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Lisa Sorbo 02-06-2006 10:56 AM

I didn't want to hijack the Steelers thread - but I have a hypothetical rules question.

At one point in the game, a Seahawk caught a pass, tucked the ball under his right arm, was hit - and the ball popped out. No Steeler touched it and the play was whistled dead & the play was ruled and incomplete pass. I think the ball eventually rolled out of bounds. If I recall correctly, this was on 3rd down.

My question is: what would have been the result if it had instead (or upon review) been ruled a fumble that no one recovered?

Replay the down? Give Seahawks possession at the point of the fumble? At the point it went out of bounds?

We discussed this yesterday (as replay REALLY made it look like he had control) - but no one at the house *really* knew what the rule might be, just speculations.

Anyone here know?

Jason Steele 02-06-2006 11:20 AM

You cannot challenge an incomplete pass, so the review is out. You have to make a "football play" with the ball, which can be interesting to say the least. He didn't have posession of the ball long enough for it to be a fumble.

Had it been ruled a fumble, Seattle would have gotten the ball where it rolled out (I think)

Lisa Sorbo 02-06-2006 12:04 PM

thanks. it seemed to us on replay (and with DVR we could see it alot) that he caught it with two hands on his left and moved to tuck it under his right arm - all before the hit. seemed like control and possesion to us - but then we're not big league refs <g>

Jeremy Bloniasz 02-06-2006 12:27 PM

3. A fumble that goes forward and out of bounds will return to the fumbling team at the spot of the fumble unless the ball goes out of bounds in the opponent’s end zone. In this case, it is a touchback.


If it were a fumble and went out of bounds, the ball is placed at the spot of the fumble.

Lisa Sorbo 02-06-2006 01:38 PM

Thanks Jeremy - I guess though you cannot appeal an incomplete pass ruling to argue that it really was a fumble - right?

Mark Gebhard 02-06-2006 03:58 PM

Once the whistle blows the play is dead and like Jason said, it can't be reviewed even if it was quite obviously a fumble. The play in the Superbowl was pretty close, but I don't think they showed the best angle.

Larry Lindenman 02-06-2006 04:51 PM

Lisa, not only did he make a move to tuck the ball, but I believe he took a half step or so...close call. Also, I didn't think the ball went out of bounds, I thought the ball was picked up about 10 yards behind the hit, but the play was whistled dead? Some interesting stuff going on in that game.

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