Dean Blandino on why Golden Tate play ruled a TD

Our weekly national nightmare about what constitutes a catch continues.

Prior to halftime during the Detroit Lions' 37-34 overtime win over the Chicago Bears at Ford Field, Golden Tate had a short pass knocked out of his hands as he crossed the goal line. A Bears defender came down with the ball before it hit the ground.

The play was ruled an interception on the field. Game broadcasters thought it was an INT. FOX rules analyst Mike Pereria said he believed the play to be an interception because it wasn't clear Tate had become a runner as he crossed into the end zone.

Upon replay, the call was reversed and ruled a touchdown for Tate, giving the Lions a 21-13 halftime lead.

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told NFL Network on Sunday that Tate was not going to the ground to make the catch.

"The ruling on the field was an interception. Golden Tate controlled the pass right at the goal line," Blandino said. "The ball came loose and was eventually caught by a Chicago defender. This is different than the plays we've been talking about, the Dez Bryant play or the Calvin Johnson play. This is not a receiver who's going to the ground. The issue here is, did he become a runner before the ball came loose? Did he have control, both feet down, and then time enough to become a runner after the second foot is down?

"When you watch the play the ball comes loose, he is taking his third step, the third step is almost on the ground when the ball comes out. He had demonstrated possession, had become a runner, once the ball breaks the plane of the goal line in possession of a runner it is a touchdown and the play is over at that point."

Blandino explained the ruling, but that fans, announcers and players can't tell what a catch is from week to week is a problem for the NFL.

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