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A Few Thoughts About the Raiders, in no particular order


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For as much as some of us clamor for prime time games, the 4pm start was just weird.  I didn't quite know what to do with myself today and that off-rhythm day followed me into the game.  And when I fe

Watch the play again and tell me what QB turns this throw into a walk in TD:     You're underestimating how difficult it is to throw the ball that far from the angle to an exact sp

He threw it from his own 33 to the opponents 11 

5 hours ago, K-9 said:

Good stuff. Especially the comments about the refs. NFL refs continue to show why they are the worst of all pro sports officials week in and week out. Both sides got screwed by poor calls today. Sometimes, they don’t even know the rules, like on that holding call on Diggs that occurred nine yards beyond the line of scrimmage. That’s a spot foul, the yardage is marked off from the point of the foul, and it should have been 11 yards to go for a first down. Instead, they marked it off from the LOS and it was 20 yards to go. There is just no excuse for that. 
 

Not sure why our coaches didn’t raise a stink at the time, either.

They got it right on that call anyway, it was 1st and 13 after the penalty. The broadcast showed the wrong down and distance, but it was correct on the field. 

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The pass to diggs went from the bills33 (where josh released it)  to the raiders 13 (where diggs caught it)  (Diggs landed on the eleven, the  line of scrimmage was the bills 40)54 yards in the air. 
 

and in the post game presser Josh said “I should have throw it a little deeper”.  We forgive you josh! 

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5 hours ago, HappyDays said:

 

Watch the play again and tell me what QB turns this throw into a walk in TD:

 

 

You're underestimating how difficult it is to throw the ball that far from the angle to an exact spot. Allen did what he was supposed to do, let his #1 receiver in single coverage make a play.

Yes. Virgil, get a new glasses prescription. Diggs was running the whole way. 🤦‍♂️

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Another great write up @Virgil thanks.

 

just wanted to touch on #3.  Our run blocking sucks. I hope we NEVER hand the ball off to a Rb on 3rd or 4th and 1 for the rest of the year.  Put the ball in the stallions hands and let him do what he does.  Until we can open some holes, I hope we limit our runs.  

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3 hours ago, NewEra said:

Another great write up @Virgil thanks.

 

just wanted to touch on #3.  Our run blocking sucks. I hope we NEVER hand the ball off to a Rb on 3rd or 4th and 1 for the rest of the year.  Put the ball in the stallions hands and let him do what he does.  Until we can open some holes, I hope we limit our runs.  

 

Loved the mckenzie call though.  

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11 hours ago, Virgil said:

 

Is that true?  I really missed the distance on it.  I just looked it up and it was a 49 yard pass. 

That is true. It was a deep dropback. And that’s why I don’t fault him—on 60 yard throw, getting it in the general area code is good. It’s really hard to be pinpoint on such a deep throw. It was good enough.

4 hours ago, gordong said:

The pass to diggs went from the bills33 (where josh released it)  to the raiders 13 (where diggs caught it)  (Diggs landed on the eleven, the  line of scrimmage was the bills 40)54 yards in the air. 
 

and in the post game presser Josh said “I should have throw it a little deeper”.  We forgive you josh! 

His arm was at the 32 when he released it, actually, and the ball would have landed at the 10/9 if it hadn’t been caught. I’d Say it’s a 58-59 yard throw.

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9 hours ago, HappyDays said:

 

Watch the play again and tell me what QB turns this throw into a walk in TD:

 

 

You're underestimating how difficult it is to throw the ball that far from the angle to an exact spot. Allen did what he was supposed to do, let his #1 receiver in single coverage make a play.

 

It went 54y in the air. I miss data on this but I guess that very few QBs are able to deliver such a deep throw at all, and even maintain higher degree of accurancy than Allen showed here.

 

If somebody knows how to find out I would love to see stats on attemps/completions which travel 50+ yards in the air.

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12 hours ago, Virgil said:

2 - Beasley - In the first quarter, I couldn't help but notice that Beasley wasn't out there for the first few drives, even in 3-4 receiver sets.  I remember thinking about how I hope this new rotation doesn't lead to dissension among the receivers, as even Brown was out from time to time.  But then, Beasley strolled onto the field and picked up a key third down as he does.  Then, Beasley makes a ridiculous catch in the endzone and holds onto the ball through the air in the most Beasley way.  He was mentioned to be hurt in the game, but found his way back out there for another acrobatic catch later.  If these guys are truly team-first players and winning fixes everything, you have to love the role he has on this team.

 

3 - Singletary - In this pass happy offense, I''m starting to think that these past two games might be the most we get out of our rushing attack. It's not that Motor isn't capable of doing more, as much as it's just not our style of play.  Motor had a great run at the end of the game to put it away, a touchdown run where he showed good power (helped by a 3 man block by Dawson), and continued to show up in the screen game.  The only real blemish for Motor was on the second to last drive where the Bills telegraphed three straight runs.  Don't fault Motor as it's just not his style of game.  Overall, with how this offense is playing, and how well Motor is blocking, catching, and holding onto the ball, I don't find myself wondering what we have in Moss much at all.

 

8 - Refs - Is it me, or did the main ref seem like he wanted to be anywhere but at this game?  I've never seen a more miserable looking man on a football field, besides maybe Adam Gase.  Moving on; how was Smoke's amazing catch at the goal line not a touchdown?  Two feet, control of the ball, and the ball is on the goal line stripe.  If you stand at the one yard line, place the ball in the air over the imaginary barrier and pull it back, it's still a touchdown.  Possession was clear, the ball was clear.  What am I missing here?  We still scored that drive and the refs did a gratefully amazing job calling back the Raiders first touchdown, so I can't complain too much.  We also got a gift on the illegal block in the back against the Raiders.  I was a little surprised they called the Carr fumble dead by forward progress as that felt like a fast call and the PI on Poyer seemed weak to me.  Overall, It's nice to see the Bills keeping the penalties in check, and most of the calls going against the opposing team.  Maybe this is what happens when you are the more disciplined, winning team.

 

2 - MOST BEASLEY WAY......my newest shout out!  Replaces The BEASE!!

3 - I wonder but only in a curiously positive way.  All preseason "they" raved about him.  I wanna see what "they" saw.  I want to believe.

4 - Land did NOT wanna be there, as you said as much as we had to gripe about the Raiders had more to gripe about.  I had to suffer thru that TB game and there were many many calls and in my mind I blended the games together.  I didn't realize the Bills came away relatively unscathed. 

 

Thanks @Virgil for yet another sweet write up/re-cap.

 

Go BILLS!

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47 minutes ago, BritBill said:

If Jonathan Abram played as well as he jawed he'd be all pro. 

Haha agreed. I was talking with another poster in the week leading up to this game and we were worried about the aggressive/reckless way he plays the game as if he's trying to end someone's career on every single play. What a punk, he seems destined to become a Jets/Gregg Williams player at some point. 

 

Idk he might be the kind of guy we'd like if he was on our team and played with that edge. But as you said, talks a way bigger game than he can actually back up with his play. 

 

Watching their safeties struggle gives me so much appreciation for the job that Hyde and Poyer do. Love those guys.

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11 hours ago, K-9 said:

Good stuff. Especially the comments about the refs. NFL refs continue to show why they are the worst of all pro sports officials week in and week out. Both sides got screwed by poor calls today. Sometimes, they don’t even know the rules, like on that holding call on Diggs that occurred nine yards beyond the line of scrimmage. That’s a spot foul, the yardage is marked off from the point of the foul, and it should have been 11 yards to go for a first down. Instead, they marked it off from the LOS and it was 20 yards to go. There is just no excuse for that. 
 

Not sure why our coaches didn’t raise a stink at the time, either.

 

Good catch....Like Virgil said - that Head Ref and the rest of the crew clearly did NOT want to be there.  This is Land's (yes that was the Head Ref's name) first year.  Based on what we all saw it most likely will be his last year.  Sheesh....

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2 minutes ago, Dont Stop Billeiving said:

Haha agreed. I was talking with another poster in the week leading up to this game and we were worried about the aggressive/reckless way he plays the game as if he's trying to end someone's career on every single play. What a punk, he seems destined to become a Jets/Gregg Williams player at some point. 

 

Idk he might be the kind of guy we'd like if he was on our team and played with that edge. But as you said, talks a way bigger game than he can actually back up with his play. 

 

Watching their safeties struggle gives me so much appreciation for the job that Hyde and Poyer do. Love those guys.

 

Yes, he plays with passion but then again, I could do that. Doesn't mean I'll do anything of note on the pitch. 

 

A few of the Raiders players play from the loins and not the brain. They need to find the balance. Just like as you say, our fine warriors do. 

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13 hours ago, matter2003 said:

Norman was fantastic in run support also making several big stops of Jacobs behind the line and stringing him out so teammates could make plays on others...he should start over Wallace for this reason alone...

I'm just glad we signed a FA CB who didn't quit at halftime.

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Virgil, good writeup as always.

 

A couple of things:

13 hours ago, Virgil said:

1 - Norman - I'll be completely honest, I had zero expectations of him going into this season.  I wasn't sure he'd even make the roster.  However, as fate would have it, injuries occurred and Norman came to make one of the key plays to the game.  Early in the game, Norman looked solid in coverage, and very sound with tackling (minus one tackle).  I don't think the plan was for him to play as much as he did, as his snap count in the first half seemed low.  In the second half though, he was out there for most of the snaps and was far from a liability.  On the main play in question, he both punched a fumble out and recovered it.  Even more so important, he got the entire defense fired up.  The energy level of the defense from that play on was completely different.  The players responded to Norman well and I remember someone on there forums saying that was a benefit of Norman joining the team.  Good call sir.

 

I think one reason McBeane wanted Norman was to replace some of the leadership they "let walk out of the room" or that retired/opted out.  Having 'Zo retire, Lawson and Phillips leave in FA, and Star opt out was a HUGE change for our front 7 and we're obviously still adjusting.

 

While I don't buy the "our D lacks leadership" thing, Edmunds is still learning his craft and the DL are still learning their roles and how to mesh together.  Norman responded to the challenge and "made a play" when we needed one, and got the rest of the D fired up.

 

Quote

2 - Beasley - In the first quarter, I couldn't help but notice that Beasley wasn't out there for the first few drives, even in 3-4 receiver sets.  I remember thinking about how I hope this new rotation doesn't lead to dissension among the receivers, as even Brown was out from time to time.  But then, Beasley strolled onto the field and picked up a key third down as he does.  Then, Beasley makes a ridiculous catch in the endzone and holds onto the ball through the air in the most Beasley way.  He was mentioned to be hurt in the game, but found his way back out there for another acrobatic catch later.  If these guys are truly team-first players and winning fixes everything, you have to love the role he has on this team.

 

I think Beasley is working through a couple of injuries.  He was on the injury report for hip/thumb 2 weeks ago, and someone said he twisted an ankle last week though it didn't show up on the report.  Beasley's snaps this game were down to 30% vs >60% in the first 3 weeks.  I think he may be playing through some stuff and they may have been managing his snaps. 

 

That said, Gabe Davis played very well last week replacing John Brown, and deserved the increased snaps he got this week with everyone healthy.  He is literally catching everything thrown his way (100% catch % through 4 games). 

 

Still at this point, I'd caution against drawing conclusions based on snap count

 

Quote

5 - Tight Ends - Looks like Kroft's game last week earned him some more snaps in this game as visually, I'm pretty sure he was out there more than Knox.  When I was able to keep an eye on him, he delivered some solid blocks, and wasn't a factor really in the passing game.  I'm only mentioning it as Knox was dominating the snap count in the first few games, and that seems to be slowly changing.

 

Knox 48% of the snaps, Kroft 33%, so that would be "No, he was NOT out there more than Knox"

 

It might be worthwhile to verify how much guys are actually out there if you're gonna be reading the tealeaves and drawing conclusions about their relative roles from it.  (Pro-football-reference gives snap counts in the boxscore and for each player.) 

 

I think Knox is still the starter and the hoped-for Star.  Kroft has certainly earned more snaps than he had Week 1 with a healthy Knox (he only got on the field 5% of the snaps against the Jets), but we also played a buttload of 1-0 sets Week 1.  I didn't see the throws - were they throwaways in his direction?  But Kroft had 1 reception of 12 yds on 3 targets yesterday, which isn't "Kittle territory".  Knox was 2 receptions on 3 targets, for 16 yds.

 

I think at this point, the gameplan and the sets we're running are gonna impact who sees the field more than some perceived change in pecking order, but neither of our TE are anywhere near the level of sure-handed go-to production that other teams get from the TE position.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Virgil said:

For as much as some of us clamor for prime time games, the 4pm start was just weird.  I didn't quite know what to do with myself today and that off-rhythm day followed me into the game.  And when I feel off, for some unrealistic reason, I expect the Bills to be off.  I was prepared for the letdown game, regardless of how banged up the Raiders were.  But, as the Bills continue to do each game this season, they proved again that this is a very different team.

 

1 - Norman - I'll be completely honest, I had zero expectations of him going into this season.  I wasn't sure he'd even make the roster.  However, as fate would have it, injuries occurred and Norman came to make one of the key plays to the game.  Early in the game, Norman looked solid in coverage, and very sound with tackling (minus one tackle).  I don't think the plan was for him to play as much as he did, as his snap count in the first half seemed low.  In the second half though, he was out there for most of the snaps and was far from a liability.  On the main play in question, he both punched a fumble out and recovered it.  Even more so important, he got the entire defense fired up.  The energy level of the defense from that play on was completely different.  The players responded to Norman well and I remember someone on there forums saying that was a benefit of Norman joining the team.  Good call sir.

 

2 - Beasley - In the first quarter, I couldn't help but notice that Beasley wasn't out there for the first few drives, even in 3-4 receiver sets.  I remember thinking about how I hope this new rotation doesn't lead to dissension among the receivers, as even Brown was out from time to time.  But then, Beasley strolled onto the field and picked up a key third down as he does.  Then, Beasley makes a ridiculous catch in the endzone and holds onto the ball through the air in the most Beasley way.  He was mentioned to be hurt in the game, but found his way back out there for another acrobatic catch later.  If these guys are truly team-first players and winning fixes everything, you have to love the role he has on this team.

 

3 - Singletary - In this pass happy offense, I''m starting to think that these past two games might be the most we get out of our rushing attack. It's not that Motor isn't capable of doing more, as much as it's just not our style of play.  Motor had a great run at the end of the game to put it away, a touchdown run where he showed good power (helped by a 3 man block by Dawson), and continued to show up in the screen game.  The only real blemish for Motor was on the second to last drive where the Bills telegraphed three straight runs.  Don't fault Motor as it's just not his style of game.  Overall, with how this offense is playing, and how well Motor is blocking, catching, and holding onto the ball, I don't find myself wondering what we have in Moss much at all.

 

4 - Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street.

Chicago, New York, Detroit and it's all on the same street.

Your typical city involved in a typical daydream

Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings

 

5 - Tight Ends - Looks like Kroft's game last week earned him some more snaps in this game as visually, I'm pretty sure he was out there more than Knox.  When I was able to keep an eye on him, he delivered some solid blocks, and wasn't a factor really in the passing game.  I'm only mentioning it as Knox was dominating the snap count in the first few games, and that seems to be slowly changing.

 

6 - Defensive Scheme - Watching the game live and knowing the Raiders didn't punt until midway through the 3rd quarter, you'd think we were getting scored on at will.  But, as the Bills defense in 2019 did, they were vintage bend but don't break defense today.  Until the last Raiders TD, we were up 4-1 in the touchdown column.  The defense had quite a few negative plays on first down, gave up a chunk play on 2nd, then gave up the 1st on 3rd down all the way into our red zone.  We'd keep them out of the end zone and make them settle for the field goal.  No real pass rush to speak of, huge zone gaps in the middle of the field, and no real plays that stood out.......until the 4th quarter.  

 

7  - Defense in the 4th - As reference before with Norman, the defense looked as it has all season through the first 3 quarters.  But when it came time to make plays, and really show the better team on the field, huge shout outs go to Norman, Oliver, and Jefferson.  Oliver single-handedly shed a block to stop the Raiders in Bills territory on a 4th and short play.  Jefferson had a fantastic strip an recover sack as the Raiders were driving and trying to make a game of it.  These are the plays that we haven't gotten all season from this defense and came to be the real difference maker here.  And, not to turn this massive positive into a negative, but this is where it made me start to question some of our guys; mainly Oliver and Edmunds.  Maybe the scheme of this defense is to know your role and play that part, but I feel like we should start to see more flashes from these guys based upon where they were draft and their expectations.  Edmunds is a year away from being in new contract territory, and I don't even know what his value would be right now.  But I digress.

 

8 - Refs - Is it me, or did the main ref seem like he wanted to be anywhere but at this game?  I've never seen a more miserable looking man on a football field, besides maybe Adam Gase.  Moving on; how was Smoke's amazing catch at the goal line not a touchdown?  Two feet, control of the ball, and the ball is on the goal line stripe.  If you stand at the one yard line, place the ball in the air over the imaginary barrier and pull it back, it's still a touchdown.  Possession was clear, the ball was clear.  What am I missing here?  We still scored that drive and the refs did a gratefully amazing job calling back the Raiders first touchdown, so I can't complain too much.  We also got a gift on the illegal block in the back against the Raiders.  I was a little surprised they called the Carr fumble dead by forward progress as that felt like a fast call and the PI on Poyer seemed weak to me.  Overall, It's nice to see the Bills keeping the penalties in check, and most of the calls going against the opposing team.  Maybe this is what happens when you are the more disciplined, winning team.

 

9 - Allen - Based off another thread, I know this isn't going to go well.  I'm going to do my best to preface this, but I know it won't matter.  I'm grading Josh based upon how he's played this season and as the AFC MVP he's being talked about as.  With that being said, I think this was Josh's second worst game in this limited 4 game season.  I'm not focusing on the drops or the box score, I'm focusing on his ball placement.  When hitting his players in previous games, he was hitting them in stride on the front half of their body.  In this game, on multiple occasions, he was hitting guys on the back half of their body.  They were still completions and they still got some YAC, but they had to slow down a bit.  This is something he was excellent at the prior two games.  The sack out of FG range is something he's got to get better at and is a known issue for him.  I defend his decisions to fight through sacks that sometimes lead to big plays or negative plays, but he's got to be better in this situation.  He will tell you the same thing.  On the deep ball to Diggs, I want to see the All-22 review, but I also think that's a TD if he leads Diggs at all.  Listen, he had 288 yards in this game, which was better than any of his games prior to this year.  He made an amazing pass to Smoke and others throughout the game.  He's seeing the entire field and in total control.  I'm not crapping on Josh here.  If anything, I love that these are the only things I can say he needs to improve on.  

 

10 - 4-0 - In listening to the pregame, there were a few people who were upset that the Patriots were going to be without Cam for a few weeks.  Their reasoning was that they want the Pats to be at full strength in a season we could win the division and don't want any excuses.  There's also people talking about COVID and how this season should have an asterisks next to it.  I'm sorry, but this is all total bull *****.  We have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this year, play with the same limited fans, and no one gave us any pity over the past 20 years when we were decimated by injuries or other happenstance.  Fact is, this team has earned it's 4-0 and there isn't a single team I think we can't beat.  If this defense gets any form of spark from how they finished this game and Josh keeps being Josh, there isn't a single team that is going to underestimate us.  And that doesn't scare me one bit....

 


Go Bills!

That pass to Diggs that people want to complain. About was like 56 yards in the air. 

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<On the deep ball to Diggs, I want to see the All-22 review, but I also think that's a TD if he leads Diggs at all.>

 

Yeah, probably but I think an underthrow is a lot better than last year's overthrows, especially with Diggs.

 

I would not be surprised if 'they' (Daboll, Diggs specifically, other receivers, receivers coach) told Josh - "Hey, our chances of catching an overthrow on a long ball are 0%.  Our chances of winning an underthrow are 70%, so give us a chance and if you err, err a bit to the underthrow."

 

Kind of like a 'smart approach shot' in golf.  Less risk of missing the throw, greater long term returns.  

As for fear of Ints ....... well, how many so far?  One and that was bogus.

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1 hour ago, Kwai San said:

 

Good catch....Like Virgil said - that Head Ref and the rest of the crew clearly did NOT want to be there.  This is Land's (yes that was the Head Ref's name) first year.  Based on what we all saw it most likely will be his last year.  Sheesh....

I was incorrect on that call. @Wroughting pointed out up thread that it was the broadcast crew that actually showed the incorrect down and distance on the TV and that the refs actually marked the ball properly. It was lazy analysis on my part for only focusing on what was shown on the screen and not actually noting where the ball was placed. 

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16 hours ago, Virgil said:

 

8 - Refs - Is it me, or did the main ref seem like he wanted to be anywhere but at this game?  I've never seen a more miserable looking man on a football field, besides maybe Adam Gase.  Moving on; how was Smoke's amazing catch at the goal line not a touchdown?  Two feet, control of the ball, and the ball is on the goal line stripe.  If you stand at the one yard line, place the ball in the air over the imaginary barrier and pull it back, it's still a touchdown.  Possession was clear, the ball was clear.  What am I missing here?  We still scored that drive and the refs did a gratefully amazing job calling back the Raiders first touchdown, so I can't complain too much.  We also got a gift on the illegal block in the back against the Raiders.  I was a little surprised they called the Carr fumble dead by forward progress as that felt like a fast call and the PI on Poyer seemed weak to me.  Overall, It's nice to see the Bills keeping the penalties in check, and most of the calls going against the opposing team.  Maybe this is what happens when you are the more disciplined, winning team.

 

9 - Allen - Based off another thread, I know this isn't going to go well.  I'm going to do my best to preface this, but I know it won't matter.  I'm grading Josh based upon how he's played this season and as the AFC MVP he's being talked about as.  With that being said, I think this was Josh's second worst game in this limited 4 game season.  I'm not focusing on the drops or the box score, I'm focusing on his ball placement.  When hitting his players in previous games, he was hitting them in stride on the front half of their body.  In this game, on multiple occasions, he was hitting guys on the back half of their body.  They were still completions and they still got some YAC, but they had to slow down a bit.  This is something he was excellent at the prior two games.  The sack out of FG range is something he's got to get better at and is a known issue for him.  I defend his decisions to fight through sacks that sometimes lead to big plays or negative plays, but he's got to be better in this situation.  He will tell you the same thing.  On the deep ball to Diggs, I want to see the All-22 review, but I also think that's a TD if he leads Diggs at all.  Listen, he had 288 yards in this game, which was better than any of his games prior to this year.  He made an amazing pass to Smoke and others throughout the game.  He's seeing the entire field and in total control.  I'm not crapping on Josh here.  If anything, I love that these are the only things I can say he needs to improve on.  

 

 

 


Go Bills!

I agree about Allen, both the throw to Diggs and his game generally.  He wasn't as sharp as we've seen in other games, but he still was awfully good.   The throw to Brown on the goal line was fabulous, and a couple of the shorter balls to Diggs were great, too.   He's an amazing thrower.   The sack was a disaster.  

 

I thought the explanation of Brown's catch made some sense.  If you have possession of the ball and hold it over the goal line, it's a score.   However, a receiver doesn't have possession of the ball until he completes the catch. They seemed to say that since he was going to the ground, he didn't complete the catch until he survived the collision with the ground.   So he didn't have possession until he hit the ground, and at that point the ball wasn't over the line. 

 

Nice piece on the game.   Thanks. 

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