Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James thought he caught a game-winning touchdown pass against the New England Patriots on Sunday, but the ball moved when it touched the ground, so the officials reviewed it and overturned the call. The catch rule says that a player has to fully control the ball through the ground, and they said James didn’t.
Even if fans were starting to stomach that — just ask the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys how it feels — new video has come to light that makes the ruling even worse for Steelers fans.
“This was the Patriots’ game-winning touchdown catch against the Texans earlier this season,” wrote Christopher Carter of DK Pittsburgh Sports. “Was called a catch live and after review. [Brandin] Cooks comes down to the ground and loses control of the ball as it touches the ground. Seems relevant considering the Steelers and Jesse James.”
Here’s the video:
This was the Patriots' game-winning touchdown catch against the Texans earlier this season. Was called a catch live and after review. Cooks comes down to the ground and loses control of the ball as it touches the ground. Seems relevant considering the @steelers and @JJames18_ pic.twitter.com/PWfEC3vjQh
— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) December 18, 2017
What makes this even more brutal is that, as with all scoring plays, they did review this one. And the officials said it counted, even though the ball is clearly moving — just like it was for James.
This isn’t to say that the NFL got it right that time. Perhaps they got it right with James and blew the call against the Texans, and maybe they would admit it. If that’s the case, it doesn’t change what took place in the closing seconds Sunday at Heinz Field.
However, it does show that there isn’t consistency in the ruling. These calls have now gone two very different directions, and they won the game for the Patriots both times.