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Surviving the catch strikes again: Steelers screwed, Patriots fortunate (Video)

Surviving the catch strikes again: Steelers screwed, Patriots fortunate (Video)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The rule of surviving the catch hurts another week as the Pittsburgh Steelers are screwed and the New England Patriots are fortunate, again.

Honestly, did you actually enter Week 15 of the NFL thinking there would be no controversy?

Sitting on your couch in your living room or man-cave with your snacks and beverages all at arm’s length, the game of the year in the New England Patriots at the Pittsburgh Steelers was providing your football fancy everything you could have hoped for.

Tom Brady was doing his usual thing. Rob Gronkowski was mowing down defenders. Ben Roethlisberger was shaking off pass rushers while Le’Veon Bell was dancing on every part of the field.

Then, suddenly, controversy, yes, controversy, struck. The “surviving the catch” rule came into play again, and yet again, it’s the Patriots who benefit.

In a game that will most likely determine home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Jesse James scored a late touchdown to put the Steelers up by three (with an extra-point making it four):


Nope. It took Tony Romo about four replays to even notice the bobble after James had broken the play, yet the officials reversed the score citing the “surviving the catch” rule.

Two plays later Big Ben lost his usually cool and calm clutch demeanor and lost the game via interception:

New England wins the game and is now tied with Pitt via record but ahead thanks to the head-to-head tiebreaker. All roads on the AFC side of the tournament will most likely go through Foxborough.

What the logical fans are trying to understand is this: what happened to conclusive evidence?

We were always taught an overwhelming amount of evidence was needed to overturn the call on the field. The call was a touchdown on the field here. We can absolutely see the bobble at the end. This much cannot be argued. But doesn’t James’s right hand remain under the ball throughout the play? His left hand moving the ball doesn’t necessarily mean the ball ever hit the ground, does it?

In another argument, James caught the ball and made a football move, therefore, having control prior to breaking the plane of the end zone.

Whatever the case may be, it’s too close to overturn. That should be the bottom line here.

No dice. The Pats take the game, similarly to the Austin Seferian-Jenkins non-TD earlier in the season and find themselves extremely fortunate again.

Can we all at least agree on one thing right now? No, Boston, Roger Goodell and the National Football League are not out to get you. Please, stop that nonsensical narrative.

What a shame. Such a well-played and exciting football game will now fall into the historical category as another marred footnote of replay nonsense.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com