Calvin Johnson: 'I don't think anybody understands' catch rule now

It all started in 2011, with the "Calvin Johnson rule," a phrase we all became familiar with when what appeared like an obvious touchdown reception was instead ruled an incompletion because Johnson didn't "complete the process" of making a catch.

We saw the rule invoked during last year's playoffs with Dez Bryant and the Cowboys, and already this season when the Bengals' Tyler Eifert had a touchdown overturned. So naturally, when Golden Tate appeared to "not complete the catch" in last Sunday's game against the Bears, we all assumed it was, you know, an interception.


That folks, was ruled a touchdown. It remains as confusing now as it did then, even to the rule's unofficial namesake.

"I thought I understood the rule," Johnson said Wednesday, via the Detroit Free Press. "I don't think anybody does now."

Meanwhile, NFL VP of Officials Dean Blandino, who did his best to explain the nuances of the rule on Sunday afternoon, was asked Tuesday if he, like the rest of the planet, was ever confused by how the NFL defines a catch.

"I'm never confused, but I'm certainly always looking to see if we can simplify things and believe me, we don't want to have rules where people are confused and not sure what is a catch and what isn't a catch," Blandino told NFL Network's Dan Hellie. "I feel like we do have good rules, but we're always going to evaluate them and tweak them when needed."

Pretty sure no one outside the league office agrees that the catch rule, as currently constituted, is either good or simple.

According to the NFL, this was a catch. (USATSI)
According to the NFL, this was a catch. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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