Sunday night, Giants receiver Victor Cruz grabbed the ball around the 1-yard line, lunged across the goal line, and lost control of the ball after he hit the ground in the end zone. That call was ruled a touchdown on the field, and the replay assistant who reviews all scoring plays was so confident that it was a touchdown that he didn’t even buzz down to the referee to take another look.
According to Mike Pereira, the former NFL head of officiating, the official on the field got it wrong, and the replay assistant got it wrong, too: According to Pereira, there is no difference between the Cruz play and the Johnson play, and under NFL rules both should be considered incomplete passes.
“The Cruz catch was ruled complete. It should not have. Ball came loose when he hit the ground. He did not complete the process,” Pereira wrote on Twitter.
The NFL’s rules on what constitutes a catch are so convoluted that even the NFL’s former head of officiating doesn’t understand them.