Too slow: Rob Gronkowski’s grab not re­viewed by poky NFL

Ripon Bulletin - - Sports -

DEN­VER (AP) — The NFL spent a lot of time and ef­fort in the off­sea­son sim­pli­fy­ing what con­sti­tutes a catch and try­ing to make the game safer with new rules that re­quire both of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive play­ers to use their heads and not their hel­mets.

Blun­ders, how­ever, are here to stay.

Take Rob Gronkowski’s spec­tac­u­lar 28-yard catch be­tween two Tex­ans de­fend­ers — which maybe wasn’t re­ally a catch — that set up a touch­down in the fi­nal sec­onds of the first half, giv­ing the Pa­tri­ots a 21-6 lead on their way to a 27-20 vic­tory Sun­day.

The catch stood as called, not be­cause NFL head­quar­ters con­firmed the re­cep­tion upon re­view, but be­cause the league didn’t buzz the of­fi­cials on the field fast enough to stop the next snap so they could fur­ther scru­ti­nize Gronk’s grab.

“New York did get back to us,” ref­eree Tony Cor­rente said. “How­ever, un­for­tu­nately, they didn’t get the game of­fi­cials on the field un­til af­ter the (next) play had al­ready started.”

Cru­cially, the catch/non-catch stood as called. Hous­ton coach Bill O’Brien, who would have been pe­nal­ized for throw­ing his red chal­lenge flag in­side the 2-minute warning, could have called time­out to al­low the league of­fice more time. But he said he didn’t have a good view of the play him­self.

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