The NFL attempted to modify the catch rule during the offseason to clarify any grey area and make it easier on officials to identify what is and isn’t a catch.
Apparently, their effort was for naught.
On Thursday night, during the first game of the 2018 NFL season, Julio Jones appeared to make a phenomenal catch for a big gain, but the officials ruled otherwise.
The pass from Matt Ryan to Jones in the third quarter of the game was initially ruled incomplete. It then went to replay review, but the play stood as called.
It sure looked like a catch, though — even to on-air rules analyst Terry McAulay, a former official. Jones juggled the ball, then brought it into his body — securing it while getting both feet down in bounds. The ball did not move after Jones secured it. You can judge for yourself in the video clip below.
If it were ruled a catch, Jones would’ve had himself a 52-yard gain, which obviously would’ve been huge in such a close game. Instead, it was ruled incomplete, and Twitter went nuts over the controversial ruling.
Sadly, it’s 2018, and we still don’t know what is and isn’t a catch in the NFL.