Kurt Warner passed the ball. Kurt Warner fumbled the ball. Everybody has an opinion. Is this 'Tuck Rule II'?
As you can see, there is a startling similarity to Warner's fumble and the Brady tuck. Even if Warner's arm wasn't moving forward, or if the ball was "jostled" prior to his release, the play appears to be such an obvious under-the-hood scenario. If the call was overturned, with the penalty yardage tacked on, the Cardinals would have had the ball at the 29-yard line. And with FitzBreastoldin, it would have given them a pretty decent shot at the end zone. Better than most teams.
We all know that never happened. The refs are convinced they made the right call, according to NFL VP of officiating Mike Pereira.:
"The replay assistant in the replay booth saw it was clearly a fumble.The ball got knocked loose and was rolling in his hand before it started forward. He has to have total control."
On to the strident opinions :
•" A replay review wasn’t even necessary. It was obvious even at full speed that his arm was going forward. I hate to be the “NO ONE CAN DISPUTE THIS!” guy, but honestly, no one can dispute this. It was an incomplete pass. The Cardinals got cheated out of a final Hail Mary attempt, which would’ve come from around the 30 yardline when you factor in the 15-yard penalty the Steelers incurred on the play. So really, not a Hail Mary at all at the point. Sure, it’s still highly unlikely Arizona converts for the TD, but when you consider Larry Fitzgerald’s leap-and-catch ability, and the shortened field, it certainly looks like more of a real possibility than merely a prayer." [The Sporting Blog]
• "Even if the officials had deemed it clear that the ball had been jostled loose in Warner’s hand before his arm started moving forward — which wasn’t obvious — isn’t it possible that Warner could have regained his grip on the ball as he continued to move his arm forward? The ball was recovered by the Steelers 5 yards downfield even though the pressure came from Warner’s right. Wouldn’t that indicate some forward movement by Warner’s arm? Was it possible for the replay officials to determine every possibility in one minute of real time? (We’ve all seen much lengthier reviews over relatively trivial plays in the regular season.)" [The Fifth Down Blog]
• "Frankly, it's remarkable that there was no booth challenge to review the play. It was certainly close enough to warrant a look from upstairs. In all probability, the call on the field would have been confirmed. But why not appease the masses and nip any talk of controversy in the bud? (If the call had been overturned, Arizona would have had the ball on the Pittsburgh 29-yard line, certainly close enough to have had a reasonable shot at scoring a last-second touchdown.)" [Shutdown Corner]
• HEY SHITHEADS! THIS IS AN INCOMPLETE PASS! [KSK]