Packers: 'Calvin Johnson Rule' costs Finley a potential touchdown catch

2011-09-18T20:00:00Z 2011-09-18T21:00:18Z Packers: 'Calvin Johnson Rule' costs Finley a potential touchdown catchGreen Bay Press-Gazette
September 18, 2011 8:00 pm  • 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has a beef with the NFL about the so-called Calvin Johnson rule.

The rule cost Finley a possible touchdown catch and the Packers four points in the third quarter of Sunday's 30-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

The rule stipulates a receiver must complete a catch by maintaining possession of the ball in the end zone after he hits the ground even if both feet already had touched the ground.

"Once you get in the (end) zone, you do the same thing you do in the (rest of the) field, it's incomplete and no touchdown," Finley said. "The league is going to have to look at that rule and change something, because that's taking away points and putting us down the board in the rankings in the red zone. That's not a good call."

On the play, which was third-and-goal from the 9, Finley ran a fade pattern and jumped over cornerback Captain Munnerlyn for the ball. But after Finley's feet touched the ground he landed on his stomach and the ball squirted out of his hands.

Last year, Johnson, a receiver for Detroit, had a touchdown taken away when he similarly lost the ball when his hand hit the ground on his fall after his feet had touched.

The NFL's competition committee didn't propose to change the rule in the offseason and instead tried to clarify the language so a play such as Johnson's still would be ruled an incompletion.

Immediately after the play, Finley motioned to coach Mike McCarthy to challenge the call, but McCarthy didn't and instead had kicker Mason Crosby attempt a 37-yard field goal, which Crosby made to give the Packers a 17-13 lead.

"They would have stuck with the call," Finley said in acknowledging the futility of a challenge. "Once the ball comes out they say it's automatically incomplete and no touchdown. It's a foolish rule. They need to go back and look at that one."

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