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Opinion

Continuation rule leaves Detroit with another loss

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September 30, 2010

In week one the Detroit Lions scored on a last minute touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson. Johnson went up in the air, came down with both feet in the end zone and maintained possession as he hit the ground. But as he got up, he let go of the ball and the officials ruled it incomplete on a continuation call.

In week three, a Lion’s defensive lineman was pushed into Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, and his forearm hit Brett Favre’s helmet.

Now the defensive lineman was pushed by a Vikings offensive lineman, yet still received the penalty.

The Lions aren’t the only team seemingly getting the short end of the stick, as both described plays have been called numerous times up and down the field throughout the league during the first three weeks.

Until the continuation rule was put into effect, it would seem that Calvin Johnson would have had a touchdown in week one, and that was the original ruling on the field. How can a defensive player be responsible for controlling all facets of their bodies when pushed by an offensive lineman towards the quarterback?

Avid football fan Lisa Retzloff said she feels that the continuation rule is very dumb.

“It makes it seem like every touchdown should be incomplete or a fumble.”

She seems to be right because the way the continuation rule has been explained is that after coming down or breaking the plane there must be another football move to complete the play. That would seem to indicate that a runner who drops the ball before completing another football move (i.e. taking another step) has fumbled the football.

It also doesn’t seem right that a player can be flagged for roughing the passer when the offensive player pushes the defensive player into the quarterback. Seems like a deceptive play if there ever was one. Incidental contact should not be flagged.

Robert Silvers is a student at UW-River Falls.