Negated Steelers' TD recalls Megatron's disputed catch

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News

Allen Park — It’s that time of year again.

On Sunday, the New England Patriots escaped Pittsburgh with a win over the Steelers partly due to the NFL’s now infamous debate over what exactly is a catch.

The Steelers’ Jesse James caught what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown with 28 seconds remaining, but upon further review, officials determined that James went to the ground and lost control of the ball despite having control of it and making a football move prior to diving for the end zone. The officials deemed he “didn’t survive the ground.”

It’s the infamous process of the catch that annually pits the NFL’s rulebook against what a common fan would call a catch.

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“I think the rule has been tweaked hundreds of times, just discussed to the point (of) exhaustion,” Jim Caldwell said. “When I talk to our guys, you don’t have to worry about that if you catch it. You come down with it, hand it to the official. Plain and simple without anything in between. But anything other than that, it might be nullified.”

It all started with Calvin Johnson in 2011 when the former Lion appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes in Chicago, but had that score taken off the board after officials said he didn’t complete the process.

It’s something that’s above Caldwell’s pay grade, however, so as he’s proved time and time again, he doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about something that’s beyond him.

“I waste very little energy on things I have no control over,” he said. “I worry about the things that I can control. I give it no thought. It goes right off my back as fast as you talk about it, and I think life is better that way, and you also stay in your own lane a little bit better as well.”

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) catches a pass then twists to stretch the ball into the end zone for a touchdown against the New England Patriots with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Upon video review, the touchdown call was reversed and the pass was ruled incomplete. The Patriots held on to win 27-24.