Incredible play nullified by an outdated NFL rule.
Cincinnati improved to 1-2 with a 27-12 victory over the New York Jets, a game in which Tee Higgins had a tremendous day that could have been even bigger but for a very strange rule.
Higgins appeared to make a spectacular touchdown grab in the first half, which would have been one of, if not the finest play of Week 3.
Higgins appeared to have the ball in the end zone but was called out of bounds. Even though he got his toes in, he still needed to get his heels in because this wasn’t a toe-dragging catch.
It’s one of the “weirder rules” in the NFL, as Mike Garafolo put it. In light of the fact that his toes were within acceptable limits and did touch initially, the explanation does sound odd.
If catches made by tapping one’s toe are considered valid, then this should be as well. The NFL should change the rule this offseason to prevent additional incredible plays like this one from being nullified and costing teams in close games, and maybe this play will help convince them to do so.
#Bengals score so it doesn’t matter but Tee Higgins a victim of one of the weirder rules. If you drag your toes only, you’re in. If you have both sets of toes down but then your heel lands out of bounds, you’re out.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 25, 2022
Whether or not he scored a touchdown on his first possession, Higgins absolutely smashed it. On the opening drive, he caught three passes for 39 yards, and he finished the game with five receptions for 93 yards.
The ambiguous “catch” is as follows.
In? Out? Don’t care this was NASTY. pic.twitter.com/1XoTrFjQNw
— Nathan Beighle (@nathanbeighle_) September 25, 2022
Joe Burrow had his finest game of the season so far and seems to have gotten much better at working through his reads today. The offense was able to convert at a high rate, and the offensive line didn’t let them down.
Especially with a Week 4 matchup against the unbeaten Miami Dolphins on the horizon, who have already upset top AFC contenders in the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills, we’ll be hoping this trend continues.