Calvin Johnson Robbed, Bears Steal Win from Lions (Video)

Calvin Johnson thought he caught a game-winning TD pass to beat the Bears and vault the Lions into first place atop the NFC North for the first time since the Clinton era.   But a quirky rule of what defines a catch sent Johnson and the Lions home with their twenty-first consecutive road loss.  Here’s the video clip:

Don’t get me wrong, as a Bears fan I’m thrilled with the call, but I think we all know a catch when we see one and that was a catch.

Here’s what referee Gene Steratore had to say about the controversial play after the game (via ChicagoBreakingSports.com

Referee Gene Steratore spoke to a pool reporter after the Bears’ 19-14 victory Sunday over the Lions, in response to questions about the ruling that overturned an apparent touchdown catch by Detroit’s Calvin Johnson.

Q. What is the rule used on the near-Detroit touchdown at the end of the game?
A. The ruling is that in order for the catch to be completed he has got to maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of the catch.

Q, He was on his behind before he rolled over. If he stayed on his behind, would it have been a touchdown?
A. No. We don’t play with the two feet or one knee or anything of that scenario. We’re talking now about the process of the catch. He’s catching the football; as he goes to the ground, he must maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process. So as he continues to fall, if he fell with two feet and his elbow hit the ground and came out, it would be incomplete.

Q. It looked like he had the ball up in one hand while on his rear end, but there was continuation?
A. Well, the process was not finished until he finished that roll and the entire process of that catch.

Q. How long did it take to determine that?
A.
We had the normal time as far as the video was concerned. We would not run it any longer.

The Tribune’s Fred Mitchell provides this clip of Calvin Johnson and his thoughts on the call after the game.

Don’t be surprised if the “Calvin Johnson Rule” is revisited this offseason, but in the meantime, we’ll take it!  What do you think? Vote in our poll and share your Comments below.

The Calvin Johnson play - catch or no catch?

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Topics: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

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  • Ed Carducci

    The catch was a catch, but a rule is a rule. This Rule was on the books last season too and it happened a few times. this was huge though cause it was in the endzone and would have been a game winner. If Calvin wouldnt have used his hand with the ball in it to get up and then drop the ball it wouldnt have been a issue.

    To me its kinda like when someone has a huge run and isnt in danger of getting tackled so they get excited and drop the ball before they actually score. sure they shoulda had the touchdown but it doesnt count cause it didnt cross the plane or whatever.

    I DO think they should change the rule to something more common sense though.

  • City

    This rule is completely erroneous. He had two feet plus his body in the end zone. Once the ball crosses the goal line, it’s a TD, and play is dead. The play should have been called dead before the ball had hit the ground.

    It was a horrible call.

  • Predatorian234

    Was it a bad call? Not it wasn’t.

    Is it a bad rule? Yes it is.

    • Boomer

      I have to agree with Pred. The refs made the correct call based on the ridiculous rule. We all know a catch when we see one and that was a catch. Like I said, this is the new “Tom Brady Rule” (the tuck rule) that will be re-visited this offseason.

    • http://sidelionreport.com/ Zac Snyder

      Even as a Lions fan, I generally agree with this position. However, there is room for interpretation even in the rule as written: http://sidelionreport.com/2010/09/13/calvin-johnson-did-complete-the-process/

  • Adam

    So…….as predicted Lovie came out with his “the better team won” spiel. True? Absolutely, the Lions are just plain bad on top of losing their QB in the 2nd half. The Bears dominated the Lions in all categories and won IN SPITE of coaching and mental errors. However, to say that you won because you’re the better team and ignore that final catch is both arrogant and demeaning to the effort and spectacular catch Calvin Johnson made. Correct application/interpretation of a bad rule does not make the rule any less bad. It should have been ruled a catch, Bears should have lost, and Lovie should ashamed for not admitting that he made a VERY bad call not kicking the field goal to take the lead after calling three LOUSY plays from the 1 yard line and getting stuffed.

  • Matthew

    Calvin Johnson lost control of the ball when it hit the ground. The ball hitting the ground caused him to loose his grasp of the ball. To prove it he tried to re-clutch the ball after it was on the ground. If he was putting the ball down in “celebration” there would be no double clutch of the ball. Think about it… The double clutch sealed the plays fate.

    If he had two steps, fell on his tookus backwards, and lost the ball the same way it would have been called incomplete and nobody would have said boo. Calvin Johnson knows that rule as well as anybody else.

  • http://youtube gavin dezon

    THIS IS CLEARLY A TOUCHDOWN AND IM NOT EVEN A LIONS FAN IM A BEARS FAN THE REFS BLEW THE CALL I WAS MAD KNOWING THE BEARS LOST THE GAME BECAUSE OF THE TOUCHDOWN THAT CALVIN JOHNSON BUT I WAS EVEN MADDER KNOWING THAT THE BEARS WON BY A BLOWN CALL BY THE REFS BECAUSE HE HAD COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE BALL………..