Larry Fitzgerald’s falling, extending catch in the Cardinals’ Divisional Round win over the Packers has NFL VP of Officiating Dean Blandino once again doing what Dean Blandino does best: Longwindedly attempting to explain why Dez Bryant’s falling, extending catch against the Packers in the Divisional Round last year was not a catch.
With respect to the Fitzgerald catch, Blandino told NFL Network’s Total Access on Wednesday that it might not have been a completed catch either, but after it was ruled a catch on the play, there wasn’t enough to overturn it on review. On Bryant’s non-catch, apparently, there was enough, even though the plays look very similar throughout.
"We're not saying the Fitz catch was a catch," Blandino said, per the Dallas Morning News. "We're saying there wasn't enough to overturn it. I think when you watch the play there is some differences between this play and the play from last year. I think the first thing is control. In this play, Fitzgerald sticks the catch. He controls it immediately, where Dez didn't get control until he brought it down towards his shoulder.
"You see where Fitzgerald is facing. He's facing back toward the quarterback and now he's going to turn completely around and take several steps. The officials on the field ruled that he had become a runner. The ball did come lose when he hit the ground. In replay, we were looking to determine if he clearly did not become a runner. It has to be clear and obvious. It wasn't. That's why the call stood.
"On the Dez Bryant play he went directly to the ground. There was no turn. It was one step, down to the ground and that's why that was overturned to an incomplete pass."