An extremely cool touchdown catch survived the crucible of rulebook scrutinization and was hauled back from the brink of nonexistence in this afternoon’s surprising Browns beatdown of the Bengals. Baker Mayfield, who is torching the Bengals defense, lobbed a fade to Nick Chubb, operating against single coverage along the left sideline. Chubb had to make a very athletic play to even get two hands on the ball:
The NFL’s updated catch rule says a player must control the ball, get two feet (or an equivalent body part) down, and make a football move, which can be as simple as getting a third step in. The ball appeared to be doing an awful lot of moving around as Chubb and Brandon Wilson came down, and it’s unclear exactly what the referees are using as a sign of control, but whatever. The right call was made. In any context other than recent NFL history, that’s a catch. The rule is still confusing as shit—the broadcast commentators and the NFL Red Zone guy all thought there was a good chance it would be reversed—but if the rule says that’s a catch, then the rule is better than the previous rule.