JACKSONVILLE FL - NOVEMBER 14: Kevin Walter #83 of the Houston Texans catches a touchdown pass during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 14 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Houston Texans wide receiver Kevin Walter had a controversial touchdown catch on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars to tie the football game. It was a ruling that many Jaguars fans disagree with (as evidenced by the boos and raging anger on Twitter). Oddly enough however, I agree with the call and knew it would be overturned when I saw the replay. While many will compare it to Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson's "touchdown" on Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, it's not the same. Walter caught the pass, landed on his back and held the ball in the air to show it to the referee, losing the football. Initially it was ruled an incompletion but was overturned on replay review.
Initially I felt it was a catch because Derek Cox brought Walter to the ground, making him down. Typically when a receiver or runner has the ball and is "downed" by a defender, the play is instantly dead. My thought was that since he was posession and was "downed" by Cox, holding the ball in the air and losing it was akin to fumbling after you are downed by a defender.
FoxSports former director of officials for the NFL Mike Pereira explains why it was ruled a catch and different than the Calvin Johnson play in Week 1. Oddly enough, the referee in this call was the same who made the Johnson call in Week 1.
"No question this should be a touchdown. The action where Walter lost the ball was clearly after he completed the catch, and he actually seemed to be showing the officials he had maintained control.
The referee, Gene Steratore, who was the referee in the Lions-Bears matchup in Week 1 for the controversial Calvin Johnson play at the end of the game, made the right call again. This time there was clearly a second act, which to me, is reminiscent of a second baseman losing the ball while taking the ball out of his glove in an attempt to turn a double play. So the Texans win this challenge, but ended up losing the game on a wild Hail Mary by the Jaguars on the last play of the game."