Even though the NFL opted to modify the catch rule this past offseason, it seems as though the judgment of what is a catch is still causing problems.
The catch rule was the topic of discussion once more by the third quarter of the 2018 NFL season opener between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.
With 11 minutes to go in the third and on his own 32-yard line, Falcons' Matt Ryan dropped back to throw the ball downfield to his number one target Julio Jones.
The quarterback connected with his wide receiver in what looked to be a 51-yard reception, juggling the ball in his hands but having control of it as he hit the turf and slid out of bounds.
However, the officials ruled it incomplete and the catch wasn't counted. Falcons' head coach Dan Quinn challenged the ruling on the field after Jones was certain he caught it.
It looked it the ruling on the field would be overturned, as the new rule states a receiver has to control of the ball, have two feet down or another body part, and perform a football move such as a third step or/and reaching/extending for the line-to-gain.
The wide receiver did control the ball after initially juggling it, and he clearly had significant contact with the turf after the catch. The only part that's debatable is whether or not he pulled off a football move.
Despite the video evidence, the incomplete call on the field was upheld, which caused a lot of NFL fans to be angry on Twitter.
The Falcons would go on to lose their season opener against the Eagles 18-12 despite two late attempts by Ryan to try and find Jones in the endzone to win the game.
The wide receiver finished his first game of the season catching 10-of-19 targets for 169 yards, the eighth-most yards in a single game by him in his career, but he failed to score a touchdown.
Jones could have had an even bigger night if his 51-yard reception that never stood due to the catch rule was called complete instead.
Despite the summer of rule changes to the catch rule, it still looks like that no one really knows what a catch is, and we're only one game into the new season.News Now - Sport News