There's been a lot of question whether or not Seahawks Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed his own pass. You know the play. He threw a pass that was knocked back by Michael Myers. Hasselbeck caught the deflection, took 3-4 steps and was tackled by Myers for at least an eight-yard loss. At the end of the play, the ball popped out. There were groans asking why it wasn't a fumble. Personally, I believe the ground can't cause the fumble is an accurate call. It would be hard to tell otherwise.
Marvin Lewis tossed the red flag. Ed Hochuli informed us that nothing can be challenged because "It is not a play that can be challenged, because the defense recovered the ball after the ruling of incomplete." I have no clue what the defense has to do with it. Unless Marvin Lewis challenged the fumble rather than the incompletion. Hummm... did he?
There's some things to note here.
First, the whistle was NOT blown until AFTER Michael Myers recovered the fumble. Again, I'm not saying it's a fumble. Just pointing out how long it took after Hasselbeck lost the football -- the supposed incomplete -- and Myers' recovery before the whistle blew. Second, challenging whether or not a pass was complete/incomplete is well within the power for a coach to challenge.
Why is this significant? Sure, I'm kicking the hell out of a dead horse. I know that. The blown call led to a Seahawks touchdown that won them the game. I understand. You can't attribute one play, one missed call or one failed assignment as the reason for winning or losing. There's about 50 things to point out other than this play. But since this is a blog (web log) and since I have a digital camera and since I don't use pictures much on this site, I thought what the hell.
While I may have trinkets, they're not designed for taking pictures on a television set. Plus, they're a tad bit fuzzy because I maxed zoom which decreases the quality.
Here's Hasselbeck preparing for his reception.
After the reception, here's Hasselbeck tucking the ball away (firmly, I might add) and taking his first step (left foot).
His second step (right foot) still with football firmly in hand.
Starting to get tackled -- still with football firmly in hand. In fact, his technique so sound, that if there's a picture book with the title, "Proper Football Form 101", this picture would headline, "Proper Form for Ball Carriers Holding onto Football."
On this slide, boys and girls, you see Hasselbeck still have firm possession of the ball a frame before it comes lose.
Hasselbeck never lost possession of the football or appeared to juggle it until hitting the turf. He made several moves, with total possession of the football. Not calling a completion, isn't just a missed call, it's so far off, it questions competency.
The line judge near the bottom is the one that called incomplete. The football was in clear sight of the Line Judges' line of sight. He should have seen it all develop -- the moment he caught the pass, the four steps afterwards until he lost the football when hitting the ground.
I just don't understand how this is incomplete.
Furthermore, I don't understand why Lewis wasn't allowed to challenge whether or not the pass was completed. Unless he challenged the fumble.