Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chad Henne's last passing attempt vs. Steelers changed to interception

Things got a little bit worse for the Miami Dolphins four days after a controversial fumble call facilitated a Steelers victory Sunday, as the NFL has altered the statistician report from the game to give Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne an interception on his final passing attempt seen here.

Down 23-22 with 1:38 remaining, the Dolphins faced a 4th and 6 from their own 33-yard line. Quarterback Chad Henne dropped back to pass, evaded pressure from Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds, but was hit behind by Worilds as he threw to Ronnie Brown.

Steelers linebacker James Harrison dove for an corralled the ball on the play, which was ruled an interception by the referee on the field. Later replays showed the ball bounce before Harrison got it in his hands, but a necessary booth review to overturn the call never came.

The Steelers proceeded to run out the clock and walk away with the victory.


Explanation

Despite the ruling of an interception on the field, the stat keeper for the game mistakenly (albeit more accurately) ruled the pass incomplete.

While an incompletion is what did happen on the play, it is not what was ruled on the field, and thus is not something that officially "happened" in the game.

Regardless of whether or not Harrison caught the ball (and video proves he did not), the play was ruled an interception by the referees on the field and was not reviewed by the booth for any kind of alteration.

Keep in mind, this ruling did not affect the outcome of the game, as the play in question happened on fourth down, and thus an interception or incompletion both result in Steelers possession.

This only affects Chad Henne's statistics, which unfortunately now have an additional interception that should have been reviewed and overturned. Obviously, the booth was too lazy to review an inconsequential play with so little time remaining, but they absolutely should have reviewed it.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the NFL did not review the video of the play and is not altering anything that was ruled on the field. Rather, they are merely fixing the statistician's error to accurately reflect the ruling that was carried on the field, as erroneous as it may have been.


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