'Official Review:' Replays were not definitive for Martellus Bennett

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was convinced Sunday that he had stretched the ball far enough to score a first-half touchdown against the Green Bay Packers.

However, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Tuesday on NFL Total Access that replay angles left the fourth-down call murky as referees ruled him short of the goal line.

"The issue here is does Bennett extend the ball over the goal line?" Blandino said during his weekly "Official Review" segment. "If any part of that football is breaking the plane, that's a touchdown.

"We get the goal-line (TV) shot, but unfortunately we get blocked out by the Green Bay defender. It's not definitive either way. The rule on the field stands."

He said if the play had been called a touchdown, it also would have stood as a score because there was no clear replay angle.

Blandino also talked about why Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin's one-handed catch was upheld after replay during Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, who challenged the play.

"This was an unbelievably athletic play; it's (also) a good challenge by San Francisco," said Blandino, who used a TV angle almost beneath Maclin to confirm the call. "He's going to the ground, he has a knee down, but the process of the catch isn't over at that point.

"He has to maintain control when he lands. You'll see him hit the ground. If the ball comes out at that point, it's an incomplete pass. There's a little bit of movement, but no loss of control."

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