We learned Sunday that a receiver securing the football and getting two feet down in bounds doesn't always constitute a catch in the NFL.
Let us explain.
With 9:38 remaining in the third quarter of the 49ers' showdown with the Detroit Lions, San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith fired a sideline pass to a well-covered Michael Crabtree, who caught the ball while he was off balance, hopped on his left foot twice, then fell out of bounds near the end-zone pylon.
Crabtree believed he had a catch and perhaps a touchdown, but officials conferred before ruling that he didn't have both feet down, just the same foot twice, which meant the pass was incomplete. Perhaps unclear on the rule, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh challenged the call, but it was upheld.