NFL says Foster’s “Incompletion” Should Have Been Ruled a TD

Foster, unaware why his catch was not considered a TD

When Arian Foster caught, came to possession and then used the ball to break his fall in the second quarter on Sunday against the Chargers, Texans’ fans immediately remembered the so called “Calvin Johnson rule” of 2010.  After review, the referees held that the catch was an incomplete pass.  The Texans went on to lose the game 29-23, missing six points from a crucial and highly debatable touchdown reception.  Following the game, Arian Foster said he was unaware of such a rule that he could not use the ball to break his fall.

On the play, the former NFL Vice President of Officiating, Mike Pereira, wrote on

“In my opinion, the ruling of touchdown should not have been reversed and this call seemed to change the complexion of the game…Foster was on his way to the ground and reached out with the ball in his right hand to make sure that he had broken the plane. This is the ’second act’ that the league has referred to in the past.”

In my opinion, the “Calvin Johnson rule” is too broad and has too many holes for a contemplating referee to fall into.  The NFL should mandate a set of suggestive guidelines for how to approach these situations in the future.  This isn’t pee-wee football.  There’s a lot of money on the line, and there’s no room for foul interpretation of the rules.

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One Response to “NFL says Foster’s “Incompletion” Should Have Been Ruled a TD”

  1. Eric says:

    I thought that there were two separate processes to determine whether a catch was made: 1 in the endzone, and 1 outside of the endzone. With Calvin Johnson, since he was in the endzone at the time he accepted the pass, he was held to a higher standard and needed to complete the process of the catch. With Arian Foster, I believe the findings of the official should have been ‘inconclusive evidence to overturn the ruling on the field’ since it was difficult to determine from the angle of the replay whether Foster caught and had control of the the ball prior breaking the plane of the endzone. If so, he should not have had to maintain complete control of the football. His catch was more like the 2 point conversion by Lance Moore in the Super Bowl. In any event, Foster lost control of the ball clearly during a second, independent move after the catch was made. NFL – get this right! It is costing teams wins.