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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Refs got it right, but catches like Thielen’s touchdown should be allowed

By Matthew Coller

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For a long time, NFL fans asked: “What’s a catch?” Now we all know the rules, but Sunday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers confirmed that the rules still aren’t perfect.

Receiver Adam Thielen made a terrific grab in the back of the end zone while falling to the ground. He clearly had possession of the ball, but when his body thumped against the ground, the ball slid in his hands, making it a no-catch.

“I felt confident I had caught it, but that’s the NFL,” Thielen said. “You have to possess it and the ball can’t move. The ball moved a little bit, that’s just how it is.”

That’s not exactly how it should be, though.

When Thielen landed, he went all the way to the ground without the ball hitting the turf. The NFL should rule it a catch when a player makes the reception and carries it all the way down without it bouncing away. The violence of the players’ collisions with the ground is often going to cause the ball to move. Having possession with a knee (or two feet) down should be enough.

With all the advantages that receivers have over their counterparts, maybe it’s fair to ask them for a higher standard for catching the ball. But that bar is being set too high when making players grip it when slamming against the turf.

The Vikings have a right to be frustrated by the decision. Mike Zimmer was shown on the sideline using some colorful language toward referees and Thielen slammed his helmet down. At that point the Vikings would have gone up 17-14 instead of trailing 13-14 at the half. Who knows how the game is played differently if the NFL allowed a bit of juggling, so long as the ball didn’t scoot away.

The post Refs got it right, but catches like Thielen’s touchdown should be allowed appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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