Jesse James

Report: New catch rule coming to NFL

Report: New catch rule coming to NFL

A new catch rule is coming to the NFL.

So, controversies such as the Jesse James' touchdown reversal in the Steelers' loss to the Patriots in December and the Kelvin Benjamin call in the Bills-Pats game a week later likely would have resulted in upheld TDs under the new rule.

According to the Washington Post, Troy Vincent, the NFL VP of football operations, said competition committee members plan to propose getting rid of portions of the rule related to a receiver going to the ground while making a catch and to slight movement of the football while it’s in the receiver’s hands. Vincent also said the committee also intends to raise the bar by which an on-field ruling of a catch could be overturned via replay review.

That apparently was what was done in Super Bowl 52, when the Eagles' Corey Clement's juggling TD catch was not overturned via replay. 

“We worked backward,” said Vincent told the Post. “We looked at plays and said: Do you want that to be a catch? And then we applied that to the rule.”

The rule modifications could be approved by the competition committee as early Tuesday, the Post reported, and owners will meet next week in Orlando to vote on it. Rule changes must be approved by at least 24 of the 32 franchises. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been pushing for the catch rule to be modified. 



Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

File Photo

Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

Steelers tight end Jesse James is glad the Patriots' Super Bowl pursuit is done -- mostly because he played a big part in helping accelerate it.

In the final moments of the game, James failed to catch the ball during a Week 15 contest between the Steelers and the Patriots. The non-catch was a controversial one.

James told Centre Daily Times' Josh Moyer he finally felt relief on the morning after the Super Bowl when the Patriots fell to the Eagles, 41-33.

“I don’t feel like I gave them a Super Bowl with that,” James told the Daily Times. “So I’m over it now, but it’s going to be a topic of conversation until the rule gets changed — or it doesn’t.”

James' play was initially ruled a touchdown before the referees overturned the play, and took the lead away from the Steelers in the final moments of the game. Ben Roethlisberger then threw an interception a few plays later. By winning, the Patriots took a huge step in locking themselves into the AFC's top seed with a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which they rode into the Super Bowl.

But of course, they couldn't finish their Super Bowl pursuit -- to James' satisfaction.

Shades of #Dezcaughtit: Steelers can't survive the ground, Patriots capitalize

Shades of #Dezcaughtit: Steelers can't survive the ground, Patriots capitalize

Tom Brady's face said it all.

How. Did that. Just happen. 

The Patriots quarterback just watched the Steelers roll 79 yards down the field in two plays, punctuated by a Jesse James touchdown catch, to take a three-point lead with only seconds remaining in the game. And that was after Brady had just orchestrated a five-play 77-yard touchdown drive (with a two-point completion to Rob Gronkowski) to take a three-point lead with less than a minute left. 


But the James touchdown review was taking longer than expected. What was there to look at? Whether Brady realized it on the sidelines or not, after about a half-dozen television replays, people watching began to realize . . . Wait, was that a catch? 

The football was jarred loose by the Heinz Field turf, and James lost his grip on it. The replays were clear. Soon, referee Tony Corrente's voice sounded over the public address system: "The receiver . . . did not survive the ground."

And just like that, the #DezCaughtIt hashtag was re-born. That's of course in reference to the Dez Bryant catch that never was in the 2014 Divisional Round against the Packer -- the one Cowboys fans (and fantasy players) are still stinging over.

Perhaps stunned by the ruling, the Steelers seemed out of sorts after the break. 

Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to Darius Heyward-Bey for three yards but was kept in bounds by a strong tackle from Malcolm Butler. That kept the clock running on the Steelers, who were without timeouts. 

Then all hell broke loose. Roethlisberger hustled his team to the line for an apparent spike, faked it, and threw into traffic to try to hit Eli Rogers. The pass was batted by Eric Rowe -- one of three Patriots who were close in coverage -- and picked by Duron Harmon to end the game. 

The boos -- presumably for the officials who ruled against them rather than the quarterback whose biggest mistake came on the final play -- rained down almost immediately. 

The hashtag #JesseCaughtIt doesn't have quite the same ring to it as its predecessor, but Steelers fans will be muttering something to that effect for the foreseeable future. Especially if the playoff seeding holds true and Pittsburgh has to travel to Gillette Stadium for the AFC title game for the second consecutive year.