In Monday night’s game between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, the Raiders faced a third-and-5 from the Chargers’ 19 with 0:50 remaining in the second quarter. The ruling on the field was a completed pass for a touchdown.
The instant replay assistant stopped the game for an instant replay review to determine if the receiver maintained possession of the ball after he hit the ground.
Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that “if a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact with an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
The instant replay review determined that Raiders wide receiver Louis Murphy did not maintain possession of the ball after he hit the ground. Thus, the on-field ruling of a touchdown was reversed by referee Carl Cheffers to an incomplete pass.