It isn’t NFL football without a catch controversy.
In the second quarter of the Divisional Round matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow was looking to add to his team’s 14-7 lead. On a third-and- goal play late in the first half, Burrow found All-Pro receiver Ja’Marr Chase in the back of the end zone and appeared to make it a 20-7 Bengals’ lead.
However, NFL officials stopped the play to take a closer look at the touchdown. What they saw was an incredible play from Bills All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano.
As Chase is coming down to the ground with the ball, Milano swipes down with his left hand and jars the ball temporarily loose from the receiver’s hands. But Chase, being the dominant receiver he is, eventually corrals the ball for a second time, and gets two feet in.
Nope. Because as Chase is landing on the ground, Milano is still wrestling for the ball, and he jars the ball loose for a second time. That means Chase did not “survive the ground” of his completion, and the play was ruled incomplete.
It’s an incredible play from the linebacker against one of the best receivers in the league. It also happened at a critical moment in the game, allowing the Bills to trail just 17-7 instead of 21-7 at halftime.