You Said It! - Week 16

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On the ball NOT crossing the opponent's goal line...

Official NFL rules state that a Touchdown be defined as, "When any part of the ball, legally in possession of a player in-bounds, breaks the plane of the opponent's goal line, provided it is not a touchback."

Now if you agree with this definition which is the official rule, isn't it obvious that the main goal of a touchdown is to GET THE BALL INTO THE END ZONE??? Wasn't the game of football based on getting our team's ball into their end zone? If the man gets in but the ball doesn't cross into that territory, then isn't the goal of the game NOT achieved?

The officials at the Pittsburgh at Baltimore game in Sunday's game stated that Santonio Holmes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, "had possession of the ball and that his feet were down inside the end zone" and called it a touchdown.

Official ruling was at first that the ball never crossed the goal line. Then the officials went to challenge the call. Then they come back and said that though the ball did not cross the line, the receiver had both feet in the end zone. Touchdown?!?!?!?!? WHAT!?!?!?!?!?

Now I'm sitting there appalled at this moment of horror. Because to me, if your feet are down in the end zone but you lean forward past the goal line on to the 1 yard line to grab the ball then get tackled down on the 1 yard line, the player has not qualified for a touchdown. Again, a touchdown is officially when the "...ball breaks the plane of the opponents goal line..."

A touchdown requires (in order): FIRST, ball has to break the goal line. SECOND, the player that has the ball SECURED needs to be inbounds.

In cases when you catch it on the outside edges of the endzone: the ball HAS ALREADY CROSSED THE GOAL LINE. So you only need the second requirement which is to have the guy be inbounds.

When you are catching it along the GOAL LINE edge, you have to satisfy the requirements of a touchdown. You have to FIGHT to get the ball INTO the endzone.

Danny Park *Baltimore, MD*

    

On the referees not overturning the Steelers' 1st-down call…

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Forget the controversy of the touchdown call to end the game because it's my belief that the Steelers would have QB sneaked on 4th down for the TD anyway. My beef is with the terrible call earlier in the game to not overturn the first down for the Steelers in their own territory. It was clearly short of the first down. After it was reviewed, both announcers even said that it was conclusively short of the first down. Even Pittsburgh fans were admitting it was short. That call, although benign in nature, set up the difference between them punting from their own territory and driving down the field for 3 points. Big difference in a close game. Also, since when can you advance a muffed punt? By rule, a muffed punt is not a fumble and therefore cannot be advanced. Someone get that official a rulebook!

Andy MessmoreBaltimore, MD

     

On DT Haloti Ngata not being selected for the Pro Bowl…

Are you serious? Of all the Pro Bowl snubs, Haloti Ngata being left off is the biggest. He has been the immovable force in the league's second-ranked defense. As much as I love Suggs and Ray (and feel they absolutely deserve their spots), I would rather have seen 92 get his recognition. Anyone on the Ravens' D would tell you how important Haloti is to their success and how he is a top two DT in the league, let alone the AFC. But I bet you won't here him complain; he's as humble a player as you'll ever meet. Ravens a top two defense? "Ngata" problem with Haloti.

William Ramsel *Hereford, MD*

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On the ball touching chalk of the opponent's goal line…

The key phrase is breaking the "beginning" of the chalk on goal line. Think of the goal line (six inches wide) as a pane of glass. All the "tip" of the ball has to do is touch the glass at the "front" of these six inches, not the back nor does it need to cross into the zone. If it hits the glass, it breaks and it's a touchdown.

The overhead shot showed the ball almost entirely in the endzone so it was more than the tip and that was "conclusive." Go back to that overhead shot, keeping in mind the "front" of the chalk. This is the same thing that happened in Super Bowl XL. On the DVD of that game, you can "freeze" it at a point where the ball Roethlisberger carried broke the front of the chalk. The sideline was iffy but that overhead shot showed overlap of the ball and the front chalk.

If the ref did not change it, THEN it would be the refs and not the players deciding it on the field. I give that ref a lot of credit; he was more interested in getting it right than appeasing a hostile crowd. He could easily have ruled it short and then everyone would have thought it was being decided by the players. In the end, Big Ben and Santonio did decide it correctly.

Jeff Barto *Charlotte, NC

    
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On using technology to eliminate human error...

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I think it is about time for the NFL to get in the 21st century and start eliminating jobs by referees. It would be SO easy to line a football with a microchip that would not disrupt the weight of the football. The goal lines and every yard line of the football field could be lined with sensors. There would be no controversy in goal line calls, first downs, etc. It just seems stupid to have human error (or human corruption) involved in deciding a division title.

Larry Parks
Baltimore, MD

    

On the offense playing conservatively against the Steelers...

FRUSTRATION!! That's my only thought at this point after watching the lackluster performance this week against the Steelers. Defense, job well done. Holding Big Ben & Co. to 6 points going into the 4th quarter was just what we needed. You did give up a key touchdown at the last minute of the game, but after being on the field most of the day, I don't blame you. On the other hand, the play calling was miserable. Flacco wasn't allowed to be himself, not because of the Steeler defense. Our offensive coordinator decided to bottle him up and run the ball the whole time. I'm just confused as to why when we play teams that we are expected to beat, the playbook opens up and all the "gadget" plays come out, but when facing decent teams that we always play tough against, we all the sudden play ultra-conservative?

Jeff Sirk Jr.Hagerstown, MD

        

On putting in a prevent defense at the end of the game...

The entire game against the Steelers, the defense was successful because they rushed the QB and gave "Big Ben" little time. On the last Steelers drive why in the world would you go to a prevent defense vs a defense that kept them to two field goals the whole game?

David HushBaltimore, MD

       

On Ozzie Newsome's draft success...

The Ravens' success this year (and in coming years) is a direct result of Ozzie Newsome'sunbelievably great draft picks. The maneuvering he did to capture Joe Flacco after Matt Ryan slipped through his fingers is nothing short of miraculous. Every year he makes insightful choices on the need for the Ravens that particular year. From choosing Haloti Ngata alone he has proven to me that he's the best GM in the game. All of his picks have remained with the team for significant periods too. Thanks Ozzie.

Marc LusbyNashville, TN

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*The opinions expressed here are exclusive to the individuals and do not represent the views of the Baltimore Ravens organization. *

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