Bucs fans are heartbroken after Tampa lost a close one to the Saints on Sunday, but while the call was tough to negate a touchdown that would have tied the game the call was correct.
Before we dive into post game wrap up and game balls from what was an impressive overall game from the Bucs, we need to address the end of the game. With time expiring Josh Freeman connected with Mike Williams in the back of the end zone, but the pass was ruled incomplete since Williams was the first player to touch the ball after going out of bounds.
When a player goes out of bounds, that player cannot be the first player to touch the ball. If the ball is tipped, that’s fine so long as it’s not the player that was out of bounds that tips it. The ball was not tipped before it reached Williams hands and therefore he was ineligible and the correct call was made.
And as far as how Williams got out of bounds out, he was indeed pushed out but it’s not illegal contact and here’s why. If a quarterback is out of the pocket, defensive backs can make all the contact they want within the legal limits before the ball is thrown. Josh Freeman was running outside the pocket when he threw the ball and while he was outside the pocket but before he threw the ball Mike Williams was shoved out of bounds.
It hurts to lose in the fashion the Buccaneers did, but let’s not let that cloud our intelligence. The correct call was made, and rather than blame the refs, just acknowledge that it was strange circumstances.