It comes as no surprise that when team’s lose incredibly close games, fans would be very upset and vent their frustrations anywhere whether its social media or physical damage to their home.
But some fans are taking a new approach making claims that the outcome of the crucial game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers was indeed fixed.
The claims come from the touchdown catch made by tight end Jesse James which was reviewed and ruled an incomplete pass. The Steelers would lose the game after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception on an attempted fake spike pass.
After the game, posts about the call plastered the twitter newsfeed about how the game could have possibly been given to the Patriots.
That was a touchdown. The NFL is so rigged, congrats Patriots the refs gave you a win
— Alyssa Hurd (@alyssa_h96) December 18, 2017
— Robert Ochoa (@robertochoa125) December 18, 2017
Another rigged NFL game
— Matt Frickin Russell (@russellmatthew5) December 18, 2017
If thats against any other team its a touchdown @QuinnBourque14
— Kyle Guttveg (@Guttt_) December 18, 2017
— Mr. New York (@gainegreen518) December 18, 2017
NFL is actually rigged for New England I️ now believe it
— Jim (@JayPp21) December 18, 2017
Now again, we went over the catch rule in the recap of yesterday’s game and we will give you the official rule again as stated by NFL Operations.
RULE 8 SECTION 1 ARTICLES 3-4
A player who makes a catch may advance the ball. A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
- secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
- touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
- maintains control of the ball after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, until he has the ball long enough to clearly become a runner. A player has the ball long enough to become a runner when, after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent, tucking the ball away, turning up field, or taking additional steps
Note: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.
If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any part of his body to the ground, it is not a catch.
– Description of rule courtesy of operations.nfl.com.
As a journalist, it is not up to any of us to decide or make assumptions whether the NFL is rigged or not. What we can present to you is the facts and based on what it states in the NFL’s rulebook, the call on the field was right to not call it a catch.