Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Clarifying the downed punt confusion
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Referee Jeff Triplette reviewed a downed Shane Lechler punt with 11:53 left in regulation on Sunday with the Texans up on the Titans, 16-10.
The official ultimately got it right, but the things he said over his microphone only served to confuse everyone.
DeVier Posey got the ball inside the one-yard line and we thought he batted it back. Titan Alterraun Verner was next to touch it, then a scrum ensued.
Triplette said something about “illegal touching.” They reviewed it as everyone watching tried to figure out what was illegal. Several Texans on the field thought they’d recovered the ball after Verner touched it.
Since then we’ve learned that Verner made a smart play -- he can grab a ball batted back and do something good with it. And if he loses it, it simply gets spotted back where things started with his team retaining possession.
All of the stuff after Posey touched the ball was moot, however.
The NFL told me Posey didn’t bat the ball, he caught it, thus downing it.
I just rewatched the play and that’s correct in my eyes. He had control of it in the field of play. Then he threw it backwards to cover his butt in case he was judged not to have gained control.
So the crew got it right. Gold star for that.
Big minus for causing two days of confusion, though.