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Buccaneers Lose 35-28 on Tough Albeit Correct Call

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.

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Tags: NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Paul Denker

    It might have been a correct call but where was the illegal touch call on the defensive player shoving Williams out of bounds? It should have benefits and goal with one final play and 0:00 on the clock. that would have been the correct call

  • Paul Denker

    Been first and goal…

  • Ken

    You are incorrect.

    “2) If the player voluntarily goes out of bounds, they are no longer able to compete in the play. This is to prevent a player from running through the bench, security personal, etc. in order to get open in bounds. If the player is pushed or shoved out of bounds they must re-enter field of play with both feet to re-establish themselves as an eligible receiver. For this to happen the officials must deem that the player was shoved out. “.

    While shoving him out does not warrant a penalty, it does negate the illegal touching. Refs had to have ruled he was not shoved out.

    Therefore, since he clearly was, the ref did indeed miss the call. Thus making this entire post false.

  • Ken

    The message I posted earlier was apparently from an earlier rule book. The official rule book from 2012 shows this…

    “(The play results n an illegal touch if) first touches or is caught by an eligible receiver who has gone out of bounds, either of his own volition or by being legally forced out of bounds, and has re-established himself inbounds”

    Therefore, this post is correct. I apologize. I trusted a poor post of the rule.

    It’s still a stupid rule. Leaping Part II.