The game between the Tampa Bay Bucs and the New Orleans Saints featured 797 combined passing yards from Drew Brees and Josh Freeman, and 216 yards receiving by Vincent Jackson, but ended up in an unfortunate call that rewarded the Saints the game, 35-28.
Needing a touchdown to force overtime on 4th and goal with five seconds remaining, Josh Freeman found Mike Williams in the back of the end zone, for what everyone thought was a TD. The refs however, ruled ‘illegal touching’ on Williams because he had stepped out of bounds and could not be the first one to touch the ball. The controversy lies in the fact that Williams was pushed out of bounds by Saints’ cornerback Patrick Robinson.
Here is the NFL’s rule on illegal touching:
Article 8 Illegal Touching of a Forward Pass.It is a foul for illegal touching if a forward pass (legal or illegal), thrown from behind the line of scrimmage:
(a) is first touched intentionally or is caught by an ineligible offensive player; or
(b) first touches or is caught by an eligible receiver who has gone out of bounds, either of his own volition
or by being legally forced out of bounds, and has re-established himself inbounds.
In seeing the video, it makes you wonder why every offensive receiver isn’t shoved out of bounds by a defender when a quarterback leaves the pocket. The NFL needs a little more clarification on this rule.