Sport: NFL explains Vance McDonald touchdown catch - PressFrom - US

SportNFL explains Vance McDonald touchdown catch

17:12  09 november  2018
17:12  09 november  2018 Source:

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Vance McDonald makes the defender pay with a sick stiff arm on this touchdown play! The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Week 3

Vance McDonald with that stiff arm touchdown . - - Date: September 24, 2018 - - (All rights go to ESPN, Fox, CBS, Universal Music Group, the NFL , NBA, NCAA

NFL explains Vance McDonald touchdown catch© (AP Photo/Don Wright) Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald (89) hauls in a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

The seven points didn’t make a difference in the game, but the video evidence coupled with the failure to have a full-blown replay review on a third-quarter touchdown reception by Steelers tight end Vance McDonald left many fans confused — and plenty of Panthers fans feeling like their team had been screwed.

McDonald seemed to make the catch at the back of the end zone, but closer inspection of his hands raises a question of whether he actually caught it and/or maintained control of it. The play apparently was reviewed for the purposes of determining whether a full-blown replay review would occur, with a decision being made to not stop the game and watch the play to determine whether clear and obvious evidence existed that he failed to make the catch.

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Vance Coman McDonald (born June 13, 1990) is an American football tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League ( NFL ).

Ben Roethlisberger finds Vance McDonald and Antonio Brown on this touchdown drive. The Baltimore Ravens take on the Pittsburgh Steelers during Week 4 of the 2018 NFL season.

After the fact, NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron tweeted an explanation of the decision: “Vance McDonald has two feet in bounds and never loses control of the football. The ball can move as long as the receiver never loses control. The ruling on the field is confirmed.”

The assertion that McDonald “never loses control of the football” overlooks the question of whether he ever actually secured control of the football. It appears that McDonald had the ball between his hands for an instant, before juggling the ball to a point where the ball was positioned between the inside of his left hand and the outside of his right hand, at which time the ball continued to move. While it never came loose, it looked like there was never clear control of the ball.

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It’s a play that’ll go on all of the NFL highlight reels when the 2018 season wraps up. Vance McDonald is Chris Conte’s daddy after that nasty stiff arm en route to his 75 yard touchdown Monday night. A play that knocked Conte out of the game with I assume was an injured soul

McDonald has never posted a top-30 fantasy campaign, but he can't be ignored as the top pass- catching tight end in the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger-led offense. Over the past five games he has caught 20 of 22 targets for 295 yards but has just one touchdown to show for it over that span.

The rulebook requires the player to “secures control of the ball in his hands or arms”; in this case, control was secured if at all on one of McDonald’s hands. Regardless, it’s still not clear that he ever actually secured control.

That doesn’t mean the ruling on the field would have been overturned if subject to full-blown review. After last year’s misadventures with frame-by-frame review (which resulted in multiple touchdown receptions being overturned when they shouldn’t have been), Riveron seems to be fully committed to the clear-and-obvious, fifty-drunks-in-a-bar standard for overturning a ruling on the field. Which is fine, but the same standard applies in reverse when deciding whether to conduct a full-blown replay review.

In other words, unless it’s clear and obvious that the ruling on the field is correct, the video evidence should be carefully probed for proof that the ruling on the field was clearly and obviously incorrect.

That should have happened here. The outcome of the play probably wouldn’t have changed. The outcome of the game definitely would have changed. But to the extent that the league wants fans to have confidence in the replay process, it needs to be used consistently and correctly in all instances, even when it looks like a game is out of reach.

Watch: Hokies' Turner makes 1-handed TD catch, then blocks punt for TD.
Just before halftime, the game all knotted up at 0-0 between Virginia and Virginia Tech, Hokies receiver Tre Turner wowed on the first score of the day. 

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