Odell Beckham’s non-touchdown catch in Sunday’s last-second 27-26 loss to the New England Patriots should have been a touchdown.
At least that’s what New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday, when he took issue with one of the many controversial plays that cost his team a victory — and the NFL’s definition of a catch.
“We’ve made this a very difficult call,” a miffed Coughlin told WFAN during an interview. “And the thing that bothers me about it is, first, the word ‘runner,’ There is no runner in the end zone. When a guy catches the ball in the end zone, that’s it. He’s not going to take another step... He’s on the sideline.”
OBJ had a touchdown. The NFL’s catch rule cost the Giants the game: https://t.co/QAPQRhIovV pic.twitter.com/bd3Cjby2rk— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 16, 2015
In real-time, it was hard to tell whether or not the play was a score, and the refs took a few seconds to deliberate. They initially ruled it a touchdown only to overturn that on instant replay. On Monday, the head of NFL officiating, Dean Blandino, backed up that ruling, stating on NFL Network that “the rule is pretty clear on this.”
And in slow-motion, it’s not clear that Beckham does have the ball long enough to establish himself as a runner, although Coughlin seemed to think so Tuesday.
“Beckham, the second foot hits, and it’s a fraction of a second, maybe a fraction of a second after that, the ball comes out,” Blandino said. “He didn’t have the ball long enough after the second foot was down to establish possession. That’s why it was overturned to incomplete.”
Still, Coughlin insisted Beckham did make the catch.
“If you look at it closely, he does have both hands on the ball, he does have his left foot down.
Then comes Butler in, and he makes a heck of a play. The kid (Butler) is very good,” Coughlin said. “Whatever has been determined to be a gray call, to me, is not going to be overruled. There was a call on the field that was a touchdown. It was a touchdown. It took a couple of guys to get together, but it was a touchdown. As such, if it was really in a gray area position, I really expected that the touchdown would continue to be ruled. Where is this going to go in the future, as we look at how can we solve this issue, because it is controversial.”
But Coughlin hopes his star receiver learned something from the play.