Explain Broncos' 1Q TD...

I’m not a football fanatic, but I’ll watch the Super Bowl. That said, you can imagine my understanding of the game is limited. So, any thoughts or objections on that 1Q TD by Dnever? Was the 1Q TD really legal (although it went unchallenged)? The previous play was just challenged because (as I understand it) it appeared the player did not have control of the ball…is that correct? Because he never lost the ball, from what I saw. Paradoxically, the next play was fumbled and the ball was scooped up from the ground and ran over the goal line for a Bronco TD. Is that legal? I thought the ball is dead when it touches the ground. Was there no challenge because of the previous incident? Seems totally paradoxical to me. (You see? This is why I just don’t get it.)

No, a fumble is a live ball and anyone can pick them up and advance (with some limitations about multiple fumbles on a single play near the end of a half).

It was a perfectly normal football play, there’s really nothing to challenge. Besides, all scoring plays are automatically reviewed.

Exactly. A forward pass which hits the ground is a dead ball at that moment (an incomplete pass). But, the play in question wasn’t a forward pass: the ball was stripped out of Newton’s hand before he could begin to move his arm forward in the act of passing, making it a fumble.

I agree with you (and not the officials) about the previous play, though. It looked like a catch to me.

Mom and I (and much of the house) were pulling for the Broncos, but found the call on the replay to be very questionable at best, and baloney at the worst. I was rather surprised when Newton fumbled the ball and thus the botched replay had an actual impact on the outcome of the game, though. But them’s the breaks.

Same here. The call wasn’t confirmed, though, IIRC, so it was a matter of there not being clear-cut evidence to overturn it. My guess is that when he first went down, it looks like while the announcers said he had his hands under the ball the whole time (I’m talking about when he goes to the ground first, not when he rolls over), to me it looked like the ball may have hit the ground briefly. It was hard for me to tell, so I wasn’t totally shocked when the call stood, though I would have called it a catch myself.

I thought the Cotchery non-catch was an unfortunate outlier. My interpretation:

Cothery double-clutched it, went to the ground, and had complete control of the ball (with his hand under it) while the ball brushed against the turf. So far, so catch; the ball can touch the ground if you have complete control and a hand under it. (You can’t demonstrate control by pressing the ball into the ground; a hand must be under it.)

After that brief brushing of the turf, he brings his hand up to get the ball off the ground as he continues sliding/falling. He wasn’t actually “falling” at this point, but he was still under the effects of momentum from going to the ground. So still “falling” by the rules, I believe. Anyway, at this point, he loses control but then regains it before he came to a stop.

Here’s the outlier part: I think the fact that the ball touched the ground (even though he controlled it) negates the catch because he didn’t keep control for the entire time after it touched the ground until he stopped “falling.”

That was my interpretation, at least, and while it sure felt “wrong”, I could see being forced to call it the way they did.

That is pretty close to my interpretation. His hand was largely under the ball. But the point of the ball was touching the ground. And due to the obvious physics of the matter, the ball and the hand “moved” a lot in relation to the body when they contacted. And if it is moving while it’s touching the ground can you really say there is definitive proof of complete control enough to overturn the call?
I thought it was 60-40 (stands over overturned) on what call they would make.

I was, frankly, shocked that the non-catch call wasn’t reversed. That said, there was nothing fishy about Denver’s fumble recovery TD. The difference is that a fumble is not a forward pass. If a forward pass hits the ground, it’s a dead ball.

You need clear, undisputed evidence to overturn a call on the field. Because he was rolling over the ball, the camera didn’t have a clean view the whole way through. There was no video evidence that it wasn’t a catch, but that’s not the standard to overturn a call.

The initial call was wrong, but understandable. The lack of overturn was unfortunate for Carolina, but correct because of what the rules about replay are.

OK, thanks for the clarification on the fumble vs. other circumstances.