions necessary for a completion before the other player gets partial possession, then it matters.
2) It does not matter who has a more firm grip on the football. It only matters whether both players have some significant grasp of the ball.
3) As a result of the above two factors, this rule favors the offensive team significantly. In close situations, the offense will generally win out. Anyone who has seen this rule called in the past knows this.
So here is how the rule applies to this situation. The defensive player does initially grab the ball, but he does not complete all actions required when making a catch in the end zone. He does not maintain complete, and INDEPENDANT, control of the ball throughout the contact with the ground. Before he is able to complete the catch, and offensive player grabs the ball and we have what it takes to be simultaneous possession.
There are two ways you could argue that it should have been an interception, and only two ways.
1) That the defensive player caught and maintained independant possession throughout the act of contacting the ground and that this occured BEFORE the offensive player took some stake of possession in the ball. I don't think you can really say this happened because the other player is in there before his body even hits the turf.
2) ... you argue that the offensive player did not have possession of the football at all at any point. This is I think the true debate. You can't just touch the ball, you have to have some grip on it. It has to be enough such that if the other player was to vanish from existence you would be there holding the ball firmly. In my opinion, and judging from the fact that the defensive player COULD NOT WRESTLE THE BALL AWAY, DESPITE TRYING VERY HARD, that the offensive player did indeed get a good grip in there. Otherwise the defensive player would have ripped it away and turned, just like they do every time that simultaneous isn't called.
I realize that the "eye test" looks like an INT since Tate kind of came from behind and the defensive player had a decent grip. But seriously I've looked at that replay 10 times and Tate has a mean ass grip on that football when it comes right down to it. It is amazing that the player was able to reach in, while falling, from the side, and get a death grip on that football but the bottom line is that it happened.
If you don't agree with me, then let me ask you a question. If Tate had been the one to initially grab the football, but the players still hit the ground in exactly the same way (with Tate kind of from the side/back and the defender with more control), would that change your opinion? So if the WR has it in his hands, but the defender starts wrestling it away on the way to the ground without every pulling it completely away, and the two players lie on the ground both holding it with a death grip, do you give it to the WR?
If you answered yes, then you agree with the call and just can't accept the fact that it doesn't really matter whose hands it touched first.
In my opinion, the refs made the right call. At worst they botched a borderline call. (I'm ignoring the PI because they are NEVER called in that spot). But yet all over the news we have people calling this the worst thing ever. It is evident to me that people will blow every close call out of proportion from here on out regardless of whether or not the call was made right. We've already seen this from coaches and the media.
I think it is kind of commentary on how messed up and sensationalist our society and media have become. Like players are going apeshit on GB's side over what really was a close call. And they, conveniently, don't have anything to say about the atrocious defensive PI call that set up their second TD. I mean if you are really after the refs, you should highlight calls both ways, not just the ones that fit your "we didn't lose that game, it was stoled from us".
This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.