Last week, I shared the rule on a player going to the ground with a catch and noted that according to this rule, Johnson’s touchdown was incomplete. After a reader blasted me for not being the critical thinker he has come to know through my blog, I had to revisit the play and the rule. I will not say how many times I looked at the replay, but let’s just say if I were given a dollar for each time I reviewed it, we would all be getting Louboutins, heading to Nice and cruising the Mediterranean, ON ME!
Anyway, after reviewing the play, the catch was a touchdown. Again, the rule is:
If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.
I want to point out this part of the rule, “If he loses control of the ball.” Calvin Johnson never lost control of the ball. He caught the ball with two hands and moved it to one hand, but he still had control of the ball. (Think of it as a one-hand catch.) The ball was not rolling around in his hand. He had a tight grip on the ball and maintained control when his body hit the ground. As a result, it was a touchdown.
Now on to NFL Week 2. Some teams had a better second day at school. Others you can expect are going to start using the old “the dog ate my homework” excuse.
Becoming a star pupil - Michael Vick, started as a NFL Quarterback for the first time since December 2006 when he was an Atlanta Falcon. (He missed the entire 2007 and 2008 seasons because he was incarcerated for his involvement with dog fighting.) Building on a solid performance last week of over 65% passing completions and 103 rushing yards against Green Bay, the former pro bowler displayed that he has shaken off the dust. With 284 passing yards, 37 rushing yards, deep passes and quick moves to avoid the defense, he led the Eagles to their first victory of the season in a win over the Detroit Lions. While Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid says that there is not a controversy over the quarterback position, I expect that Eagles fan will start one if Kevin Kolb struggles next week. A little secret: the Eagles offensive linemen are quietly hoping for Vick to start as well. For 11 years they have protected a quarterback who is mobile. They are not accustomed to holding off the defense for a quarterback to take an entire class period to throw the ball. Vick fits Philadelphia’s O-line perfectly.
Not meeting expectations – The Cowboys and the Vikings were predicted by many to compete for the Super Bowl. Now both teams are still hoping to get their first win. The problem for the Vikings is that Brett Favre was not in training camp and they are in need of wide receivers. The Cowboys on the other hand, have all of the pieces, but they are not prepared. Both of their losses were due to tons of mistakes. Since 1990, only 22 teams that started off 0 – 2 made it to the playoffs. The New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008 after beginning the season 0-2, so there is hope for these teams. I think Minnesota will see their first win at home against the Lions next week. Things are looking gloom for the Cowboys. They play an undefeated Houston team on the road next week and are off the following week. I see the Cowboys not getting their first win until October.
Sibling rivalry – “Manning Bowl II” was no contest, AT ALL. Big brother, Peyton, showed little brother, Eli, how to lead an offense and dominate. Unfortunately, for the younger Manning, his big bro was totally focused on avenging a disappointing loss to Houston that opened the season. The Giants could not do anything to stop the Colts offense. It was truly over when the Giants were still scoreless in the 3rd quarter and the Colts kept Peyton in to continue beating up on his kid brother’s team. The Colts win it easily, 38 – 14 and Peyton remains undefeated against his brother.
Name off of the chalkboard - The Jets stopped talking and just did their work. The offense was… an offense. The line blocked, Mark Sanchez threw the ball, Dustin Keller and Braylon Edwards caught the ball and LaDainian Tomlinson ran the ball. See how productive a unit can be when everyone just does there job? Their defense limited Tom Brady to just 2 touchdowns. One of those was an awesome catch by Randy Moss, but it was not enough. Jets win it 28 – 14 at home.
On the college gridiron, another team from the state of Michigan entered the top 25 after beating Notre Dame. Michigan State is now 3-0 and #25 and #23 on the AP and USA Today Polls respectively. In the USA Today Poll, they are right behind Michigan #22. This adds more fuel to the intra-state and conference rivalry. Their meeting on October 9 at the Big House, well BIGGER House, will be a battle! This week’s game to watch is Alabama #1 against Arkansas #12. This will be a test for both teams. Arkansas looked great in a victory on the road against Georgia, but their defense will have to slow down Heisman winner, Mark Ingram. Alabama has dominated in their first three games, but this will be their first game on the road against a ranked opponent.
MNF – Tonight the reigning Super Bowl Champs, New Orleans Saints, will play the San Francisco 49ers. Last week the 49ers gave up 31 points to the Seattle Seahawks. Surely their defense will not be able to hold off Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. Who Dat Nation will see their team remain undefeated.
Heels & Helmets