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Allen Robinson’s touchdown grab pushed the limit of the NFL catch rule

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Officials first ruled that Allen Robinson didn’t complete the process of the catch, but overturned the call.

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson hauled in a diving touchdown reception to cut the Baltimore Ravens' lead to 16-14, but it was first ruled incomplete. It wasn’t until after a replay review that the pass was ruled a completion.

There wasn’t any doubt that Robinson caught the ball out of the air, and it also didn’t move when he went to the ground; however, when he rolled over Ravens cornerback Shareece Wright was able to pry the ball out of the receiver’s arms.

It’s not hard to figure out what the officials saw that caused them to call it incomplete. "Completing the catch" to the ground is an oft-used standard to determine if a play was or wasn’t a reception, and it has drawn plenty of spotlight for several years

Among the most notable examples of the rule causing incomplete passes was a touchdown by Calvin Johnson in 2010 and a catch by Dez Bryant in the 2014 postseason that were both overturned, ending the Detroit Lions’ and Dallas Cowboys’ chances at winning, respectively.

But neither of those featured a defensive back ripping the ball away after the receiver went to the ground. The rule officially states:

"If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone."

The rulebook isn’t specific about an opponent pulling the ball away, but the officials at EverBank Field determined that Robinson caught the pass and maintained control of the ball after initially contacting the ground, making the play a touchdown for the Jaguars.